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.

Volt Sticker Shock?

Posted by Brian Dumaine

When we wrote about the Chevy Volt's entry into the electric car race in Time's July 26 issue one of the outstanding issues was the sticker price for this unique electric-hybrid vehicle. Today GM gave the answer: $41,000, not far off from the $40,000 that Time and others estimated. With a federal tax credit of $7,500, that knocks the price down to $33,500, but that still makes the car at least $10,000 more expensive than a comparably sized gasoline-powered car. Load up the Volt with goodies like leather seating, add taxes and destination charges and the sticker gets quickly into the luxury-car level.

Will the money you save on gasoline make up the difference? Driving the Volt in its all-electric mode—it can go 40 miles on battery power before a gasoline engine kicks in for another 300 miles of range—is cheaper per mile than gasoline. Depending where you live in the country, each electric mile costs about three cents compared to 10 cents for each gas mile. A driver traveling 10,000 miles a year in a Volt on electric power will save roughly $700 annually in fuel costs. That makes the payback for the Volt owner about 14 years—a long time to keep a car—especially one with first-generation technology.

GM contends volume will bring the price down dramatically over time. And that's crucial because it's not clear how many buyers will be willing to pay a “green” premium for the Volt.

The better deal seems to be to lease the Volt. GM also announced that it would offer a 36-month lease for as low as $350 per month with $2,500 due at signing, including security deposit. GM is applying the $7,500 tax credit against the monthly lease payments. By leasing, you get the full benefit of the $7,500 over three years as opposed to stretched out over a longer period if you owned it and kept to for, say, seven years. Whether GM will be able to sell three–year-old Volts coming off lease for a profit is another question. (GM would need to sell the used Volt for roughly $20,000 to break even.) A new one three years from now with subsidies would cost $33,500 and that's assuming GM doesn't figure out how to reduce the price on new Volts by then.

But that's the company's problem. Your problem will be trying to get a Volt at all. The first year's production will only be 10,000. The Volt will be initially available to Chevy customers in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. To sign up you need to visit a Chevrolet Volt dealer. Happy hunting.

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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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