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.

Some Startling Financial Figures

Yeah, yeah. I read your comments, Dear Blog Readers. I know you think (sometimes) that I'm repeating well-known information about this region's economic future. Well, sometimes, these facts are so stark they bear repeating.

This week, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson – manager of what is arguably one of the best-run counties in the region if not the nation – noted the following:

Property values (in Oakland County) will continue eroding for the next three years and could fall 50 percent or more from their peak three years ago. Patterson also said property tax revenues may not return to 2007 levels for 10-15 years, forcing local governments and schools to make cuts amid strained budgets.

Ugh. Does Metro Detroit have a 10-15 year time frame to recover?

The executive's presentation also estimated that Oakland County will have about 10,000 foreclosures for 2010, exceeding the record set in 2008. (The rate decreased slightly in 2009, but the county credited that to the federal government's intervention). And those foreclosures are just the beginning.

With over 60,000 jobs lost in Oakland County in 2009, even if we assume that prior to losing their jobs many of today's unemployed had savings accumulated after long-term careers in the automotive and construction sectors, it still could be two years or longer before they enter the foreclosure cycle fueling another round of taxable value declines.

I'm always one for seeing rainbows, unicorns and cotton candy. But even I find these numbers startling in what is widely considered to be the nation's fourth wealthiest counties.

And this is all more reason why Oakland County -- and all of us -- have to be concerned about Detroit, the region's falling housing values and the real issue of job creation.

Those I talk to about this issue say there is a bright side: Lower home prices means more affordable housing in all of Oakland County. The same obviously is true in Wayne and Macomb. If this county's economic strategies – along with those of the rest of Metro Detroit – can increase the number of available jobs, then the other attractive things about living in the D will draw people here to stay.

No answers. Just pondering the obvious.

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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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