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Jeep patent shows off doors Bronco fans will recognize

An interesting patent has surfaced that was filed for by Jeep about three years ago that has only now been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Anyone who recalls the Ford Bronco that was originally revealed will remember the doughnut-style doors the bright orange prototype wore. Those doors look like normal half doors but had cutouts in their centers.

Unfortunately, Ford never made those doors a production option for the new Bronco, but the newly published patent from Jeep seems to indicate it might bring similar doors to market. A very common modification that Jeep owners make to their vehicles when they remove the doors is to add tube doors to their vehicle. A tube door is pretty much what it sounds like; it’s a door constructed using steel tubes with the point of letting more air into the cabin while offering the occupants more protection than driving with no doors at all.

Other than offering protection and letting more air into the cabin, tube doors do have a practical application as well. They allow the driver to easily see through the door while off-roading to see any obstacles they are trying to avoid or drive over. Jeep’s patent would be a viable alternative to tube doors and appear to be the half doors Jeep has long offered with a cutout in their center.

Via Jeep Patent / The Drive

The upside to doughnut doors of this type is that they flow better with the lines of the Jeep than tube doors. They can be painted in body color and give drivers a better view of obstacles outside the vehicle than normal half doors. Typically, Jeepers running normal full or half doors have to hang their head outside the vehicle to see what’s going on in the blind spot directly under the doors and to the vehicle’s sides.

For drivers who get overly focused on what’s going on directly beside and under their vehicle while slowly creeping forward over obstacles, it can be easy to get whacked in the head by tree limbs or other obstacles. Having a doughnut hole in a half door might prevent the driver from having to poke their head outside the protection of the vehicle chassis.

The Drive reports that the patent has strange verbiage, which isn’t uncommon in patents. The patent is titled “automobile” and is a patent for a design aesthetic with no real hard technical details. It appears to be a four-door Wrangler with Jeep’s existing half-doors with holes cut in the centers. However, some of the art in the patent does show what the structure inside the vehicle would look like.

Via Jeep Patent / The Drive

Having never seen the inside of Jeep’s half-doors, it’s impossible to say if any structure inside the doors has to be removed or redesigned to enable the doughnut hole to be cut into the door. Presumably, the half doors have to pass crash tests, but that may not be the case since the doors are easily removable. A half-door would provide more occupant protection than no door at all.

It may be as easy as simply cutting a hole in the existing door, but the patent doesn’t clarify that. The line art seems to indicate the openings in the door are beveled with a wider opening on the outside than the inside. There does not appear to be any type of glass covering the opening, indicating the hole would be open to allow more air into the cabin.

Over the years, we’ve certainly seen that just because an automotive manufacturer files a patent for something, that does not mean the patented item will ever come to market. However, Jeep fans certainly love their accessory doors and spend big money on desirable parts. If Jeep did produce these half doors with the doughnut openings, they would certainly be popular, and Jeep fans would be ecstatic.

Jeep could wrap availability for the new doors into its existing dual door group that allows owners to buy both doors with glass windows and half doors in one package. A triple door group would be an interesting option, and there’s always the chance that the half doors would simply be stamped with a hole in the middle, and the existing half-doors with no hole might be discontinued.

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Alienware Shows Off Its All

If there’s one thing Dell has done right over the years, it’s been to let Alienware—the boutique gaming PC manufacturer Dell acquired in 2006—remain Alienware. Based on the new notebook lineup that Alienware unveiled tonight, that let-‘em-be strategy is still working.

As the annual gaming/marketing orgy known as the E3 Expo gets underway, the company announced three brand-new notebook models based on Intel’s fourth-generation Core processors. But Alienware General Manager Frank Azor dropped by PCWorld’s offices late last month to give us a hands-on sneak peek. The lineup has undergone a significant makeover while managing to remain unmistakably Alienware. Each of the new Alienware notebooks features a backlit keyboard and trackpad. We don’t share performance among components. Every part can run at its full TDP.

“It’ s a big departure from 2009,” said Azor. “The new models are 60 percent metal, including a 100-percent aluminum A panel [lid] and a magnesium alloy chassis.” The reduction in plastic composites is a welcome departure, but the most significant visual cues come in the form of LED light pipes gracing the lid and the front and sides of the body, and the backlit trackpad.

Between those, the alien-head logo, and the backlit keyboard, each notebook has 10 distinct lighting zones that can be lit in any combination of colors from a palette of 20. Games that support the AlienFX utility can change these color combos in response to in-game events, such as taking damage, healing, or completing a mission or quest.

