Wednesday, July 30, 2008

IT-sector: relatively quiet season

I begin with the patient topic. The situation in the upper echelons of power Yahoo employees of the company itself is not otherwise called as "chaos". Since the beginning of the year from their posts have already gone 114 top managers, staff and no one believed. Staff crisis, according to analysts, could seriously weaken the position of Yahoo in the market. Ko addition, nearly two weeks ago disappeared executive director of Yahoo Jerry Yang. Its location is unknown, is now operational guidance for implementing President Sue Decker.

Among the most notable figures who have left (or leave) the Internet company - Jeff Weiner, vice president of Yahoo! Network Division, Usama Fayad, head of data processing, Jeremy Zavodny, one of the key developers, Qi Lu, executive vice president in charge of search and advertising technologies, Brad Garlinhays, senior vice president, and Vish Mahidzhani, Senior Vice President Responsible for search technologies.

Analysts company Canaccord Adams both commented on what is happening: "Care of so many key individuals an extremely negative impact on the company's position in the future. These developments will create instability among staff members who abide by these managers. Perhaps this will become critical moment for Yahoo".

In turn, analysts say the company Dinosaur Securities: "The deal with Google to Yahoo beneficial in the short term, but in general, it weakens the position of the company in the market of advertising in search engines. I think that key staff are leaving Yahoo, because they feel in this company that they will fail to realise their talents fully. "

Despite everything that happens in Yahoo plan to reorganize by combining departments responsible for e-mail, search service and the chief portal into a single organization. It is anticipated that this will improve coordination between services companies and groups of global sales.

Now on the other. Humanity has crossed an important threshold: according to research company Gartner, to date the world has been more than one billion personal computers, that is, on one PC for six earth. It is expected that by 2014 the number of computers will double. In fact, more common tool is a hammer that is it.

According to statistics, more than half of all PCs are in Western countries, Japan and Korea. But by 2014 their share will fall only 30%. Developing countries are catching West by the level of computerization, thanks continuously declining price of machines, as well as the active penetration of Internet access and wireless communications.

But other statistics Gartner: this year, users rid themselves of more than 180 million PCs. Some of them will be sold in the secondary market, and part (about 35 million personalok) simply emissions in a landfill.

Internet company Google ahead of Microsoft in the ranking of American companies with the best reputation. This study showed the company Harris Interactive. This year, Google unexpectedly won the top spot in the ranking (in 2007 - was only 4 m - e), and Microsoft moved to first place at 10 - e. I recall that early this June, Google was in second place in the list of the world's 600 largest corporations with a better reputation (ranking leader became a concern Toyota).

According to the consulting firm Lazard, promulgated last week, the company Seagate intends to acquire 49% stake in the joint venture Intel and Micron Technology (such purchase price is estimated at $ 2 billion). Other experts, however, believe that Seagate is more interested in companies such as Hynix and SanDisk. But in any case, this means one thing: players market consolidated in anticipation of a sharp aggravation of competition.

Seagate, Intel and Micron still store their business plans in great secrecy. And maybe, and not decided, with whom he faces in the near future to form an alliance. The more so that competitors have enough: the company EMC, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Xiotech, Western Digital and Samsung are already producing or will produce their own solid discs.

In passing note that Intel Corporation could well leave the market for flash memory because it is not its main interest. By refusing to ambitions of flash memory, Intel will be able to focus resources on its main line of business - manufacturing processors. Such a move would be logical for Intel, even more so that the flash memory market in recent surplus of supply.

Continue on the cases of semiconductor. Nvidia plans to reduce the prices of their video GeForce 9800 GTX. The immediate cause seems to have become more competition from AMD, issued a new graphics card ATI Radeon HD 4850 for $ 199, so that Nvidia simply could not take retaliatory measures.

You'll laugh, but again fined Microsoft. Corporation to pay $ 511.6 million as punishment for violating patents of two French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent. The Court of San Diego found that the software corporation has used others' intellectual property, developing Outlook and Windows Mobile. In addition, Microsoft has violated a patent associated with the use of stylus in tablet PC, which still must pay $ 10.4 million

The trial lasted a total of five years. A clear case in Microsoft does not agree with the decision of the court and plan to appeal. However, previous attempts to revise the case was unsuccessful and, conversely, increased the amount of compensation for the additional $ 153.9 million

But litigation is not yet over. In the Alcatel-Lucent believe that Microsoft continues to violate their patent of another - it is associated with the format of playing music. In that case, Microsoft was already committed to pay $ 1.5 billion as compensation for damages, but in 2007 - m this decision was overruled by the District Court of San Diego. However, the Alcatel-Lucent will continue to fight.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

The world seems to be similar to the mind ...

Tell them you thought never occurred, similar to that peace of mind? I think this happened after viewing regular news program on TV or after visiting the news site. But there Do you feel that a major contribution in the world have made it madness information technology? ..

Of course, blame all ills in IT - the case, say explicitly, simple. Search for scapegoats is always easier than to understand the reasons for any situation. Incidentally, the situation - because I have not even said that it suggests the global madness.

If closely attentive to what is happening in the world, there would be many occasions to wonder. Personally, I have the most serious questions arise in connection with the fight against piracy in the dissemination of digital products. According to the struggle really played neshutochnaya: RIAA zavalivaet U.S. courts claims to thousands of individual citizens, it Surkhakhi kinoshniki, much of the software developers have nothing to say. This situation is not unique to America: in Russia, for example, also closed portals, allowing users to download MP3-song, but the creators of films threatened to prison those who did not lay out what, and even download pirated copy of their screen "masterpieces".

Well, musicians and filmmakers also want to eat. And, looking at the most outstanding representatives of their professions (for example, that Paul McCartney and Steven Spielberg), want to eat not just tasty, and used exclusively delicious food. And the understandable desire, I would even say, commendable. However, approach to its implementation leaves much to be desired: instead pridumyvaniya new business models that would enable musicians and kinoshnikam remain on a crest of a wave in the world and the rapid flow of bytes, and recording companies are engaged kinoprokatnye imposition of user business models that are already apparently outdated. As a result, the objectives of the comfortable existence of such companies sacrificed the interests of music listeners, viewers of movies and other digital consumer multimedia products. And this, and I think you will agree with me, not just wrong, and even once wildly.

