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.

Belle Isle as "Neglected Gem"

File this one under the "Why Haven't I Written This Yet?" file.

Great story in The Detroit News today about Belle Isle and its challenges by the talented Charlie LeDuff. I hate him for his great ideas and even better writing -- professional hatred, mind you.

He calls Belle Isle a "neglected gem," and that is so true. My last memory of the place is visiting the Nature Center, where there is one snake, some stuffed creatures and a dead grasshopper or two. It is truly a crying shame. This place should be great and it is not.

"If they don't do something soon, all we will pass our children is a pile of rubble," said Ernest Burkeen, the director of Detroit Parks and Recreation under Mayor Dennis Archer and currently the director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Miami.

"Unfortunately, race is always a bogey man. We're giving it away to the suburbs, the argument goes," said Burkeen. "Secondly there is a political culture in Detroit where you have a bunch of people who are against everything. They can't give you a better way. They simply say no."

Background from Wikipedia: Belle Isle is a 982 acre (3.9 km²; 2.42 sq mi) island park in the Detroit River managed by the Detroit Recreation Department. It is connected to the rest of the city by the MacArthur Bridge. It is the largest island park in the United States and the third largest island in the Detroit River after Grosse Ile and Fighting Island.

LeDuff highlights:

The island, like the city, is plagued by neglect. Take the Belle Isle Zoo. It was closed by disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2002 for budget reasons. He promised to reopen it, but never did. In the meantime, the zoo has given over to climbing vines and wild dogs.

As the zoo was closed, a million dollars was found to build a holding pen for a few dozen European deer that used to roam the island freely. That contract was awarded to Bobby Ferguson, the mayor's friend who got a lot of contracts during the Kilpatrick years. Today, the holding pen is being dug up and the deer shoved to one corner, since rotting sewer pipes weren't replaced before erecting the pen.

And then there is the Belle Isle Aquarium, a 10,000-square-foot gem with an eight-sided dome that opened in 1904 as the entrance to the botanical conservatory. Kilpatrick closed the aquarium in 2005, saying the $300,000 a year it cost the city to run the place was better used toward things like tearing down abandoned buildings. In the end, he only succeeded in creating another.

The aquarium is still in a good state of repair. Unlike much of Detroit, vandals and nature have yet to ravage it.

Anyone know the latest on getting Belle Isle back to its former glory? There's one I'd like to support.

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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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