Alienware General Manager Frank Azor says the company’s notebooks are as thick as they need to be to allow every component to run as fast as possible.

Each of the three models is available in a base configuration, but you can choose to upgrade each at time of purchase. The six-pound Alienware 14 ($1199) includes a 2.4GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7-4700Q processor with 8GB of DDR3L/1600 memory, a 750GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s mechanical hard drive (with room for two additional storage devices), a slot-feed DVD burner, a Killer NIC gigabit Ethernet interface, and a Killer NIC 802.11n Wi-Fi /Bluetooth 4.0 network adapter.

The Alienware 14 comes with an Nvidia GT 750M mobile GPU with 1GB of GDDR5 memory driving a 14-inch non-glare TN panel with native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. DDR3L memory, if you’re not familiar, is designed to operate at lower voltage in order to extend notebook battery life.

The $1499 Alienware 17 (12 pounds) comes with a 17.3-inch anti-glare TN display with native resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels, driven by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. In its base configuration, it comes with the same CPU, memory, hard drive, optical drive, and network interface, but its wireless network adapter is an 802.11ac/Bluetooth 4.0 model from Broadcom and it will have room for three additional storage devices.

Each model is outfitted with LED light pipes that can shift between 20 different colors.

The 12-pound Alienware 18 ($2099) boasts an 18.4-inch PLS screen with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. The balance of its specs are the same as the Alienware 17, but this model comes with two GeForce GTX 765M video cards operating in an SLI configuration. And like the 17-inch model, the Alienware 18 has room for three additional storage devices. The lid on each model is 100 percent aluminum (the Alienware 14 is shown here).

At our briefing, Azor said the Alienware 14 can be upgraded at time of purchase with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M. The Alienware 17 and Alienware 18 can be upgraded at time of purchase to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 770 or GeForce GTX 780 GPU, according to Azor, and the CPU upgrades on those models go as high as Intel’s Core i7-4930MX Extreme Edition mobile processor. Slot-feed Blu-ray drives are an available option on all three models.

The Alienware 18 comes with two Nvidia GeForce GTX 765 cards operating in SLI mode driving an 18.4-inch PLS display.

Alienware allows its customers to open up and upgrade their notebook, and they can overclock the CPU—both without fear of violating the manufacturer’s warranty. The notebook’s GPUs, however, are overclocked at the factory and cannot be pushed further,  according to Azor.

Azor said that people often ask why Alienware’s notebooks are so thick. “It’s because we don’t share performance among components,” he said. “Every part can run at its full TDP (thermal design power). A lot of manufacturers will throttle down the GPU when the CPU ramps up, and vice versa, thinking only one component needs to run full out at once. Our notebooks can run everything full tilt without anything needing to back off.”

All three Alienware models have HDMI outputs, but the 17- and 18-inch notebooks also have an HDMI input, so you can connect a game console or a smartphone and use the notebook’s larger display. Alienware enlarged the keycaps on all three models, and added a metal backing plate beneath the keyboard to provide solid tactile feedback and to prevent bowing. Alienware’s engineers collaborated with Klipsch on the speaker design, and each of the three models ships with Dolby Home Theater Audio v 4.

All three models will also come with a new dynamic performance optimizer—dubbed Accelerator—that can turn off Windows services that aren’t essential to gameplay, freeing up system resources for the game. Once you exit the game, Accelerator automatically turns these services back on. A second utility, AlienAdrenaline, can record your gameplay in the background—perfect for instant replays of particularly gratifying kills, spectacular wipeouts, and other boast-worthy action sequences.

All three Alienware models are available now.

Volkswagen Shows Off Augmented Reality Ipad App For Repair Technicians

Apple’s iPad has been used for a number of various augmented-reality applications which impose real-world information over live video feed. The car industry seems to be particularly keen on embracing the Apple tablet. Cody last month told you about eKurzinfo, an Audi app that uses an iOS device camera to help identify parts and features on your car.

Today, Volkswagen is highlighting a similar augmented-reality software, but aimed at repair technicians and car dealers. It’s called MARTA (Mobile Augmented Reality Technical Assistance) and Volkswagen showed it off ahead of the InsideAR Conference, the world’s largest augmented reality conference slated to run October 11, 2013 in Munich, Germany…

Unlike eKurzinfo which has been designed to help with simple maintenance, Volkswagen’s app is aimed squarely at service technicians working on its XL1 concept car.

Developed in co-operation with Metaio GmbH, it shows real and virtual parts in three-dimensional relation to one another. It’s quite cool, have a look at a quick demo by Professor Dr. Werner Schreiber, Head of Volkswagen Group Research.