Incidentally, talking about movies and music, I once obhozhu other potential adversaries digital dissemination of information - Representatives of the publishing business. Note that after the closure of Google Books and other similar projects they are not the votes cast at the fact that Internet file-sharing networks and threaten their business. And, incidentally, is not the fact that it is the publishers of books have very good reasons for the closure of Google Books. In many ways, of course, this is due to the specifics of print products: all the same, as the bearded anecdote, sleep, face shield newspaper, easier than doing the same thing with TV (or in our case, with a laptop). The book - it did something more than just information on the printed pages. But on the other hand, and the writers themselves invent new schemes earning money to their difficult (do not believe it - write a book) craft. The long ago told me about the writer, very well-known (unfortunately, of whom exactly, I have managed to safely forget), which is to spread new chapters to the extent of writing a book on his website. Anyone who read all chapters and wanted to see the following, had to pay one dollar. In doing so, the author has promised that if the percentage paid is less than half, the more he would not write. As far as I know, the book did was to add. The exact amount of fees also forgotten, but estimated it to five the number of zeros. Here is interesting not so much money writer, but the very scheme of the income from the book - it agree, very nontrivial and effective.

Unfortunately, neither the music nor film talents do not wish to strain their lofty minds finding new ways of earning. However, filmmakers are guessed to demonstrate directly in film advertising various products, which appeared there in the course of the plot. This is in itself not bad, but could go further - for example, by analogy with the resourcefulness writer, remove soap operas and demand money from visitors for the continuation. Musicians, too, could embed in their albums sound advertising or even write songs about various products advertised. Why not? Ask as well as the same art? But we are now to "eat like" and not about art. In the end, Western musicians could well take over the post-Soviet space existing business model - that is, artists are the main income from concerts, rather than from the sale of discs, and are without any additional source of income (usually that - something like its own network of restaurants).

However, I think, life itself arrange everything to their seats. The Swedes already, like, gathered to legalize what is considered piracy. Sooner or later muzykodelam will have to surrender - just take the number of listeners.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Popular on AI

Environment us nature, society, the universe - it is chaos or did something orderly? Can you describe or explain all the key number of formulas and algorithms? In fact, there is no necessary in qualitative assessment, which need to get rid of uncertainty. The very same uncertainty arises in the absence of the necessary number of data and relationships? If you are an experienced player in the chess situation on the board looks quite deterministic, that is predictable, because while he appreciates the many chess indicators, it all looks for Beginners uncertain. Even more, some of the indicators that you want to evaluate, and not even he suspects. But there is another side issue. For its turn to discuss literary classics, namely, the product of MA Bulgakov "Master and Margarita". The situation with Berlioz and Annushkoy, which shed oil. At the terminology AI in terms of higher forces both characters on the law can be regarded as agents who do not even know about the existence of each other, the more the relationship…

Yes, in fact, speaking of artificial intelligence, it is difficult to keep from having to go to the level of philosophical narration with a fantastic mystical classes. Although… Our readers love fiction, so let's look at an interesting example. Moreover, it is of direct relevance to practice.


Prophecies

During the period from 1961 to 1967 was published very popular fantastic saga of the three novels "Reason", "Foundation and Empire", "second base". Their author is practically our compatriot (he was born under the Smolensk) Isaac Azimov. The whole story begins with the fact that during the existence of a powerful empire appeared science such as psihoistoriya. Quoting that under this understood: "a branch of mathematics which deals with the reactions of human societies on a stable social and economic incentives… using precise mathematical data can be a certain way to influence human society". So, by using complex mathematical formulas that take into account the large amount of data, expressed in a number of factors, one of the scientists accurately predicted the fall of empires time as such - exactly five years.

And now is to think: Does it really? That is offensive to predict any developments in time. In principle, it is even possible. For example, in calculating the ideal model of development for something, and then begin to enter data with coefficients of influence. In principle, everything is overdone, although people familiar with games in the genre of economic policies, particularly the level of Pharao, Caesar, CivCity: Rome, Capitalism, etc., clearly understands what is at stake. For others cite another example, a medical. What can be predicted probability of occurrence of a disease and even predict the approximate time of the attack, if there was no question about infections? To do so, must obtain the largest possible number of necessary input data, which are produced as a result of analysis and research, plus take into account the aging of the organism, seasonal aggravation (for example, gipertoniki suffer in the heat), heredity, abuse, ways of life. As a result, real prediction. And the results can be and in reverse. What, indeed, modern medicine and works. If everything translated into mathematical language, then many of us around processes and events have inertia, so you can make some projections, using extrapolation, that is, if we are talking about a temporary stage, it is the spread of previously identified trends with respect to future periods . After all, often facing our ordinary person with statistical projections. In doing so, you need to take into account many different factors, sometimes in direct contradiction. For example, the growth of the working population is linked to improving the quality of life, that is good food, medicine, etc. But while in developed countries, fertility is low. And so on. There are such well-known subjects as management theory and statistics, which developed in the framework of their experience and achievements, in turn, transferred artificial intelligence systems at the expert level. And all this can be attributed to other quite different areas. And on the shoulders AI might well be tasked to ensure the viability of the same rights.


The usefulness and reward

The main task of agents decision-making often is to find the best option from a variety of alternatives. Let us turn to the same chess, which we have written quite a lot of material in the past, and let us assume that each of the figures has its price - for example, a pawn - 1, horse and elephant - 3, rook - 5, queen - 9, King - 1000 . In fact, the program works for reward, as if asking: "What do I get for it?" That is developers realized bonus system, expressed in so-called utility function - the term used in AI. There need to understand that this is not what an agent can bring benefit to their actions or state of choice for others. He - rational egoist - in fact, none other than himself, does not see and always wondered what benefit this or that decision could bring him the most. In the biological nature all very similar. For example, in the human brain has a pleasure center, and so on. Thus, a motivation to find the most rational result. Why have we turned to chess? There, as the agents AI, the actions are in the mode of uncertainty. In fact, expected to feature a chess program and the utility function with agents identical. Arriving at the instance, branches, including the taking, the program expects options for the largest possible number of points. And this is the most primitive and trivial form. Recall that Deep Blue six monitors thousands of chess-specific indicators. If this computer algorithms in the evaluation function only take into account takeover, the computer would never have been able to win rights.


