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.

Overkill?

Some people have reached out to me in the past few days to ask my thoughts about the recently released autopsy report from the FBI shooting death of Detroit imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah and about whether I think the revelation that he was shot 20 times is cause for a serious probe into the circumstances of his death.

In a nutshell? Hell yes, I think there should be an investigation -- and not just the routine probe announced by the Justice Dept. today either. Like Congressman John Conyers and many others around Detroit, I think the killing merits an independent investigation.

"The need to provide a thorough, rigorous and transparent accounting of the shooting here is plain," Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, wrote in a Jan. 13 letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asking that the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division launch a probe into the shooting.

"These concerns are only inflamed when the Special Agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office asserts -- before investigation has been completed -- that 'I'm comfortable with what our agents did ... they did what they had to do to protect themselves.' Such preliminary judgments cause many observers to fear that (the Justice Department's) internal investigations will simply reach preordained conclusions to protect the government's own."

Here's what we've all been told: After a lengthy investigation, the FBI went to a Dearborn warehouse on Oct. 28 to arrest Abdullah and some of his followers for firearms violations and trafficking in stolen goods. The FBI says Abdullah fired on them first, killing an FBI dog. The agents then fired back, spraying him with 20 bullets that left 21 wounds, including to his back.

This, of course, is the point at which what you know and what you believe can take any number of divergent paths, depending on your own history and POV and whatever formula you use to determine whom you trust and whom you don't. Me, I tend not to trust any law-enforcement agency to investigate itself, not when it comes to killing low-profile black suspects, not considering how federal agents spent more time describing Abdullah as a religious extremist than as a suspected fence -- and definitely not when it comes to agents making decisions that could hold their peers accountable for taking out an accused bad guy.

I suppose that decades of watching one cop after another get exonerated for beating and fatally shooting black and Latino suspects can jade you that way. From Malice Green to Rodney King to Sean Bell to Oscar Grant -- has any black or brown man ever ultimately been deemed "innocent" when it comes to bloody run-ins with the law?

My sagging confidence certainly wasn't bolstered any by the Dearborn Police Department, which requested that the coroner not release the autopsy findings from the October shooting until earlier this week. Foot-dragging or administrative due diligence? I don't know for sure -- but the delay doesn't fill me or many others with reassurance.

On the flip side, I'm acutely aware that none of these things automatically validates my concerns or suspicions — that, in and of themselves, they don't mean the agents are guilty of anything more than having good aim and a lot of bullets. Maybe, somehow, shooting a man 20 times and then cuffing him and leaving him in a trailer is justified and appropriate, particularly to those who hold that Abdullah "brought it on himself" by firing first and shooting an FBI dog.

I may not agree -- but more than anything, I think it's important that we find out for sure.

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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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