Here’s how MARTA works.

Each work task to be performed begins with what is known as an initialization  The vehicle’s silhouette is shown in the display of the mobile end device, and it shows the employee the orientation to be taken in relation to the vehicle.

If the silhouette and the camera image of the real vehicle agree, the initialization is finished successfully. Then the individual context-dependent work steps are shown on the tablet. This gives the employee a new system for identifying work items quicker and more accurately.

According to Volkswagen, Munich-based Metaio was also behind eKurzinfo for Volkswagen’s stablemate Audi. Again, that app is more of an end-user software for folks who like to tinker with their vehicle and perform simple maintenance like oil changes themselves.

Volkswagen recently partnered with Apple on the iBeetle, a 2014 vehicle (see below) that features a custom built-in iPhone docking station and a companion app that lets you sync your device with the in-car entertainment system for making phone calls, streaming music and more.

Apple already has always had a strong foothold in the car market through the iPod integration and has been working with the world’s top car makers on implementing native support for iOS device media playback features.

iOS 7 takes that experience to the next level with a brand new (and much-needed) feature dubbed iOS in the Car. Also called a “key focus” for the company and a “part of the ecosystem,” iOS in the Car lets you do much more with your iOS device, right on your car’s dashboard.

Features include making phone calls, accessing Maps and Siri, controlling music and other media and even apps using the car’s built-in display. And not only are those features accessible by hooking up your device to the in-car dashboard via the standard USB interface, but over Wi-Fi and AirPlay as well.

According to Apple:

iOS in the Car seamlessly integrates your iOS device — and the iOS experience — with your in-dash system. If your vehicle is equipped with iOS in the Car, you can connect your iPhone 5 and interact with it using the car’s built-in display and controls or Siri Eyes Free.

Now you can easily and safely make phone calls, access your music, send and receive messages, get directions, and more. It’s all designed to let iPhone focus on what you need, so you can focus on the road.

The iPhone maker confirmed it will officially launch iOS in the Car in 2014 with several launch partners and we heard that the next point update (maybe iOS 7.1?) might contain built-in support for the feature.

Intel Challenges Arm With New Quark Chips For Wearables; Shows Off Bay Trail, Broadwell

Yes, Intel has plans for wearable computing.

Intel used its Intel Developer Forum here on Tuesday to launch the Quark family of devices, a synthesizable family of embedded devices designed for embedded applications like industrial designs and wearable computing, which Intel executives said will be built by third-party partners, not Intel itself.

The Intel Developer Forum was the first for Intel’s new chief executive, Brian Krzanich, who was named to the top spot this past June. Renee James, who was a frequent speaker as Intel’s software chief, was named president at the same time.

“Our strategy is really pretty simple: we plan to lead in every segment of computing,” Krzanich said, including, servers, PCs, tablets, phones, and beyond to wearables, he said.

Some of the tablets and convertibles Intel showed off that use (or will use) Intel silicon.

Krzanich’s job is to oversee the transition between Intel’s traditional strengths in the PC and server business, and to a slightly lesser extent, in the mobile PC market as well. Analysts have predicted that the PC will slowly decline, however, as consumers turn to ultraportable devices: two-in-one ultraportable machines, true tablets, and smartphones.

Perhaps telling is that an agenda Intel provided to reporters before the start of the show didn’t include any press conferences specifically focusing on Intel’s Core PC microprocessors. Instead, Intel’s emphasis is on the datacenter, where the vast majority of servers ship with Intel’s Xeon inside, and on a new Atom chip code-named Bay Trail for tablets one of a family of “Silvermont” chips aimed at everything from microservers to, eventually, in-car entertainment systems.

Beyond the PC

Krzanich began by talking about the data center, which Intel attacked last week with its Avoton and Rangeley chips, both Atom based processors designed for the datacenter. Krzanich said that Intel would announce the Xeon Z5, the more traditional “Big Iron” silicon that powers most of the world’s servers. For her part, James said that applications like personal healthcare will require massive amounts of data; for example, one person’s genome requires a petabyte of data. But institutions like the Knight Institute have found success in tailoring cancer treatments to specific genetic factors, and Intel fellow Eric Dishman appeared on stage to tell the audience that genomic sequencing of his cancer had allowed his doctors to successfully treat it.

“So yes, we have been working on wearables,” Krzanich confirmed.

