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.

Going to the (Auto) Show

Tomorrow marks the start of an annual Detroit tradition: The North American International Auto Show.

For nine days, automotive manufacturers and related companies will showcase the best products they have to offer. More than 700 vehicles are on display for the estimated 650,000 people that will flow through the show at Detroit's Cobo Center. (This comes after representatives from the media (5,500) and the auto industry (14,000) preview the event the week before.)

Is the shine gone? Some say the show has dimmed in previous years, but that there is a good feeling about this year's event.

This year, it feels like the region -- especially employees at GM, Ford, Chrysler, Visteon and others -- is holding its collective breath, hoping the domestic vehicle makers will turn heads with their updated product lines, concept cars and related projects.

After the bailouts of GM and Chrysler, some people might doubt these two companies' ability to continue. I have high hopes that seeing products like the Cadillac XTS Platinum concept model – my personal favorite – will get car consumers thinking local next time they go shopping.

The show also gives Cobo and the city a chance to impress the visitors (read: suburbanites) who come in for their annual visit. Maybe a trip to Slow's Bar-B-Q or some of the new retail stores might make them come back a few more times during 2010.

The economic impact for the Metro Detroit area is an estimated $320 million, according to David Sowerby, C.F.A., portfolio manager and chief market analyst at Loomis Sayles & Co. in Bloomfield Hills. That number is down from previous years -- and most of it comes during the previews of the show when the press and suppliers are in the area staying at hotels and eating out.

Photographer John F. Martin has shot more than 5,000 pictures there this week.

"I used to think of the show as a spotlight for the city -- 'Hey! Look at all this great product made by the best automakers in the world!' The light has faded in the last couple years - kind of like oncoming bright headlights that quickly dim as you approach," the Grosse Pointe Woods-based photographer said.

"This year, however, I see it more like a train's light in the distance, slowly growing brighter again. Or maybe a searchlight seeking out the next great wave of cars and technology, specifically greener ways to commute.

"The show also symbolizes the thinning of the industry and the city. Stroll through the GM exhibit this year - the first since shedding Saab, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer. There are wide open spaces everywhere -- not unlike the streets of the city and cubicles of the headquarters of the Big Three.

"Wide open show, city and future...," Martin added.

So far, a bevy of celebrities and politicians have come through, including Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (in a pair of four-inch heels…impressive).

“That was real Hollywood,” said Productions Plus CEO Margery Krevsky, whose Bingham Farms talent agency provides dozens of models and spokespeople for the show.

"We've come to Michigan, come to Detroit, to see, listen, and observe," Pelosi said Monday to the Grand Rapids Press. "We go back with great optimism."

Another great quote:

"I'm sort of like a kid in a candy shop," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told journalists. "I've seen some extraordinary workmanship, quality products, and beautiful products."

You going this year?

UPDATE: The Charity Preview -- also known as the Auto Prom -- sounded great. But the numbers stunk. From The Detroit News:

All the same, despite slashing ticket prices 35 percent -- from $400 last year to $250 -- Charity Preview organizers at the North American International Auto Show fell short of their target of 10,000 in sales.

By the time the box office closed late Friday afternoon, 8,300 tickets had been sold for tonight's Charity Preview, a 22 percent jump over last year's 6,500. In the heady days of 2008, before the crash, the total hit 15,000.

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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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