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.

Cultivating a New Crop of Journalists

You want to face a tough audience? Try talking about reporting in Detroit with a dozen middle- and high-school students.

I recently was a guest speaker at Youth Neighborhood News, a team of Metro Detroit-area students learning news-gathering basics to become broadcast journalists. My part was to talk about this blog; their part was to rake me over the red-hot coals. Let me tell you, there are some future Dan Rathers out there.

Every question was good, but one student in particular had me on the run. My favorites: “How do you know people in Detroit are reading the blog?” and “Shouldn't someone from Detroit be writing it?”

Uhhhhhhhhhh…long pause as Reporter Girl tries to gather her thoughts. Answer No.1: We have statistics for that. They're out there. Answer No. 2: Yes.

But nothing's that easy. There's always a Middle Man, a Go-Between. There is a line between media and the people, despite the best intentions on both sides. News people are filters for reality; thus, we never truly capture reality. Ideally, you would have a neighborhood activist or resident writing a Detroit blog. But those kind of people tend to be busy living; a blog is probably the last thing on their mind. But blogs are growing, they are accessible to anyone and they are a great medium for telling the news. (This was the best answer I could muster.)

To solve that problem, Youth Neighborhood News was created – their job during the project is to create high-quality news content based on what they see and experience in and around Detroit. They come from communities including Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck, and their ages range from 11 to 17. Many of them want to become reporters; others were there because they are interested in acting or writing.

They see what most of us cannot. They notice when their high-school installs metal detectors at what is supposed to be the city's best high school. They also taken note when those same machines break and are never fixed. It's hard to feel safe when there's nothing between you and the kid who decides that today is a good day to bring a gun or knife to school.

They wonder what their neighbors are supposed to do when they cannot find a job. When is it okay to sell drugs or steal? And how do you break that cycle? What can you do about all of the robberies on the street he lives on?

They also want to know what people really think about Detroit. Do they understand what it is like to live here -- good and bad?

Oh, and they notice when their high-school newspapers refuse to publish their observations. As adults, it's easy to shake off these questions, to trust these truly inquiring minds. The harder part is trying to answer their questions, to give them an outlet for their frustrations, insights and aspirations.

Youth Neighborhood News is housed at Detroit's YouthVille, a place where Detroit-area students can come to learn the digital media arts in high-tech studios. This particular program is being taught by local journalists who are mentors as well. (Cheers to program director and new friend Vanessa Denha Garmo, co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Chaldean News.)

Locally, our public television station has pledged to show the students' reports as they prepare them. I cannot wait to see what they develop. I'm amazed at their heart – if even a few of them truly become reporters, Detroit possibly could become a better place.

Hopefully, we can showcase some of their work on the Blog. I've invited them to submit essays we'll publish here as well. More to come!

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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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