Early iPhone prototype sported 5×7-inch screen

This is how the iPhone looks today.

CBS Interactive)

Two years before its debut, the iPhone was as large as an iPad Mini.

A 2005 prototype of the iPhone was five inches wide and seven inches tall, according to images leaked to blog site Ars Technica through a former but unnamed Apple employee. The employee apparently worked on several hardware projects for Apple in the early 2000s and was able to check out the early iPhone versions.

Though it matched the size of an iPad Mini, the iPhone prototype wasn’t quite as svelte. The prototype was around two inches thick compared with the Mini at just over a quarter of an inch.

In contast to Apple’s “less is more” philosophy, the prototype was home to a number of ports, including an Ethernet port, a serial port, and several USB ports.

However, those ports were installed simply to help developers more easily work with the device and were never intended for the final consumer product, ArsTechnica’s source said.

Still, the phone was in an obvious state of flux during is development, and “at that early date no one knew what [the final device] would be,” the source added.

But the processor isn’t that much different than the one used in the 2007 debut version of the phone. The ARM chip in the prototype looks like a variant of Samsung’s S3C2410, according to Ars writer Andrew Cunningham, who called it “a distant relative of the chip the first iPhone ended up using, just older and slower.”

The S3C2410 is an ARM9 chip, while the 2007 iPhone used an ARM11 chip. But the prototype shows that Apple tapped into Samsung for the phone’s ARM chip right from the start.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/QXj51HH0prQ/

Volvo XC60 makes collision prevention standard

If the 2013 Volvo XC60 is any indication, the Swedish automaker’s first five years under the thumb of the Chinese company Geely has not changed a thing where it comes to product. The XC60, a mid-size SUV, retains the styling and technology course began under previous owner Ford.

Both owners have let Volvo be Volvo, which means building premium-quality, safety-conscious vehicles.

The exit of Ford may, however, have caused the stagnation of Volvo’s cabin electronics, which have not progressed much in the last five years. Although the XC60 does a solid job with the basics, such as navigation and Bluetooth phone support, connected features are limited to traffic data integrated with the navigation system.

Volvo just announced it is partnering with Parrot to offer an Android-based
head unit
, but we have yet to see how well that integration will
work out.

Where Volvo has pushed the envelope is in driver assistance technology, most effectively demonstrated by the XC60’s standard City Safety feature. This system relies on cameras to identify vehicles and pedestrians, and will slam on the brakes if it senses an imminent collision. City Safety actually prevents collisions at speeds under 20 mph; at higher speeds it will still brake, mitigating the damage.

As a safety technology, it’s a good one, as it can prevent pedestrian deaths and costly vehicle repairs.

Volvo also offers driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and a blind spot monitor, but they were not optioned on the XC60 T6 Platinum trim car delivered to CNET.

The T6 appellation on this XC60 meant it came with a turbocharged 3-liter, six-cylinder engine, a step up from the base model with its naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter six-cylinder. The really interesting things about this powerplant are that it is an inline six-cylinder, and that it mounts transversely under the hood.

That configuration supports the car’s front-wheel-drive platform, although all T6 models come standard with all-wheel-drive. This all-wheel-drive system offers no driver controls, such as a differential lock, instead automatically shifting torque between front and rear depending on which wheels have grip.

Clever but confusing
The Platinum trim on this car brought in Volvo’s cabin electronics suite, including navigation and an upgraded audio system. The navigation system maps look good, with a nice, clean design. Stored in flash memory, the maps render quickly on the small LCD, and I never noticed the system having a problem locating the car’s position, even among urban towers or in the woods.

However, figuring out how to enter addresses, use the stereo, or make phone calls will cause some trouble. Volvo has a very baffling cabin electronics interface.

2013 Volvo XC60

This interface is not the most intuitive to use, but actually works pretty well.

Josh Miller/CNET)

The center panel holds a keypad, function buttons, and traditional volume and tuning dials. The tuning dial includes buttons labeled OK/Menu and Exit.

With the radio screen on the LCD, the tuning dial works traditionally, changing stations. But with the map on the screen, the tuning dial turns into a zoom function. Tapping the OK/Menu button brings up a destination entry screen, where the tuning dial selects entry fields.

Volvo cleverly uses the one dial for many functions, but it can be confusing, at least initially.

Choosing the street address destination option led me to the alphanumeric input for street and city names, using a rotary paradigm on the screen, again controlled by the tuning dial. Rotary inputs are particularly tedious when entering long names, but Volvo offers a couple of shortcuts. I found I could tap the keypad, which would bring up each button’s three associated letters, kind of like texting using a non-smartphone.

Voice command proved even easier, although I had to speak each part of the address, such as street and number, separately. The system also tended to give me multiple choices for each voice input, adding steps to the process.

2013 Volvo XC60

This rotary interface makes entering letters very tedious.

Josh Miller/CNET)

The system’s route guidance delivered clear turn-by-turn directions, and even showed lane guidance on the LCD in easy-to-read graphics. At one point, when I got off route, it took a surprisingly long time to recalculate, but most times it worked just fine.

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/mHpI/~3/Z_QxEcEeAxw/4505-10868_7-35626180.html

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 100, Wolves 77


How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks came out smoking in the second quarter and used their depth to cruise to a win over a tired Minnesota Timberwolves team playing the dreaded Daylight Savings back-to-back.

Dallas scored the first 14 points of the second quarter and led by double digits for the rest of the game.

The Mavs’ bench, the third-highest scoring reserve unit in the league this season, accounted for 58 points, 34 rebounds and 14 assists. All four reserves who played significant minutes made major contributions.

