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.

Giving Tiny Tots Their Due

Forgive my repetition, but I firmly believe fixing Detroit is all about baby steps, literally and figuratively. To me, that means raising inquisitive, resourceful children who turn into awe-inspiring adults.

On Wednesday, I watched my nearly 5-year-old son graduate from preschool. For Parents Only: I nearly cried, and the pride was immense. We celebrated his victory all morning. He actually looked amazed when his grandparents showed up as well. Sure, it was an over-the-top production, but he loved the mortarboard and the cupcakes. Particularly the cupcakes.

Back to reality. The point is…He got the message about how important education is to his family. That's a great message to send to all school-age children. And it's a message more Metro Detroit kids need to hear.

Today, a program called “PNC Grow Up Great” launches in Detroit. It seems like a pretty good deal to me (but, then again, I'm all about accepting dough if it helps the city. I also like public-private stuff and foundations and that kind of thing.)

Background: PNC also is known as The PNC Financial Services Group, one of the nation's largest banking companies. PNC is popping up across Michigan recently, replacing National City branches. According to the fact sheet, PNC Grow Up Great is a 10-year, $100 million initiative "in school readiness to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life." It is now in year six, and this is its first foray into Detroit.

PNC wants an educated workforce. So does every other business here. Preschoolers, although small in stature now, are the potential leaders for this region, said David Boyle, regional president of PNC Bank in Michigan and Northwestern Ohio.

Boyle, Mayor Dave Bing and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb will be on hand to accept the $2.1 million to fund a preschool-age math, sciences and arts program that starts this summer.

The program will unite Detroit Public Schools Foundation, the Detroit Science Center and the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts to establish new programs in science and the arts. Following completion of the summer pilot, the program will continue for an additional two school years and will include an independent evaluation of its success. Some 200 kiddies will benefit.

DPS is suffering from some serious issues, among them its math and reading scores on major standardized tests. Getting to kids when they're very small – preschool typically favors the three and four year olds – is all-important to their future educational success.

The city's and the state's as well.

Note: A study by the National Research Council "recognized that providing young children with research-based mathematics and science learning is likely to pay off with increased achievement, literacy, and work skills in these critical areas."

“I've been here three-and-a-half years, and it's clear to me and it's clear to most residents in the state of Michigan: In order for Michigan to be successful, Detroit has to be successful,” Boyle said.

Detroit is the first announcement; projects in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are to follow, Boyle said. PNC will start locally at Emerson Elementary and six other city schools. They also will provide teacher training for 12 teachers and 12 teaching assistants. Oh, and PNC employees can volunteer (some 1,000 work here in Southeast Michigan) and the bank will pay their wages for up to 40 hours of volunteerism in this program. Nice!

“We need to see that these kids have access to a quality education,” Boyle said. “There's nothing more important in my view than education. It's something that can't be taken away from them and something that they'll learn all of their lives. … We can't get everybody but we're going to get as many as we possibly can.”

Anyone else want to step up?

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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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