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.

So Much for Diversity

Gov. Jennifer Granholm gave her LAST State of the State speech Wednesday. The only thing I found interesting was her comments about diversifying Michigan's economy:

"Where the old Michigan economy was all about autos and manufacturing ... the new Michigan economy is much broader: clean energy, life sciences -- like bio-economy and medical devices -- homeland security and defense, advanced manufacturing, film and tourism," she said.

Granholm, still upbeat and encouraging, said shaping the state's economy is a long haul, and she called for a step-by-step, day-by-day effort to attract new businesses and train Michiganders for those new jobs.

Gone, she said, is the old industrial model that provided high-wage jobs requiring comparatively little education. Now, she said, small businesses represent a salvation. And she presented several plans to promote it.

She said her administration "laid the groundwork" for the state's new economy. Huh. Seems like the same old state to me; what do you think?

Full text of the Gov's address available here.

The Detroit News gave its take. A highlight:

"This plan -- diversifying our economy, educating our people, protecting them along the way -- this is the path forward," she said.

Among the initiatives Granholm proposed:

• Expanding a Michigan Economic Development Corp. entrepreneur training program to 1,000 people. The 10-week training course will be offered at a dozen business and technology centers around the state.
• Launching a partnership with 30 or more credit unions to provide $43 million in loans -- averaging $20,000 -- to 2,100 budding small businesses.
• Refurbishing about 15 abandoned auto manufacturing sites in places such as Willow Run and Flint and getting them ready for new uses. The state will provide up to $100,000 at each site to assess environmental cleanup.
• Changing the Angel Tax Credit program to enable investors in small businesses to get a tax credit up front, rather than wait until the business has matured before receiving the break.
• Providing adequate funding for road repairs, or leave some $2 billion in federal money on the table. She stopped short of supporting a gas tax increase.
• Establishing "learning labs" through the No Worker Left Behind job program to train people in basic skills, such as reading, writing and math.
• Calling for funding of the Pure Michigan tourism TV and radio ad campaign, which lost its $30 million funding source this year and saw spending reduced to $5.4 million.

Here's The Detroit Free Press story on it as well. Awesome commentary by Freep columnist Ron Dzwonkowski called "Granholm's lofty swan song goals." That says it all.

If Granholm can get a majority of her proposals enacted, she will have accomplished more in terms of restructuring state government in her final months than in the previous seven years. Perhaps most importantly, she will have done a lot of heavy lifting that otherwise will fall to her successor, who will be a rookie governor dealing with a lot of rookie legislators -- potentially a disaster waiting to happen.

Also from the Freep:

Despite her efforts to diversify Michigan's economy, with state tax breaks as a main draw, the near-meltdown of the Detroit Three automakers and a long national recession outpaced the new jobs gained in various industries, most notably alternative energy, which she sought doggedly.

It also has sunk Granholm's job approval rating among voters to the lowest in her eight years, below 40%.

To many, her ill-advised exhortation in her 2006 speech that "in five years, you're going to be blown away," has become a sardonic anthem of the state's economic nose-dive.

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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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