The interim phase

Before turning to the specific tasks and presentation of practical bases, I suggest you independently perform a number of assignments. Basically this answers to the questions:

. Try to independently withdraw several definitions of artificial intelligence.
. What agents or their community can be interconnected assigned to the intelligence systems?
. Try to imagine the situation reversed with Turing test, namely: how and on what grounds the computer can "understand", that people are communicating with him?
. Can I take it that artificial intelligence above human if he had received the highest score in tests of IQ?
. Can I take the affirmative by the fact that semantics (a full understanding of the meaning of the words and phenomena) in humans is directly related to identity, that is, comes from a personal "I"?
. And whether it is possible to create such a framework II, focusing only on the utility function and implement a system of rewards?
. Imagine what kind of object AI is on a random cell chessboard. Think algorithm, which he will be able to quickly find the coordinates of his location, that is to specify cell.
. Children's play "rock, scissors, paper" refers to a deterministic or nondeterministic type?
. In the popular game Starcraft professionals identify three key strategies of development armies, one of which provides a quick victory in the initial stage of the game, but almost always lose later, the second - on the contrary, and so on. Can I hold in this case a parallel with "rock, scissors, paper" in the strategic sense?
. Society Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is the developer of architecture JAUS (Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems), implying a single management protocol Unmanned robotics. That is thanks to him, you can manage robotankami, robosamoletami, robosoldatami, roborazvedchikami, autonomous vehicles, using a unified command system. What requirements must present to develop AI to completely transfer the administration on its basis?
. Among the many different and not very plausible theories can be found and such: the main inhabitants of our planet - a bacterium, and all life is a container for them. Oprovergnite and prove this theory in terms of the vision of community of bacteria as intellectual substance. And whether the submission in principle?

IT SECTOR: a word on Yahoo!

In this issue, the business review, there will be no words about the cheerful "games" corporations Yahoo, Microsoft and primknuvshey to Google. First, wait shareholders Yahoo, in which billionaire and one of the owners of shares of Internet companies try to shift the Ikan Karl-occupied with post KazUpack Yahoo Jerry Yang and his companions - that is, all those who opposed the deal with Microsoft. Hiccup already formed a list of ten people, which will replace the current members of the Board of Directors of Yahoo. Secondly, look in all that is happening now in the triangular Yahoo-Microsoft-Google, not breaking the brain, it is simply impossible. In general, wait continuing show. In the meantime, I will tell about other interesting things.

Regulatory authorities in different countries with Gambling tormented corporation Intel. So, start their own antitrust investigation into the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. American antitrust agency suspects in the non-Intel business practices. It is expected that several major computer manufacturers companies provide good discounts if they refused to use AMD processors and get to work only with the chip Intel. Note that Intel not the first time accused of uncompetitive business practices. Earlier, European Commission recognized the Intel guilty of violating the antimonopoly law. A similar conclusion came and representatives of the Japanese Anti-Monopoly Office. More recently has been the Korean Fair Trade Commission concluded that Intel had violated national competition law. Discounts in the sale of microprocessors two Korean companies - Samsung Electronics and Trigem Computer - would cost Intel $ 25.4 million in fines. The initiator of the investigation became an American Intel competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). In June 2005 - she complained of the authorities of several countries. In 2005, AMD also filed a private lawsuit against the competition Intel, in which hearings are scheduled for next year. Leading Intel adviser Bruce Sewell said that the company with a high probability filed the appeal on the decision of the Korean commission. Quote: "The principle which they attack, is at the heart of competition - the offer of discounts to increase sales. The appeal will help to start from scratch the case of discounts during the hearings in the Korean court". Sewell said that at meetings of the commission Intel representatives did not allow the court to call its own witnesses and present evidence. For reference: At the end of 2007, Intel accounted for 76.7% of all processors sold in the world, AMD - 23,1%.

A State Department of Intellectual Property of China (SITO) has begun an investigation into the corporation Microsoft, which the authorities accuse China of violating the antimonopoly law. As part of the investigation will be reviewed operating systems and other products produced not only Microsoft, but also other major companies involved in developing software. In particular, one of the tasks of the investigation - Clarification of reasons, most of which American software sold in China more expensive than in the United States. According to officials, the largest company enjoyed its dominant position in the software market and prohibitive prices overstate. At the same time these same companies have accused China of violating copyrights and high-level piracy. Licensing version of Microsoft Windows operating system in conjunction with MS Office in China can be purchased over 7 thousand yuan ($ 1,015). That is, these two products worth more expensive than the average PC. Antimonopoly Law was adopted in China in 2007 and will enter into force on 1 August 2008 - go. Under his act fell pricing mechanisms to several types of goods. However, one of the most important of his party authorities believe China's control over the absorption of Chinese companies by foreign companies. Also this document gives Chinese antimonopolschikam right to examine the transaction, in which companies investing in the country's economy.

The company Sony announced that the popular YouTube online videosluzhba entered into a cooperation agreement with a service Bravia Internet Video Link. Thanks to this contract Bravia users of the service will have access to millions of videos on YouTube without any extra cost. Similar agreements concluded with Bravia also Wired.com site and service C-Spot, offering original series of television comedy. According to Randy Ueynika, chief vice president consumer electronics unit Sony Electronics, Sony company has become one of the first to launch a similar television service in the United States. Bravia Internet Video Link - is a small module, which joins the ploskopanelnym LCD TVs Bravia. Of course, TV must have a broadband connection Ethernet. Thus, subscribers receive the service without the possibility of using a personal computer on their TV viewing diverse online entertainment content - movies, television programs, video clips from YouTube, as well as news and weather forecasts. You can buy a module for $ 300 on the site sonystyle.com, in Sony Style retail stores and authorized dealers of Sony. The device is compatible with most models of televisions Bravia, issued at the end of 2007, and many new models presented in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Internet Corporation Google has not yet been able to earn substantial sums on videoservise YouTube, which it acquired in 2006 for $ 1.65 billion - about the company's head said Eric Schmidt. Schmidt said that the possibility of earning at YouTube "seems obvious", but Google so far "has not found the right prescription". He also added that the aim of the company is not monetization of all and all, and change the world. Monetization same - only the technology to pay for these changes. Google has already introduced its system on YouTube contextual advertising. Sam YouTube in March of 2008 introduced a system Insight, which allows advertisers to know how visitors find a clip, what time it looked likely, in what region the topic roller aroused most interest. I recall that visit YouTube each day hundreds of millions of people - this is the most popular videoservis in the world.

