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.

Shrink the Suburbs, Too?

The Detroit Free Press editorial page pushes an interesting idea this morning...

Michigan municipalities can't afford business as usual if they hope to avoid even deeper cuts in core services like police and fire and further asset losses, as well as higher local taxes and user fees. Barring a revolutionary new way to finance local government, sharing functions such as police and fire protection offers the best hope of maintaining core municipal services.

Southeast Michigan alone already has hundreds, maybe thousands, of examples of shared-service agreements and mutual aid pacts. But the region's more than 230 units of government will have to do a lot more. The financial pinch provides an ongoing incentive to reorganize government.

Many of metro Detroit's surrounding communities have tried large-scale combination of services before, of course. But the plans have too often faltered due to everything from arguments about funding to union contracts to many locals' belief that "home rule" inherently means a city/township/village has its own police and fire departments, its own library system. Still, many places could find themselves going broke trying to maintain this standard.

Which makes me wonder about a possible next step: Should some of our suburban communities consider merging? A lot of them have more schools and services than they can afford, and the area's steady population loss and declining property values aren't going to suddenly make those things cheaper. So do, say, Utica, Sterling Heights and Macomb Township really need to remain separate municipalities?

Oh, I know it would be the mother of all headaches to pull off this kind of consolidation, at least in some parts of our tri-county area. And this certainly isn't the Freep's "revolutionary new way" to underwrite local government. But given how high stakes are these days, is it worth consideration? I mean, wouldn't even a throbbing municipal migraine be better than slowly bleeding to death?

I'm not staking out a hard position on this, but just kicking around the idea. What're your thoughts? Does consolidating select suburban communities in metro Detroit make sense? Or do logistics, politics and/or economics make this idea impossible to pull off?

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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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