Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

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The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Not Only In Detroit

One of the little-discussed problems with Detroit serving as the focal point for so much outrage statewide, and nationally, is that the poor condition of our city tends to overshadow problems elsewhere in Michigan -- even to people who live amid those problems. Obsessing over urban ills makes it easy for some folks to rail about, say, "drugs in the city" while ignoring or downplaying rampant drug use in the suburbs from which those same ranters lob their myopic diatribes.

Likewise, when it comes to poverty, most people tend to think of Wayne County, where Detroit is located, as the most impoverished place in all of Michigan, thanks to the well-publicized struggles of the city. As it turns out, though, that isn't so. According a new report, the worst poverty lies in the rural areas of our state.

Three counties in the northern half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula — Clare, Lake and Roscommon — had child poverty rates above 32 percent, the highest rates in the state. Children in rural counties also were more likely to be covered by Medicaid and be eligible for free or reduced price school lunch programs.

"It's pretty stark, when you look at it, to see what's happening in these rural areas," said Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Human Services, a partner in the report. "And there's not a lot of attention paid to it."

Part of the reason why it's too often ignored, I think, is because it's so much easier for some folks to pass poverty, crime, drug use, etc., off as a city (read: "black") problem. Pitying or being pissed off at those folks "over there" becomes simpler when you think of them as being beset by problems that you don't have. But it's all a lie.

I dug the way the folks at Dyspathy put a pin in that bubble when mentioning the new Kids Count report:

Turns out that all of our pastoral small towns populated by humble, God-fearing real ‘mericans are cesspools of poverty. And probably meth. You're better off growing up in Herman Gardens compared to rural Michigan. Clearly, the government should build more prisons so the good people on Main Street USA can work as prison guards. It's not socialism when it benefits rural folks. Otherwise this most special jewel of false nostalgia will continue to be a place where hopelessly poor people beat their kids.

The truth is, we're all catching hell in Michigan, and none of us can afford to point fingers or talk trash. Sure, Detroit may have pneumonia -- but there are plenty of other places around this state with a worsening case of whooping cough, and acting like we're not all sick won't change that. Think, for instance, that Detroit schoolkids are inept because of their record low scores on the NAEP? Well, consider that Michigan as a state lags behind the nation on that same test.

Nationally, 30 states scored higher than Michigan among fourth-graders. Tops were Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Minnesota; at the bottom were Mississippi and Alabama.

And...

In eighth-grade rankings, 31 states scored higher than Michigan. The best states were Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont. Mississippi and Alabama were the worst among eighth-graders.

It's going to take all of us to get these problems under control, and in that regard, the calls for regional cooperation are critical and long overdue. For Michigan to have a brighter future, we've all got to row toward tomorrow together.

But first, we need to stop acting like we're not all in the same boat.

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 Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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 MIT Student Creates Connect Four Playing Robot for Course Final - TIME
TIME technology

This Robot Would Very Much Like to Play a Game of Connect Four With You

Game on

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When the singularity finally hits and artificial intelligence takes over everything, at least we know some of the robots will know how to have a good time — like this Connect Four-playing bot, programmed by MIT student Patrick McCabe.

Users can choose between four levels of difficulty and can even ask for a hint if needed. Head over to McCabe’s website for a detailed breakdown of how the machine works. In the meantime, watch here as the bot beats McCabe in the first round — and even taunts him a little bit before clinching the game.

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