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.

No News isn't Necessarily Good News

I'm not breaking any news here when I inform you…the Detroit Daily Press is no more.

Over the weekend, the Ross Perot of Detroit newspapers made the obvious announcement that it would not resume publishing. It shut down unexpectedly in November, only one week after they first started the presses (although many staffers say it was clear that this thing looked doomed pretty early on).

According to the founders, veteran newspaper men Mark and Gary Stern:

"We've done everything possible to re-launch the Detroit Daily Press but the circulation issues persist," said Mark Stern, Co-publisher. "We tried to get union support and provide jobs. But the unions' demands would make it impossible for us to exist". …

"We tried to provide the Detroit area with a 7 day home delivered newspaper for 50 cents daily and $1.00 on Sundays while the other guys charge $1.00 daily and $1.50 on Sundays and they only deliver 3 days a week. And we set our advertising rates at only one-fourth of their rates. We could afford to do that because we don't have the fixed costs they do for owning presses, big buildings, trucks, pension funds and outstanding debt. But even the best newspaper at an affordable price to both the readers and advertisers can't work if it doesn't get into the hands of the public. And circulation is the key issue," added Mark Stern.

Crain's Detroit and its fine blogger Bill Shea got an extra comment out of the Sterns:

UPDATE: I got this additional statement from Mark Stern -- "We certainly gave this our best shot having put 7 months into it and several hundred thousand dollars. I don't want to get into the union issues at this time and, yes, all staffers were paid in full (minus a couple of freelancers who were never authorized by us in the first place). We're 6 and 1 now (a lot better than the Lions). We'll be publishing again in the future under the right circumstances."

Detroit is great in part because it is a two-newspaper town. Every day, readers get to see the debate between an editorial staff that leans a little bit Left and another that leans a little Right (these days, I admits it's hard to tell which is which).

Even after the Joint Operating Agreement – I won't go into the history here; Google it if you're interested – and nearly everyone assuming the two papers are written by the same people, I still love that there are multiple voices around to tackle the many and varied topics around the city.

A third voice would have been fantastic – another group to find the good and the bad around Metro Detroit. I would have subscribed; maybe if more of us had done so the Daily Press could have made it. Doubtful, I know.

Friends of mine who worked there say many freelancers were not paid; lawsuits may follow. Updates to come.

At least we have our memories – at least, in the digital world. Its Web site is still up. Its Facebook page is still going, but it hasn't been updated since Dec. 3. Yet their 1,100 fans are still hanging in; no news on whether anyone has “de-Friended” them for failing to return.

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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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