Analysts research company IDC predicted that in 2008 the volume of world PC market will grow at 9.6% - up to $ 286 billion Prior to the 2012 market will grow by 5-6% annually, by 2012 reaching $ 354 billion And laptops overtaking sales desktops already in 2009. Before the CIS market this mini-revolution dokatitsya delayed for three years, experts believe. Overall, in 2008 the world will be sold 310 million PCs including desktops, laptops and servers standard Intel architecture against 269.1 million a year earlier, said the report IDC. Previously, IDC analysts predicted that laptops overtaking desktops only in 2010. According to estimates IDC, in 2008 the sale of desktops will grow by only 2.2%, notebooks same - at 34.5%. The company Gartner, published its forecast of the market PCs simultaneously with IDC, also pointed to the increasing role of notebook PCs in the market structure. Gartner research director George Shiffler said: "Sales of mobile PCs have surpassed our expectations in I quarter of 2008". According to the forecasts Gartner, in 2008 the world will be 297 million PCs sold. In the notebook segment in the CIS, according to the company ITResearch, dominated by Asian producers, share the same Russian firms is around 6%. Now on laptops accounted for about one third of the post-PC market. Sales rose in desktops I quarter of 2008 by about 7%, laptops - at 60-70%. And while growth in the coming years will slow to 40-50%, laptops could overtake desktops sales within two to three years.

The new record company Enders Analysis says that TV and the Internet passed to become the largest advertising market in Britain already this year. It is expected that in 2008 - m spending on online advertising in Britain is 19% of the total expenditure on advertising. According to specialists Enders Analysis, a large market for online advertising will grow at the expense of advertising in print. In absolute terms, on the basis of 2008, spending on online advertising in Britain will grow at 26.4% and is worth about $ 7 billion

Social network LinkedIn during the fourth round of funding from investors attracted $ 53 million Based on the parameters of the deal, the market value of LinkedIn is a billion dollars. In the transaction involved the company Bain Capital Ventures, as well as the current co-owners of LinkedIn - Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Greylock Partners. I recall that in 2007 the same way was assessed social network Facebook. Microsoft Corporation has bought 1.6% of the company $ 240 million at a monthly rate of $ 15 billion for 100%. The network LinkedIn is intended primarily for the business professional communication. Audience network is 23 million users by the end of 2008 their number should exceed 30 million over 5 years of existence LinkedIn investors have invested in it more than $ 80 million

And so an interesting study in terms of business social networks, conducted by the Russian holding company Romir, a poll internetchikov 1300. It turns out that more than half the users of social networks (53%) simply do not notice posted in the resource advertising. Sometimes advertisements notice 42% of users. Always pay attention to advertising only 2% of the respondents. Daily enjoys social networks 54% of users. Increase total comes online youth between the ages of 18 to 24 years. 44% of respondents spend on social networks from five minutes to half an hour. The most popular networks in RuNet become "Odnoklasniki.ru", "My World" Mail.Ru and "Vkontakte.ru". They know 92%, 71% and 66% of respondents respectively. The most malopopulyarnoy is a network of researchers called facebook.org (obviously meant network Facebook, located at facebook.com). On it heard only 12% of survey participants. Most respondents - 72% - registered on the "Odnoklassnikah". Following is "Vkontakte.ru" with 44%. In the third place "My World" Mail.Ru from 38%. None of the social networks are not registered only 12% of respondents.

The company Adobe Systems issued a report on performance in II quarter of 2008 fiscal year (ended May 30). From March to May inclusive Adobe has received $ 886.9 million of income. This is almost 20% higher than in II quarter of fiscal year 2007, when the company's revenue was $ 745.6 million net profit Adobe in the past fiscal quarter reached $ 214.9 million For purposes of comparison: the year before the company received $ 152.5 million profit. Thus, for the year quarterly earnings growth Adobe was about 40%. Good performance in the Adobe attributed the high demand for products outside the United States. According to the Executive Director Adobe Shantanu Narayen, the company sees good prospects for growth in Eastern Europe, Brazil and China. According to the forecasts of analysts, in the III quarter Adobe may receive proceeds in the amount of $ 855 million to $ 885 million worth to add that Adobe recently announced the release of the ninth version of the package Adobe Acrobat documents to the format PDF. One of the most significant innovations in Acrobat 9 became a full-fledged support technology Adobe Flash. At the same time, Adobe Acrobat 9 company submitted a new family of Internet services Acrobat.com, which comprises a means of collective work, the system of Web conferencing, and file storage information.

Global wholesale prices on flash memory type NAND continue to decline. To date, 8 Gbit chip price fell to $ 2.35. The specialists explain this relatively small demand for consumer electronics products - buyers have reduced costs because of the deteriorating economic situation. Interestingly, the demand for NAND chips SSD in the segment also remains sluggish compared with earlier forecasts. In other words, rough series of announcements SSD has no influence on the situation in the industry. Indeed: the producers soon to fight with declining prices for 16 Gbit chips below the $ 4. As a precautionary measure, deterrent further decline in the prices of flash memory type NAND, called themselves producers transfer capacity of producing DRAM.

The Russian economy grow is not so much oil, how many telecommunications. Revenue from providing telecommunications services in Russia in I quarter of 2008, compared with the same period in 2007 increased by 20.9% - until 275.238,5 million rubles. In doing so, operators of traditional revenues amounted to 90.438,7 million rubles., Increasing by 10.2%. Revenues from local telephony services in urban areas amounted to 30.6 billion rubles. That the 5.8% increase on the I quarter of 2007, revenues from telecommunications services in rural areas - 2.7 billion rubles. -- An indicator remained at the level of last year. Revenue from providing mobile communications services grew by 21.7% - until 117.834,7 million rubles. Revenue from telecommunications services (distance, intra, international) in the period reached 30.399,3 million rubles., Increasing by 13.5%. Revenues from services operators accession and traffic increased by 26.9% - up to 37.8 billion rubles. Revenues from postal communication services grew by 30.2% - up to 18 billion 697.3 million rubles. Russian investment in the sector of the Russian Federation in connection I quarter of 2008, compared with the same period in 2007 increased by 46% - to 24.349,8 million rubles. In I quarter of 2007, investments totalled 16,681 million rubles. Entering fixed assets during the reporting period amounted to 16.732,1 million rubles. That, at 26.4% more than I about the quarter in 2007 figures, if you have enough forces them to understand, very illustrative. But comment on them until I still will not - wait for the outcome of the year.