Intel announced the Quark family of silicon, the smallest system on a chip Intel has ever produced, Kranich said: one-fifth the size of the Atom and operating at one-tenth the power. It is fully synthesizable, and designed for the Internet of things.  The Quark X1000 will be the first of the lineup.

Intel has reference designs for industrial boards, to connect to machines, back to the Internet. SInce the device is synthesizeable, customers can put their own logic and peripherals into the design. They won’t be able to tweak the core design, however, just attach their own logic at “attach points” integrated into the silicon.

Next up: Intel’s Bay Trail

That doesn’t mean that Intel ignored the PC.

Mini Windows tablets like this Toshiba model will use low-power Atom chips.

Krzanich also showed off future Broadwell-based silicon, already powering a PC. Broadwell, which will shift Intel’s Core processors to 14-nm manufacturing, will cut their power by 30 percent on today’s Core processors. “It’s here, it’s working, and we’ll be shipping by the end of the year,” Krzanich said of the chips themselves. (PCs using Broadwell will ship in 2014, he said.)

Krzanich said that Intel’s silicon will be in 60 “two-in-ones” or convertible tablets, by the end of the year, with prices as low as $400. And Krzanich ent a step further, saying that Atom-based tablets could be priced less than $100.

Not much in phones, yet

Intel’s eventual target is the smartphone.

Intel has tried to push into phones with the “Clover Trail+” Atom chip that it released last year. But save for the Lenovo K900, a phone released for the Chinese market, Intel has had little success. In part, that’s because Intel is still developing the collection of technologies needed to design an integrated system-on-a-chip that OEMs demand, as it saves board space and power. Intel has announced multi-mode LTE technology that should help it penetrate worldwide markets, but has yet to integrate it with its Atom silicon.

Intel said it had 22-nm silicon for phones, however, and James characterized its phone processors as more powerful than a Pentium 4.

For her part, James has led an often-overlooked portion of Intel’s business: software and tools, specifically the embedded OS. One of those has been Tizen, the open-source phone OS championed by both Intel and Samsung. Neither, however, has pushed Tizen much past the drawing board, and James didn’t mention it.

Spin Off Vs Split Off

Difference Between Spin off vs Split off

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What is Spin off?

In the case of a spin off, the parent company chooses to distribute the equity stocks of the subsidiary to its existing shareholders on a pro rata basis, mostly in the form of dividend payout. In this type of deal, no cash transaction is involved between the parent company and the subsidiary. Essentially, the shareholders of the parent company are now offered shareholding in the new entity and so effectively they now become shareholders of two separate companies instead of one. Usually, the spun-off entities have their own management as they are recognized as a distinctly separate entity. Spin off is also known as spin out, but it is less frequently used.

In the year 2024, Baxter International Inc. decided to spin off its biopharmaceuticals business, Baxalta Inc. The announcement of the separation came in the month of March and was finally completed in the month of July. As per the definitive agreement, the shareholders in the parent company were offered 1 Baxalta share for each Baxter share they held. Post spin off, Baxter retained a 19.5% stake in Baxalta, while the remaining 80.5% stake was distributed through a special dividend.

What is Split off?

Split off is quite similar to spin off but with a catch. In the case of a split off, the shareholders of the parent company are given the option of either becoming the shareholders in the newly formed subsidiary in exchange for that of the parent company or continue to remain the shareholders of the parent company only. Basically, they can’t have a shareholding in both the parent company and subsidiary. Given that all the shareholders of the parent company might not choose to participate in the split off, the distribution of the subsidiary shares, in this case, can’t be pro-rata as in the case of a spin off. However, in order to complete the split off successfully with the exchange offer is made more attractive so that shareholders participate. Usually, the exchange ratio is more favorable for the investors who choose to participate in the split off.

Head to Head Comparison Between Spin off and Split off (Infographics)

Below is the Top 4 Comparison between Spin off vs Split off.

Key Differences Between Spin off vs Split off

Some of the key differences between spin off and split off are as discussed below:

Allotment of Shares: In case of spin off, the shareholders in the parent company are offered the share of the spun off entity on pro rata basis, whereas in case of split off, the shareholders in the parent company are offered the shares of split off entity only in exchange of that of the parent company.

Business Objective: In the case of spin off, the parent company intends to create a separate identity for the spun off entity, whereas, in case of split off, the parent company seeks to separate its core business from that of the new subsidiary.

Spin off vs Split off Comparison Table

Basis of Comparison

Spin off

Split off

Concept The divestment is carried out in such a way that the parent company’s assets are used in the formation of the new subsidiary. The existing shareholders are allotted shares of the spun off entity on pro-rata basis. The divestment is carried out in such a way that the parent company’s assets are used in the formation of the new controlled entity. The existing shareholders of the parent company can opt for shares in the new entity in exchange for the shares in the parent company.

