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.

Movin' On Up...to Detroit

So much GREAT news about and around Detroit today:

--Non-profit healthcare corporation Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan made it official and said it would move 3,000 employees from Southfield to the Ren Cen downtown in 2011. (More from Blue Cross CEO Dan Loepp in a minute.)
--Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert talked about his commitment to Detroit in The Detroit News; its move downtown starts Aug. 16.
--The Kresge Foundation via Rip Rapson told Detroit News columnist Laura Berman how much hope he has for Detroit and Mayor Bing.
--The city of Pontiac (in neighboring Oakland County) told the News about its “free rent for a year” project to revitalize its downtown. Detroit, take a memo. Do this immediately!

I got a chance to download with Loepp just after the morning's big announcement. He is realistic; he said his company's move isn't the silver bullet that will magically turn Detroit around. But it is a major move, bringing lots more warm bodies to the city and showing the business community's faith in the D.

But could it be a tipping point is in the works? Are we looking at critical mass?

Loepp admits he's not sure. But he feels “the idea of what we're doing will have significant positive impact,” he said.

“This was a prudent business decision – I feel strongly that a single campus will be great for our culture,” Loepp said, noting how much the healthcare industry is going to change in the next 3-4 years because of healthcare reform.

Putting a significant number of its employees together in Detroit saves the company money (plus it gets nice tax incentives…) All told, the healthcare giant now has 6,000 people in Detroit (plus another 1,500 or so staying in Oakland County). Now, the Ren Cen is some 92 percent occupied because of BCBSM. He's heard that Seldom Blues might reopen, and two new food franchises are planning to move into the building's massive food court upon the news.

Here's what I thought was interesting: there are 8,000 people in that big old building. Some 5,000 are from General Motors, which recently committed to stay there too. The press conference had a host of BIG names: Bing, Chris Ilitch, GM's head honcho Ed Whitaker and the like. They are TOGETHER in this thing, this struggling city.

“We're bringing $180 million worth of payroll down here,” Loepp said. “There is a synergy happening.”

He added: “There's a lot of exciting things here, I think. … This, along with other things going on, gives the city a feeling of hope. It's clear that Mayor Bing is committed to doing the right thing around virtually everything when it comes to the city.”

Is having a good mayor enough? No, it's about having some brave (and financially savvy) business leaders willing to take “leaps of faith,” Loepp said. “It really is important for the urban centers to thrive not only for the city but for the region.”

I also LOVE that Loepp in January gave a bunch of business to Cindy Pasky of Strategic Staffing Solutions, a longtime Detroit company. Chris Ilitch told Loepp he should have his staff down to Comerica for a kind of welcome party. Loepp's company insures about half of Michigan, so he's always talking to business executives. Maybe he can spread the good word about JOBS in Michigan. (I just love capital letters today…)

I leave you with some words I stole from Mayor Bing's Facebook persona. This comment came from a Detroit resident upon hearing about the BCBSM move: “Thank you for starting to make Detroit a city where businesses WANT to be. :)”

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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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