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"Looking to the future" - Intel Corporation

Intel Corporation introduced more than 70 fantastic projects and concepts developed in its laboratories and on the environment, health care, computation using graphics, wireless mobile solutions, etc. In these studies the company has invested nearly $ 6 billion annually. Chief Technical Director and Senior Fellow, Intel Justin Rattner said that in the next five years, thanks to today's investment in research, there will be technologies that radically alter human interaction with computers and help to significantly change the environment.

The processor is Intel Atom emerged as a result of a small project "Snocone" one of the laboratories Intel, whose goal was study the possibility of establishing a processor with ultra energy-based architecture Intel. Similarly, Intel vPro processor technology for business platforms have been the result of Intel held in 1990 - years of research to create a universal Serial Bus (USB) for connection to PC music players, keyboards, cameras and other devices.

As the number of kernels into the microprocessor Intel will significantly increase the use of parallel computing (where several computing tasks handled simultaneously) on a massive computers, leading to an unprecedented empowerment of visual computing, including realistic three-dimensional environment, operational analysis of real-world video images and more natural ways user interaction with their devices.

Companies Neusoft and Intel demonstrated the future of automotive application, in which cameras are "eyes", and computers based on multicore processors play the role of "brain". Cars will be able to identify much more precisely the situation dangerously close to other vehicles or pedestrians and take measures to prevent accidents.

For this type of visual computing requires a much higher computing power, as well as addressing the problems of parallel processing (multiple simultaneous queries processor). In the annex to the road used the results of studies on programming for Intel Ct - expanding language C / C + +, created in laboratories Intel. It ensures the smooth scaling from 2 to 8 nuclei programs to prevent accidents, without requiring the development of additional software or compilers.

Special technology under the name "power management platform will provide continuous monitoring of changes in the computer and intelligent energy consumption reduction or complete disconnection of unused system components, such as wireless ports or USB. The first results of work in this direction demonstrate the possibility of reducing by more than 30% of energy consumption in a state of idle or low activity. In the next few years, Intel researchers hope to multiply the achievements in this area and to reduce energy consumption by 50% computer, regardless of whether he is able to idle or works. One day in the future, power management platform will be used in the entire range of products Intel - from mobile Internet devices (MID) to the most high-performance servers.

Personalized technology will help solve the problem of rising costs, due to the increasing number of chronically ill and aging population, while patients will be able to more actively monitor their health.

One example of the commitment of Intel multi Research Center became the technological research aimed at achieving an independent lifestyle (TRIL): research organization, jointly established by Intel Corporation and the Irish government to develop technologies that will enable people to maintain independent living at any age. One recent innovation, the proposed center TRIL - BioMOBIUS, inexpensive research computing platform, based on which the staff, not having deep technical knowledge, can easily and quickly create tools for medical research.
Another example of decisions, research-based Intel, can serve as provided by Step A system analysis, to identify key factors Step A man (or manner of walking speed) and determines the risk of falling. Today is just a research project, however, such concepts can improve the quality of life of patients and reduce the burden on the health care system.

Researchers seek to establish Intel technology, which compact mobile Internet devices will be able to receive information from the surrounding environment and interact with it so that the small size of these devices do not inconvenience the user.

Thus, for small mobile devices, due to limited physical channels of input-output, will be particularly convenient speech interfaces. Intel researchers demonstrated the speech interface manages the connections between two mobile devices and wireless display for sharing resources and services. For example, when the collective viewing photos user will be able to manage the timing naturally mobile device with a TV large-format, proiznosya respective teams.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

IT SECTOR: Clarifying disposition

From China came unexpected news: working in the field of next-generation networking company Huawei Technologies agreed to sell its unit to develop terminals - cellular telephones and modems for wireless data transmission. Among the prospective candidates for the purchase of business - the largest operators of cellular communication AT & T and Vodafone, as well as the investment company Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG.

All this seems all the more strange that, according to Director of sold units Meddi Lu, a business company in the field of ringtones and modem cards broadband access is on the rise, and its contribution to overall corporate income Huawei - more than 10%. From January to May this year under the brand name Huawei has sold more than 30 million of these devices, which yielded income of $1.8 billion end of the year the company plans to sell another 40 million devices. It turns out that the annual sales volume will grow nearly twice - for the entire past year has sold 40 million mobile terminals. So the sale of such units Huawei looks promising, to say the least, strange.

And the mobile. Microsoft announced its intention to buy the company-developer of mobile services and software MobiComp. This is a Portuguese company with subsidiaries in Britain, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. MobiComp provides users with services such as MobileKeeper (application for data exchange and storage) and Active mTicker (distribution system of automatic alerts based on subscription).

Now let's talk about Google - ignore the largest Internet company does not possible. At the post of Financial Director Google recently was appointed Patrick Pichett - he succeeded George Reyes, who left the company in December 2007 - first. First Pichett worked as finance director of Canada's largest cellular operator Bell Canada. In total telecommunications market Pichett spent about 20 years. Now 45 - year old Patrick Pichett takes the case and officially work for Google, he will start from 1 August.

Google founders and management believe that the experience will help realize Pichetta "ambitions telecommunications company. More specifically, to take a significant share in markets for wireless data and cellular phones. I recall that Google already this year plans to submit the first apparatus on the basis of its own mobile OS Android.

According to the contract, Pichetta salary is $450 thousand per year plus $500 thousand incentive bonuses in employment and another $500 thousand six months. New findirektor receive the right to buy a certain number of Google shares at a fixed price.

Also last week, Google released its assessment of the Russian market contextual advertising (Google serves about 25% of search queries Runeta). The assessment is this: on the outcome of this year, the cost to advertisers contextual advertising in Beijing amount to $200 million By the way, Google has recently concluded an agreement with the Russian payment system "Rapida" on the withdrawal of payments by using advertising platform Google AdSense.

Other figures announced are: two and a half years full-fledged Google presence on the Russian Internet market, a U.S. company to build share of search queries from 6% to 25%. Study iConText company prognosticated that the contextual advertising market in Russia by 2010 will be $1 billion, at least, it will have to third on Google.

AOL, it seems, is trying to take revenge for their previous failures on the Internet. The company, together with HP launched localized versions of their sites for the markets of Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Venezuela. Thus, Latin Americans have become such popular services available to AOL, as web-mail, AIM, videopoiskovik Truveo, AOL Fotos, blogs and news aggregator. In AOL stated that "the launch of portals in these countries was another step in a strategy for expansion in the international market and increase profits from online advertising."

