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.

The Billionaire's Bridge (And His Big, Blighted Building)

Just read an excellent column by the big homie Jack Lessenberry at Dome about the ongoing struggle to build a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. As Jack explains, the city's sole current bridge, the Ambassador Bridge, is the conduit for as much as 25 percent of all trade between the United States and Canada, its traffic worth about $115 billion in trade annually. And it's old and worn, having been built in 1929. Even folks at opposing ends of the political spectrum agree that it's well past time we built another bridge between the two countries...

If something happened to knock out the bridge, the economies of Michigan and Ontario could be plunged into depression.

With that much at stake, with new plans ready, and wide agreement across the political spectrum, is a new bridge certain?

Well, maybe not. Two men stand in the way.

One is, not surprisingly, Moroun, a reclusive, 82-year-old billionaire who has been savagely fighting any new bridge, using methods both legal and, according to the courts, illegal.

His motives are clear: preserving his monopoly.

While Jack also takes to task Alan Cropsey (R-DeWitt), the state Senate Floor Majority Leader who is carrying water for the bridge's owner on this one, it was the mention of the name of Manuel "Matty" Moroun that got my blood bubbling hot. Because, if you ask me, Matty Moroun -- the private owner of the Ambassador Bridge -- has been nothing short of a scourge to some desperately needed development in Detroit.

Truck magnate Moroun has been impacting politics around here for decades, using his wealth to influence local politicians, push around grassroots opponents and thumb his nose at anything that might be good for Detroit development if he thinks it'll interfere with his business. In addition to owning the Ambassador Bridge, Moroun also owns Michigan Central Station, the huge, bombed-out train depot that is so often the centerfold pin-up in the volumes of "ruin porn" used to depict the decline of this city. Notes Jack:

For years, Moroun has refused to renovate or demolish it, so it just sits there, trashed by vandals and teenagers.

For many of those years, Moroun has also fought tirelessly against Detroiters who live around the bridge to prevent a new span from going up, despite predictions by the Michigan Department of Transportation that a new international bridge project would enhance safety and security, generate as many 10,000 jobs during its construction and otherwise boost our ailing economy. (MDOT also recently released a report that underscored the need for a new bridge.) But Moroun wants to duplicate his own bridge instead, an idea that Canada and most local governments state-side rightly oppose.

Mind you, nobody is saying shutter the Ambassador Bridge. And the MDOT report says neither Moroun's money-maker nor the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel are likely to have their viability threatened by a second bridge. Still the high-handed billionaire keeps flipping everyone off, same as with the train depot. As Jack's piece notes...

Earlier this month a Wayne County Circuit judge ruled that he had illegally constructed a duty-free store and gas pumps on land owned by the City of Detroit — and ordered him to remove them. Evidently, they were built in anticipation of his being allowed to build a second bridge. Last fall, another Wayne County judge ruled that Moroun had illegally occupied and fenced off part of a Detroit city park and ordered him to vacate it within 90 days.

But he has not done so, and belatedly filed an appeal.

Of course, I'm even more ticked at Moroun's "enablers," those bought-off political lackeys who for years have just shrugged their shoulders and sat quietly while he has played games with these vital pieces of Detroit's development puzzle. After all, Moroun's a major business man, so I'm certainly not expecting him to do "the right thing" if he can't see a way to make a buck. But the politicians who help men like this get away with imperious neglect -- be they named Cropsey or Kilpatrick -- need to be held to account for doing the bidding of political sugar daddies at the expense of voters' interests.

And political leaders who continue to choose greedy obstructionists over the best interests of this city and region need to be abandoned themselves, much like a certain Detroit train depot Moroun owns.

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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

+ READ ARTICLE

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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