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.

High School Without The Teachers

As part of Assignment Detroit, TIME.com is working with 11 high school students from the Detroit area. They come from all walks of life, from suburban prep schools to city schools both strong and weak. The project will illustrate the Detroit region from their point of view—what it's like to live there now, and whether the area has a place in their future or not. Today's post is from Taylor Trammell, a senior at Mumford High School in Detroit.

Detroit Public Schools have been rushing to close a budget deficit of more than $200 million. This has meant closing dozens of schools and forcing scores of teachers into early retirement. This has meant teacher-less classes and interrupted educations.

My high school, Mumford, has more than 2,000 students. This year, the administrative staff was replaced, we gained some new teachers, and we are losing others. Eight teachers are retiring this year amid the chaos within the school and the system. (Read TIME's profile of Detroit Public Schools chief Robert Bobb.)

As of Jan. 29, two teachers had already retired. And on that day, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, 19 teachers out of 91 were absent. A school counselor told me that the Board of Education would not send that many substitutes to Mumford, and that counselors had to cover for them. Students who did not have teachers that day were sent to the auditorium.

There, students were divided up by classes. Some students listened to music. Others talked to each other or tried to talk on cell phones. Counselors watched to make sure students remained seated. The air roared with conversation. Some students decided not to go to the auditorium and either played around in the hallways or left school.

I was one of the students in the auditorium. I tried to do work for my other classes, but with the noise swirling around me, I couldn't get anything done. It was a waste of my time. And it is worse for students who have teachers for longer periods of time. Without teachers, school becomes simply a social gathering and a waste of educational time.

According to senior Laniesha Evans, one of her classes fell victim to this chaos: “My business law teacher left, and I was never told her reason for leaving. As soon as she left, a substitute teacher was assigned for a semester. I feel like that semester of this class was wasted. I was not taught anything until I finally received a business law teacher. While I'm now benefitting from this class, I feel like I am behind.” (See TIME's video interview with Detroit Public Schools chief Robert Bobb.)

Why are some teachers retiring or not coming to school? One reason may be that, to reduce the deficit, Detroit Schools told teachers to defer $5,000 in pay for each of the next two years. Many teachers feel that they are being forced out. Some just cannot take any more.

For some students, it may be fun to walk the halls or spend some days in the auditorium, but we will not be fully prepared for college. What these students and the district need to understand is that interrupting our education hurts us. This is the time to acquire the knowledge for success in college.  If the basic skills are not acquired by high school, there will be trouble ahead for us. (See TIME's slideshow of Detroit public school children.)

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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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