An interesting study conducted company MasterCard. She found that most money in online stores in Asia spend residents of Singapore and South Korea. Singaporeans spend three months, on average, $770, while South Koreans - $707. All were interviewed more than 4,000 people enjoying the Network at least once a week. Of these purchases through the Internet did 63%. In Japan the figure was 83%.

A company IDC released a forecast, according to which, in the next two to three years, large Internet advertisers will annually increase their advertising budgets by 15-20%. In the IDC such growth has been called "phenomenal, but real." In their calculations specialists IDC proceeded on the assumption that by 2011 the number of active Internet users will increase to 1.4 billion people.

With regard to specific figures, in the world this year in the cost of online advertising reached $65.2 billion - a 10% increase over 2007 - m. And in 2011 global spending on online advertising will grow to $106.6 billion - 14% of the total cost of advertising. The money is distributed as follows: approximately 1 / 3 will receive search engines, which are placed in their search results and sponsored links contextual advertising. At other types of sites will prevail contextual advertising, graphic banners will take 20% of the market, multimedia advertising - 19%. The most rapidly (50% per year) will grow advertising Rich-Media and advertising in video.

By region at the online advertising market distribution by 2011 will be: will the U.S. leader: there "on the Internet, advertisers will spend up to $45 billion a year. But the highest growth rates show the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (+ 42.1%), as well as the Middle East and Africa (+ 29.8%). At the same time, most of all to invest in online advertising, advertisers will be from Western Europe who are now planning to spend online, on average, 18.2% of their advertising budgets. In Japan, by 2011 the figure was 16.3%, in the United States - 14.6%. Increase in Net entire entertainment industry to advertise "adult" and online casino, followed by information technology, electronics and computers.

And lately - about so far budorazhaschy minds iPhone. In the face of heightened privacy company Apple has placed orders for Taiwan enterprises to 15 million vehicles iPhone 3G. All phones must be issued before the end of the year. By the way, orders for release of iPod and Nano players also grew, although orders for the production of iPod Touch, on the contrary, declined.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Multimedia battles

I think the word that people will pronounce the future, wishing to describe the first decade of the twenty-first century, will sound quite simple. This is - "multimedia". It turgescent flowering time is characterized by multimedia technologies, which we now live.

In general, if you say that in fact flourished, in fact, the technologies themselves have already passed, and now all that could be called multimedia technologies, already a mature and well-established market niche, then argue with you would be rather difficult. But now we are seeing the flourishing not so much in terms of technological breakthrough, but rather in the sense of social breakthrough: multimedia technologies have become capable of not only the conquest of society, but also on its modification.

In my opinion, it means creating and viewing of visual information played the greatest role in the popularity of the World Wide Web. This is not surprising: statistics, more than two-thirds of all people on our planet - visual. The so-called people for whom the main channel of information perception is that vision and, moreover, in the process of thinking operate precisely visual images. Besides them, there are audialy (those who receive information mainly on rumor and operates an audible images), kinestetiki (those who receives information to the touch and operates accordingly) and digitaly (people prone to logical thinking and operating abstract images and concepts ). Given that digitaly also receive information mainly on visual perception channel, and multimedia covers not only the image but also sound, easy to calculate, for a per cent of humanity multimedia content - the most convenient way to receive the information. In fact, only the poor remain excluded kinestetiki, who had all the harder in the information age.

But this is all priskazka. The tale, or rather, the harsh reality is that for multimedia technologies face a lot of money, but because suppliers of products for working with multimedia content configured to have to snatch a piece of cake to regale with this. I am talking about now is no longer producing hardware and software manufacturers about - that the hardware is all more or less clear technological breakthrough is already behind us, and the role more or less distributed. In principle, a multimedia software on the market, too, all more or less divided, but it does not mean that those who used to receive good profits, with any power, would not want to redivision of all in a new way.

The biggest players in the market of multimedia software - is, of course, Adobe and Apple. They are, in general, yet not bad live there because their products do not compete so much, but complement each other. But now everything has changed. The key multimedia technology in the Web 2.0 world has become such a thing as Adobe Flash. This was the reason that Microsoft and Apple are simply not able to stay on the sidelines. Microsoft has long produced a second version of Silverlight - competing with Flash technology, as Apple more recently, on rumours, has begun to develop its own analogue. What is not media war?

In fact, of course, war, war, but users much more interesting not so much themselves war between software producers, but what it has them. Unfortunately, nothing positive.

Flash - a well-conceived and established technology, in fact, the de facto standard for banners, videos, games and other things that can be zasunut on web-pages. The lion's share of users has installed plug-ins to play Flash-rollers in the browser, but because similar technologies from Microsoft and Apple to imagine probivat sweat and blood of the road.

With Silverlight all easy. Microsoft built this technology in Internet Explorer, and its dissemination to users will be achieved. Among all content producers will be more difficult, but probably for multimedia sites certainly not slow to follow any of the proposals to regale with redmondskogo giant. Worse is that, for example, the largest to date online video site YouTube.com belongs to the main competitor Microsoft, Google. And while enemy technology uses Flash. There is a temptation to make a technological step and cut a few Flash compatibility with Internet Explorer 'box, is not it? Something similar could be expected from Apple 'eclipse browser Safari. I am in no way condemning nor Microsoft, or Apple in nechistoplotnosti, simply note the fact that there is a temptation to fight unfair.

I think even if everything is wrong and bad, it is still an abundance of technology will lead to razbrodu and vacillation. Some sites will not take banners in the format of Silverlight, and some, by contrast, in Flash. The war of formats has never been a pleasant time for users, and multimedia because the war between Microsoft, Adobe and Apple - excuse alert and prepare to wait unpleasant time.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Desktop extinct?

Thanks to the emergence and flourishing of a wide variety of web-services time and again began distributed to vote on that desktop software is doomed give way to services. So whether it? Let us think together ...

In general, the idea of complete dieback desktop software in favor of web-services is not new. It sounded more Bill Gates in his book "Road Ahead", written in far already, by the standards of the world information technology, in 1995. This book, incidentally, is itself a very interesting and deserves a separate discussion, but now I have mentioned it only to show that the idea is not new.