Objective The parent company intends to create a separate identity for the new entity through the mechanism of spin off. The parent company intends to make a clear demarcation between the core operation of the parent company and that of the new subsidiary.

Option for Shareholders The existing shareholders of the parent company are not offered any option. They are bound to accept the shares in spun off entity. The existing shareholders of the parent company are offered the option to either go for the split off or to continue to stay with the parent company.

Shareholding in One or Two Companies In spin off arrangement, the shareholders of the parent company end up with the ownership in two companies. In split off arrangement, the shareholders of the parent company can only have the ownership of one of the two entities – parent or subsidiary.

Conclusion

So, it can be seen that both spin off and split off are recognized as one of the best tools for corporate divestment. Both the arrangements help companies build a more efficient and effective corporate structure. Companies go for spin offs when they intend to create a separate identity for the spun off entity, while they go for split offs when they want separate their core business from the subsidiary.

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2024 Jeep Gladiator First Drive: Pickup Artist

It only took a minute or so away from asphalt to realize where this pickup really shines. Faced with mud, rocks, and puddles of indeterminate depth, the truck’s softer suspension and lighter steering-feel immediately proved their worth.

Every Gladiator is 4×4 as standard, as you’d expect, but Jeep has two different configurations. The Sport, Sport S, and Overland have a Command-Trac transfer case, open front and rear differentials, and an optional Trac-Lok anti-spin rear diff. The Rubicon, meanwhile, gets a Rock-Trac transfer case with a better low range ratio, and Tru-Lok electronic locking differentials front and rear as standard.

Either way, there’s a lever to shift between 2WD High, 4WD High, Neutral, and 4WD Low. The Rubicon adds a separate control panel, with which you can lock either the Front + Rear or just the Front diff, disconnect the sway bar, or turn on Off Road+ mode. The latter automatically adjusts the settings depending on whether you’re on high- or low-friction surfaces like rocks or sand.

Automaker off-road courses typically aren’t all that challenging. After all, it’s in their best interests to show their truck clambering serenely over just-tricky-enough terrain, perhaps kicking up a back wheel for some suitably dramatic photos. Clearly everybody at Jeep had missed that memo.

As the lead Wrangler peeled off to the side, I found myself facing what resembled the aftermath of a rock fall, or maybe an earthquake-shattered Stonehenge. An unruly tumble of jagged stones, huge and uninviting, and with just enough mud left by earlier drivers to leave the glistening pile looking treacherously slippery. I’d expected chunky gravel; this was post-apocalyptic collapsed parking structure.

Gladiator in 4WD Low, the diffs locked and my nerves steeled, I pushed forward. The Rubicon’s optional front camera – complete with an entertaining little cleaning jet designed to wash dirt off the lens, and dynamic grid lines that move according to the angle of the wheels – suddenly stopped feeling like a gimmick and started making a lot more sense. With it, the two feet right ahead of the truck was instantly visible, useful given I could see nothing but sky over the hood. The only thing that would make it better would be a dedicated shortcut button; as it is, you have to dig into Uconnect to access it.

Tipping down over the opposite side, the rocks suddenly angled steeply. The Rubicon gets 17-inch wheels with 33-inch Falken Wildpeak LT285/70R17C rubber as standard, with either all-terrain or mud-terrain tread. I could feel them fighting gravity as the Gladiator leaned precariously to the right. “Slower!” bellowed Jeep’s spotter. My foot, already burying the brake to the wash-out floor, tried in vain to press even harder; any remaining movement was down to the unstable surface shifting beneath us. My co-driver may have squeaked with alarm.

By the point where we were level again, it was time to tackle the next obstacle. More haphazardly strewn rocks; more disconcerting angles; and more ruts and furrows. The Gladiator has 11.1-inches of clearance and can wade into water up to 30-inches deep. That, and the tenacious grip from the tires meant even the unctuous mud couldn’t hold me back.

The Gladiator’s only real shortcomings came in comparison to the Wrangler Rubicon ahead of us. The pickup has a 43.6-degree approach angle, 20.3-degree breakover angle, and a 26-degree departure angle in its Rubicon form, and it was the last two figures – the departure angle a full 11-degrees less than the 4-door Wrangler – which led to some of the more ominous grinding sounds as the rear scraped its way free. Happily Jeep slaps on plenty of underbody and rail protection.

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