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.

Detroit, with a Dash of Perspective

I am what you might call a local. I've been a Michigan resident my whole life. I've lived in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. I worked in downtown Detroit for years.

And this city still mystifies me. How did it fall to this decaying state? Who is living here, working here and staying here – and why? What does the future hold?

To that end, I'm doing a deep dive into Detroit. Next week, I'll accompany Inside Detroit and the Detroit Orientation Institute on a 12-hour crash course on the city. Other participants will include local reporters, publishers, Wayne State University students, members of the corporate, non-profit and foundation world and anyone else with an abiding interest (and time to invest) in Detroit.

In the next few months, I'll be going on other guided tours, such as the one offered by Culinary Escapes, to see the more glamorous sides of the city (and find out where Oprah's favorite grilled cheese is – more on that later). I'm also going to do some informal individual tours, walking the city's neighborhoods with residents of all walks of life to see what they have to say. Suggestions welcome.

My goal is to find and share some frank, honest reviews of the city. To be fair, my jaunts into Detroit for the blog have focused on specific areas (Midtown, downtown, etc.) Six months of this project are done and (hopefully) there are six more to go. So let's make the most of them.

The first stop is Understand Detroit: Past, Present and Future, a concentrated one-day experience that provides participants with “12 Hours in the D”. The day will be a mix of bus tours, walking tours and group discussions with experts on demographics, news gathering and other aspect of living in Detroit.

“This is a candid look at Detroit,” said Ann Cuddohy Slawnik, Director of Detroit Orientation Institute and a native. “We cannot ignore the problems, the issues. We try to give a sense of why it happened and we also look at the opportunities.”

Typically, Slawnik said this tour runs in April and October. It is spread over three days, giving those involved a very detailed look into the city and its processes. When the tour guides talk about Detroit Schools, you then make actual visit to one of the schools. If they talk about development, you hear about it standing in the middle of a recently renovated building.

This 12-hour tour is a new program, driven in part by the economy (the three-day tours are pricey but worth it). There also was an opportunity to partner with Inside Detroit, Slawnik said, and to give tour participants a balanced view. (Inside Detroit's programs aim to showcase the city's assets through walking tours, Segway tours and more experienced-based events, like an Opening Day pub crawls.)

Still, the tour will be comprehensive – and largely off the record to give participants full freedom to ask what they want, Slawnik said. (The blog posts that follow will respect this – we'll only post information that we first clear with participants in follow-up discussions.)

And any tour of Detroit has to include lots of talking, questioning, pestering and posing. That's because we all have our own theories on the place. We all have our paths that we've traveled. We all have ideas on what makes Detroit unique, horrible and special all at the same time.

Everyone asks, “Why did this happen?” Slawnik says the answer is complicated, just like Detroit. And, no, it's not JUST because of Coleman Young or the riots or the car companies.

Detroit is harder to comprehend because “we've had more difficulty than other cities in Northern rust belt; our degree of severity is larger,” Slawnik said. “We're the poster child for all urban problems right now.”

Trying to shine a positive light on Detroit is one reason why Detroiter Ann Wilson started Culinary Escapes. She wanted to highlight some of the good things happening in the city and the suburbs – especially around the subject of food. With a huge diversity of populations here, Metro Detroit is home to some of the finest restaurants around – and even Oprah's favorite grilled cheese sandwich.

That famous cheesy goodness is from Café Muse in Royal Oak. It is a three-cheese combination (harvarti, fontina and fresh mozzarella) with honey, grilled tomato and basil. Drooling now….

Wilson's first dates start this weekend with the Royal Oak tour beginning Saturday; Birmingham starting April 24, and the Downtown Detroit tour beginning in July. All the tours continue through October.

“Detroit loves to experiment and learn about different foods. It's not just about the food your mother made, but what someone else's mom made,” Wilson said.

“Many people are not aware of the amazing foods indigenous to our state,” Wilson added. “From our cider mills to our Coney dogs, the food of Michigan is steeped in rich traditions and stays with you long after the last bite.”

(P.S. A few weeks ago, Culinary Escapes participated in taping a pilot for a new Food Network Show, “Food Feud,”hosted by Iron Chef, Michael Symon (who owns the downtown fine-dining establishment Roast). Culinary Escapes solicited the crowd that came out to do the judging of Detroit's best Coney dog. No official word on when the show will air if it gets picked up. But here is a picture of Ann with Symon.)

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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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