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.

A Check On Employers' Reach

Interesting story about what seems (to me) to be a common-sense piece of legislation being proposed by lawmakers from 16 states, Michigan among them...

Employers say such checks give them valuable information about an applicant's honesty and sense of responsibility. But lawmakers in at least 16 states, including Michigan, have proposed outlawing most credit checks, saying the practice traps people in debt because their past financial problems prevent them from finding work.

Michigan State Rep. Jon Switalski, a Democrat from the 25th District, which covers parts of Warren and Sterling Heights, Michigan, introduced a measure in 2009 that would curb employers' ability to deny jobs to those with poor credit. “Some employers check credit scores and credit history to determine if, in their opinion, they are worthy of holding a job or not. I believe that is discriminatory,” he said in an interview.

I'm all for employers having tools to find the best people available, but allowing business this kind of license just strikes me as one more way of keeping working folks mired in a morass of debt. I don't know about you, but I've experienced the Stygian depths of a below-570 credit score before -- and I know very well that a good job is the fastest way to straightening out your money problems. So how do you do this if those same financial woes won't allow you to get the job to begin with?

And in an economy like Michigan's, just how much of a bright and productive workforce can state businesses afford to eliminate from job consideration because of missed car payments, overdue mortgages and ugly credit card balances? (Yes, I'd imagine that there are jobs where an employer would want to be certain about someone's financial acumen, but surely there are better ways of knowing if your future comptroller is up to snuff than by checking the balance owed on his Honda Accord.)

Nothing wrong with an employer safeguarding his own business. But that doesn't make it right for him to be all up in mine.

Thoughts? Should potential employers be allowed to check a job candidate's credit history, even in Michigan's dire economic climate? Or is this kind of latitude unnecessarily invasive and discriminatory against a hard-hit middle- and working-class?

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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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