Sixth man Vince Carter lifted the Mavs after a sluggish start, scoring 15 of his 22 points in the first half. Carter, who also had nine rebounds, hit his first four shots from the floor and finished 8-of-15, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

Undersized big man Elton Brand put up his eighth double-double of the year, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Brandan Wright, the high-flying power forward/center whose role has increased recently, scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game. He had 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds.

Recently demoted point guard Darren Collison added nine points and eight assists.

Minnesota’s 77 points matched a season low for a Mavs foe. The Timberwolves shot just 36.4 percent from the floor, including 2-of-18 from 3-point range.

What it means: The Mavs took care of business against bad teams on the first half of their four-game road trip, beating the Pistons and Timberwolves. The schedule gets significantly tougher the rest of the way. Beginning with Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee, 14 of the Mavs’ final 20 foes are currently in the playoff picture. The Mavs (29-33) are three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers, who moved into eighth place in the West with a win Sunday afternoon.

Play of the game: It had no impact on the outcome of the game, but Dirk Nowitzki’s head-scratching travel in the third quarter will surely be talked about by fun-poking teammates. Nowitzki was wide open when he caught the ball near the baseline, went up for a midrange jumper, saw Chris Kaman cutting to the basket and got caught in between thoughts. After landing with the ball in his hands, Nowitzki gave it a soccer-style header.

Stat of the night: The Mavs are 7-2 when Carter scores at least 20 points this season and 10-3 when he puts up 20-plus over the past two seasons.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694906/rapid-reaction-mavericks-100-timberwolves-77

How would you change Dell’s XPS 14?

How would you change Dells XPS 14

Dell’s XPS 14, like the 13-incher that preceded it, presented us with an ice-cool design that showed the company’s artists had worked overtime on getting the small things right. That said, it was a little sluggish in the performance stakes, and while it didn’t set our socks on fire, it was at least a solid purchase. Welcome to How Would You Change, where we delve into the gadgets that were loosed upon the world six months ago and determine what you loved, loathed and what you’d have done differently.

Article source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/10/hwyc-dell-xps-14/

Project Gamma brings intelligent audio to digital comics

Marvel Comics expects to give fans a background score to listen to as they read their comics before the end of 2013, the entertainment company and publisher announced at SXSW 2013.


AUSTIN, Texas–From the band Love and Rockets lifting its name from the famous cult favorite Hernandez brothers’ comic, to a suspiciously-coincidental Jack Kirby and Frank Zappa meeting, comic books and music have a long history of influencing each other.

The fusion of music and comics as directed by the comics’ creators has been limited to a list of recommended tunes in the letters pages of the book — until now. Today, Marvel Comics raised the curtain on a plan to turn that history on its ear with a digital comics-and-music fusion code-named Project Gamma.

Project Gamma is, in the words of Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, an “adaptive, non-repetitive score” that changes as a person swipes from panel to panel through a digital comic. Marvel is working with the production companies Momentum Worldwide and CORD, whose composers and producers have worked on “Harry Potter,” “Drive,” “The King’s Speech,” and “Looper.”

“This is our first foray into a new dimension for comics,” Alonso said from the floor of the Palmer Events Center here a few hours before Marvel’s
South by Southwest panel. “We’ll get better and better as we move along.”

Because it’s adaptive, the score for each comic will change depending on the speed at which the reader flips through the panels.

Marvel refused to say which of its two digital comics platforms Project Gamma would be available on, but as I swiped through an
iPad demo of the project that Alonso said was finished only the day before, it was hard not to notice similarities to Marvel’s Comixology-powered iOS app’s “panel guided view.”

But regardless of what format Project Gamma finally takes when it makes it to the public, it was apparent that it worked as Alonso promised in the few minutes I was given to explore it. (No, I did not get dosed with Gamma rays. There will be no Hulking out.) The background music was different for each panel, and it didn’t loop even after lingering on a panel for more than 30 seconds. This is important in comics, since the speed at which the reader moves from panel to panel can influence the pace of the story.

Effectively, Marvel has created a way to give its books cinematic musical scores without sacrificing the core reading experience. Alonso also said that the handful of “top Marvel writers” to whom he has shown Project Gamma have been impressed by it.

“What’s going through your head when you read Thor: God of Thunder? Is it classical music? Speed metal? A little of both? Most writers have scores in the back of their heads. Kieron Gillen suggests a score in the back of Young Avengers,” Alonso said, explaining that this is a natural fit for comics writers.

Marvel has not announced a release date for Project Gamma, although Alonso said that he expects it to be available to the public before the end of 2013. Gamma’s price point, debut comic, and final name have yet to be determined, said Alonso.

He closed with an enthusiastic statement that sounded right at home among the startups vying for attention at South by Southwest: “I have no doubt that fans will respond positively to Project Gamma.”


Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/VBCelfBEohA/

Shawn Marion (calf) inactive vs. Pistons

PODCAST Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Galloway Company to discuss who he wants to keep for next season, O.J. Mayo’s impressive night and much more.

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Mavericks forward Shawn Marion is inactive for Friday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons due to a left calf contusion.

Marion got kicked in the calf during Wednesday night’s win over the Houston Rockets, when he scored a team-high-tying 22 points and was the primary defender on James Harden, who missed two contested, potentially tying shots in the final minute.

This is the eighth game that the 34-year-old Marion has missed this season. Marion, who is averaging 11.7 points and a team-leading 7.9 rebounds per game, missed five games in November with a sprained MCL in his left knee and two games in December due to a groin strain.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4694866/shawn-marion-calf-inactive-vs-pistons

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