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.

Unfiltered: Amy Kuras on Detroit Family Values

Since this blog began, I've been searching for a parent raising a child or a family in Detroit. That is a story that I cannot write, and one that I wanted you fine readers to learn about.

Thankfully, I found Amy Kuras. Here is how she describes herself: She juggles a freelance writing and editing career, a daughter just finishing kindergarten, a two-year-old son and postgraduate husband with the various needs of an old house and many not-so-old pets – and has so far retained a shaky hold on sanity.

So, I asked her to author a post about what she has learned about raising two tykes in the big D. And I'm in awe of her insights. I hope you will be, too.

***

Finding the Inherent Value
By Amy Kuras

I'm a Detroit kid – and until recently, I thought my two kids would be too. I was born here, and while we hop-scotched back and forth between Detroit and various cities in Ohio and lived in the suburbs for awhile when I was little, we moved back here to the North Rosedale Park neighborhood when I was 12 and I've pretty much stayed within the city limits ever since.

When we bought our house in Greenacres eight years ago, we considered the nearby suburbs where most of our friends live. Still, my husband and I felt a real commitment to stay here, to make a stand for the city (we'd been living in a flat in the University District, and I was living in Corktown when we met, so we were hardly starry-eyed newbies). I've always relished the surprise of suburban friends when they'd visit my house or that of my parents: “This is Detroit?” they'd ask, eyeing our high ceilings and crown moldings and quiet, well-kept street. We wanted to keep doing that, changing perceptions just a little bit about what the city has to offer and what kind of people live here.

Then these two little people came along, and that changed the game. Well, the massive pile of political corruption, and the bottom falling out of the housing market, and more and more conversations with neighbors beginning with “Did you hear so-and-so got broken into?” changed it too. Suddenly, this dyed-in-the-wool Detroiter is browsing rental listings in Royal Oak and looking into exactly how one accomplishes a short sale.

And yet, there's the other side of the issue, the side that keeps pulling me back every time we start making moves to leave. And again, it comes down to my children. The one thing that will make me feel as if I've done this job right is for them to believe in the inherent value in every person, whether they look and talk and behave like us or not.

We're an increasingly segregated society in all kinds of ways, and few places more than here. We wall ourselves off racially, ethnically, religiously, and economically, to our detriment. It's much, much easier to believe the stereotypes about “the other,” to see them as less human and less worthy than yourself, when you don't actually know a healthy sampling of whichever group you're afraid of. Living in diverse environments – working, worshipping, attending school with those unlike yourself – is the only effective way to reverse that tide. Those are thin on the ground around here. When you find such a situation – my neighborhood is one, my daughter's school another – that's not something you should throw away lightly.

What I'm struggling with is whether all the other quality of life issues we face outweigh that one fundamental thing. Is being able to walk to a park or go to a neighborhood school more important than the fact every kid they'll encounter there will likely look just like them?

We're not alone in this struggle. I can't tell you the number of people we know, raising families or not, who've cut their losses and left in the last year or so. In many cases, these are Detroit loyalists through and through – just like me, people who were raised in the city, chose to live here and for various valid reasons have left. I don't want to be the last ones standing, but I don't know that the grass is all that greener on the other side of Eight Mile, either.

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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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