It should, however, specify what and how it should be to die off and why. Of course, not be able to die off for desktop operating systems "personalok" and browsers, which will be simply physically necessary to allow the user to interact with the web-services. Agree, all the advantages of AJAX and Web ends where the need begins in the browser. But, of course, the browser and operating system are not the only programs that survive in the fight against web-services, and therefore agree to even the most ardent opponents of desktop software. For example, I personally have little utility to imagine that, for example, controls the temperature of the processor or restore accidentally deleted files via the Internet. The same applies to the players (last.fm - is, of course, well, but not always), and some large applications (nu-ka try to move the same 3DS MAX on the web-platform!).

So it may not all so bleak? And services do not survive desktop software? Survive, but only from certain niches, not the most significant for desktop programs. The fact is that the advantages and disadvantages of web-services such that it can create the best applications for users, some crucial task once, rather than daily. Let us take an example, recently opened an online version of Adobe Photoshop and "big brother" of this service, sirech Photoshop desktop. The man who earlier had to install Photoshop, to wait until all of its plug-ins loaded, to make a more beautiful picture of its mother-in-law that he wants to place on the desktop, much more convenient to use the online service. There is nothing to download, install and worry about compatibility with other programs. Just downloaded a picture with a browser - and taunted over mother-in-law in his pleasure. It is quite another matter - a professional designer, whose Photoshop literally feeds. They are much more important does not depend on connections to the Internet and of how the server is down, at which the service is physically located. They need the opportunity to add plug-ins to perform certain actions over the images and be able to customize the program for your needs. Therefore, as you can see, Adobe and opened an online version of its graphical editor that service and desktop application does not compete with each other and complement and promote each other.

Another good example - e-mail. Now any self-respecting postal web-site has an interface to work with electronic correspondence. However, this is why something absolutely does not prevent pochtovikam evolve and grow, which many users around the world (including me). Email Program need to someone who leads an intense correspondence, the services of mailings and wants to know immediately of the receipt of new messages. Web-interface is more convenient to anyone who enjoys the mail occasionally.

Overall, I think, the progress of reasoning is clear. No AJAX 's not kill the speed and convenience of desktop applications that these parameters will always be on the head, and even a few above their online brethren. The truth, of course, the situation may well change in the event that replaced the AJAX comes some even more advanced technology for web-interface. In this case, with further development of broadband networks, of course, it is possible that certain types of applications finally leave the Web. Try to do this, the truth must all: and developers of new web-technology, and developers of browsers, and providers.

In general, if the long trend of development services, it might seem that sooner or later really office programs, pochtoviki and picture editors pereberutsya the Web. But this is unlikely to happen soon and generally unlikely to happen - will always exist, users who need it in desktop programs.

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IT-sector: passion for Yahoo

Some still call it "battle Titan", others are ironic "elephants fight." But it is obvious one: the relationship Yahoo and Microsoft did not move to the stage of "soap opera" - yet, rather, are continuing "Seventeen Moments of Spring".

Another journalist on 14 June influential New York Times Joe Nosera on the pages of his newspaper published an open letter addressed to head Yahoo Jerry Yangu. As stated Nosera, head of Internet corporations, "having made deals with the breakdown of Microsoft, not peck to benefit shareholders." In fact in America is not accepted that journalists similarly pointed businessmen, as behave - because Joe Nosera letter and received a response. Moreover, it is obvious that the journalist played in the team Orphanage and Yahoo co-owner Carl Ikana. But on that below.

Ironically say, but the accusations levelled against the current leadership on the pages of Yahoo New York Times, enough weight. First, in the opinion Nosery, the recent deal with Yahoo Google, which leads to the actual redistribution of Internet advertising market sharply not like the shareholders of both companies and will certainly attract the attention of American antitrust authorities.

The second accusation by a journalist became blatantly incorrect compensation plan with reduced staff, adopted by top management companies (the so-called "golden parachutes"), which is now being contested in court by several shareholders. According to Nosery, "even Adviser Yang called for compensation scheme adopted insane." He summarizes: "In the end, the company ceased to be a Yahoo" Jerry child "in 1996, when the exchange went on."

Incidentally, the "redistribution of advertising." The official Google blog reported that Yahoo now be used to demonstrate advertising in the U.S. and Canada technology Google AdSense. Companies signed the deal, in the view of some analysts, the potential to increase revenue from the Yahoo Internet advertising at $ 800 million a year. It is anticipated that already for the first 12 months of the agreement can bring from $ 250 to $ 450 million.

In truth, that the two largest Internet corporations are preparing an agreement on the actual redivision of the market became aware as early as April 2008 - then Google in a test order obtained the right to place contextual advertising on sites in Yahoo. But then the agreement affects only 3% of search queries, so they are causing particular concern to the antimonopoly authorities. Now, a few hours before the announcement of a new deal with Google, Yahoo finally ceased negotiations with Microsoft. Kevin Johnson, president of platforms and services division Microsoft, said on that occasion: "Unfortunately, Yahoo has chosen a different path and entered into an agreement that will allow Google to control more than 90% of the advertising market in search engines. This will make the market much less competitive." Who would have talked about competition ...

In passing became known, another curious fact. It turns out that Microsoft is in talks with Yahoo re-offered for search assets alone Internet portal billion dollars. Microsoft assumed by buying search Yahoo, the company invested $ 8 billion investment. This proposal is meant long-standing collaboration with Microsoft in the Yahoo Internet search.

Now the group of investors Yahoo, headed by Karl Ikanom, is preparing to shift the current Board of Directors of Internet Corporation for the shareholders meeting on August 1. Well, forward to continuing the show ...

Now on the other. President of Google, Eric Schmidt said in a recent interview that the search engine "has not yet been able to earn substantial sums on videoservise YouTube". Let me remind you that YouTube was bought by Google in 2006 for $ 1.65 billion. According to Schmidt, "the possibility of earnings on YouTube seems obvious, but Google so far has not found a suitable option monetization opportunities videoservisa. Of course, while Eric Schmidt did not fail to recall that end, Google is does not turn the whole and all of the money, and change the world. Monetization same - only the technology to pay for these changes.

However, it is worth recalling that Google has already implemented some time on YouTube its system of contextual advertising. But YouTube is already in March this year presented a system Insight. In particular, it allows advertisers to know how visitors find a clip, what time it looked likely, in what region the topic roller aroused most interest, etc.

