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.

Q&A: Weigang Li on Making Music in Detroit

Weigang Li has lived in some of the largest cities in the world: Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Shanghai.

This week, he is here in Detroit. Is he disappointed? Hardly.

Li is one of two violinists for the Shanghai Quartet, renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and distinguished collaborations. They have played at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and beyond. And for nearly two weeks, they will be here making the rounds.

Through Feb. 12, the Quartet will conduct the Chamber Music Society of Detroit's Two-Week Ensemble Residency Program. The ensemble will present tailored musical presentations and Master classes at metro Detroit area schools, Focus: HOPE and Latino Family Services.

The program's goal is to introduce participants – particularly students – to the highest caliber chamber music in a personal and interactive way. The Quartet's stops include Redford, Novi, Troy, Dearborn Heights and Farmington Hills. But they will spend the majority of their time in Detroit, visiting charter, public and private schools including Cass Tech High School to meet students and introduce them to classical music.

Here is what Li had to say about Detroit, music and more.

Q: Is this your first time here? Do you need a tour guide?

A: Oh, no. We've been doing this for eight or nine years. We come to Detroit every other year for the residency. (The Chamber Music Society of Detroit) is one of the best chamber music societies in the country in terms of the level of the people they hire and the organization itself. It is especially impressive because it incorporates not only the concerts but the program we're doing with the students together.

Q: Why would you want to come to Detroit? And in one of the coldest months of the year!

A:  We love Detroit. We know what to expect; we've been here for an extended period of time. Our first time here was about 15 years ago. We played in Orchestra Hall in downtown; it is a fabulous concert hall. We have a bunch of friends now in Detroit. Also, we have many musician friends who we've known for years. We get to know it better each time. ... I know the recent economic downturn has hit Detroit very hard. The unemployment rate – it's horrible. But I'm not an economist. … Actually, we just got back from Colombia; I like extreme contrasts.

Q: Who is a better audience: well-behaved adults or elementary students?

A: I can speak for the other quartet members when I say we believe strongly in education. We're very happy to do this with the Society. Our previous two times here we played for no less than 4,000 or 5,000 kids in two-week period at 10 to 12 schools. It varies from small kids in preschool to middle school to high school. We even played at a children's hospital for the kids who cannot travel. It's very good for the kids and at the same time very rewarding for us as well.

Q: How do you teach young people about classical music?

A: Normally, with a quartet you play concerts and don't do much teaching. When one has to talk to kids, you have to think of ways of making it very interesting. We do a pretty good job among the four of us. We focus on short, not long, movements suitable for young people to get associated with classical music. The last thing you want it for them to think it's boring. You don't want them to yawn and fall asleep! Many people may think classical music is boring because their first performances weren't high quality. That makes all the difference. … You have to imagine what would interest you as a kid. Our greatest ally is our music because a lot of it is the greatest music of all music. One of the greatest genres is Western classical music. We call it classical not because it's old; it's because it's the pinnacle of something. It's something very special. The kids get very excited and hopefully they'll want to hear it a second and third time. And they'll want to pick up an instrument and learn. … I always believe as a human being if you know music, your life is richer. You should more than one kind of music – good music ideally. The more important thing is if you have music in your life, it's like you have color in your life.

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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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