Recurrent distress company Motorola plans to July 1, 2008 to lay off 150 of the 600 members of its research units - Motorola Labs. Another 180 workers Motorola Labs to be assigned to other divisions of the company. Top managers Motorola believe that the appointment will enable the reshuffle "to optimize investment in research and concentrate on the most important directions for the company, as well as help developers to collaborate with business partners." According to another version, ozvuchennoy in American media, the corporation plans to reduce staff at Motorola Labs 120 people, and the remaining 270 will deal with long-term projects, not tied to any single unit.

On a note that yet nowhere and never in the hi-tech industry decline in the state involved in research and development, not helped fix the company affairs. It is unlikely that it will help and Motorola. Incidentally, the reshuffling in the state of Motorola Labs was announced shortly after the Director of Strategy and Technology Rich Nottenburg left his post.

Let me remind you that on April 8 this year, Motorola announced the upcoming separation into two companies: the current deeply unprofitable unit for the production of cellular phones will become independent enterprise in 2009. In this way, it is anticipated to attract investment, presumably - Chinese (most likely from ZTE).

In 2007, the mobile unit market share fell from 23% to 13%, because of what Motorola had ceded second place in the market after Nokia company Samsung. Sales of mobile units in 2007 amounted to $ 19 billion that a third fewer indicators in 2006.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Popular on Artificial Intelligence

Continuation. Beginning here.

The series of materials on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Frankly say, your humble servant - practices. Therefore, from my point of view of the position of some opponents by allocating AI as something fundamental to the deep philosophical meaning and erroneous concept. This discipline is applied with established rules and concepts that are used everywhere. Intelligent systems and complexes designed for specific tasks - in particular, the complex technological and computational processes. With "youth" of this science… AI, cybernetics, information theory - almost peers, and many directions, we have discussed on the pages of IT publications, much younger. But all this is actually used in practice and is more or less settled.


For what does it need to introduce the notion of agents?

In the past, we considered the main material of theoretical calculations of agents - structural modules, which are in a certain environment and transform the results of their own perception of their own same effect. As indicated, the very notion of agents rather abstract, with different sources of their definition and classification before it is ambiguous. But in fact such a significant problem in the heterogeneity of opinion no. To describe the work of the same agent, you can use a standard form of submission to the formula:

from = f (x1,…, xn);

where y - so desired result / action (or results / actions), which is issued or made on Wednesday reported there or other agents;
f - abstract mathematical description of the functions of the agent, which specifically implemented the program;
x1,…, xn - received for processing data.

In fact, nothing in it is not complicated. The only thing that is important to understand - by agents may have a structural modules for various hierarchical levels from micro to macro. For example, some large program for multitasking user level (the same desktop Windows) can describe this formula, because it (the programme) exists within a certain environment, gets out of the necessary data, process them and produces the desired effect either displays the desired result. However, reducing hierarchical level, we can say that in relation to it its structural units are also agents. In turn, and they themselves can be razdrobit into separate functions, and almost… it will be too agents. In fact, the very notion quite convenient to use. This, incidentally, very close to the concept of obektnoorientirovannym models used in modern programming. Although often AI you can meet a similar term - agentnoorientirovannye system. In some academic works, you can find a description of what AI is the result of the interaction of many agents (their community) as autonomous, and semi. And if we are talking about artificial intelligence as an imitation of reasonable conduct and its hierarchical level, it implies an entire community of agents of various types, namely modules, collecting, filtering, processing incoming information, generating solutions, coordinating the joint action of all agents and t . e. That is, in the future under the agents, we will most likely involve precisely this level, that is, structural elements AI. But this… and artificial intelligence itself implies a similar abstraction. That is, on the one hand, we can talk as on the implementation of specific operations - for example, imitation of reasonable conduct at the level of "individual" (robot-driver, robot-vacuum cleaner, etc.) and on the management team of such individuals ( System-guard robots, robot researchers), etc. In those same computer games AI can be realized as at the level of individual characters-heroes, both in the management of the army, society, etc.

And most importantly, that should be understood in this matter: AI - is not just a program that in response to 2 х2 decision gives 4. This is the most primitive level. Under AI increasingly understood system that can produce solutions, often while under some uncertainty. And now it makes sense to look at the issue from several other party.


The main strategy of finding solutions

Let us consider a simple and understandable to everyone who works on a computer example - patience "Spider". In fact, when the first and subsequent layouts maps of stopok (except the last) player is in the framework of uncertainty and can not guarantee the correctness of their actions to achieve victory. But he chooses the most appropriate solutions, the first part of which may be successful at this particular moment, and the second gives process stock for the future. This game belongs to nondeterministic type, that is uncertain, implies a coincidence. In doing so, the same chess, checkers and other such games because they are well researched, often called deterministic. In fact, all this is very conditionally from the perspective not of modern computer programs and other world champions, and ordinary people. Especially those who are beginning to learn to play. In fact, without the knowledge and experience, they are in a situation full of uncertainty.

The founder of the theory of information Claude Shannon in 1951 wrote his first article on programming chess. And even then, he noted two key points: the best course theoretically exists, but find it almost impossible. Recall that this was 1951 - the year. And within his Labour Shannon had not seen their analysis of any practical significance, and meant purely theoretical interest. E-echo, these scientists. Rudolf Heinrich Hertz, transferring and receiving electromagnetic wave of wireless way, too, had not seen their experiences for something interesting to practice. It is now listening to the radio, watching TV, using multiple wireless devices, including mobile phones, humanity gratefully appreciates the realization of scientific and technological progress. And Claude Shannon… What is interesting his work on programming chess? The fact is that one of the main tasks is to develop a modern II solutions within the limited resources and processor capacity, while not always himself II is based on experience. In chess situation is like, because the whole Party calculate in advance practically impossible. At the hardware is not enough resources even for modern models of computers, and in early 50 - x last century there was no such prospect in principle, so Shannon withdrew two main strategy for better solutions, namely:

*** Full redundancy of all possible moves to a certain depth (under the depth means the number poluhodov get advance). In doing so, for analysis using a special evaluation function.
*** Allocation only interesting to deal with rows circumcision uninteresting branches.

The last option Shennonom seen as the best and the related human thinking. Although he actually takes place almost throughout the wildlife. For example, if a representative before a certain species is worth a certain goal, he selects only the best routes and actions to achieve it, he otmetaet unpromising. In doing so, in most cases, calculate everything and to advance (that is to guarantee the success of the selected branches) can not, so motion is phased with the expectation of further action at a certain depth. Agree that the situation is very similar to playing patience "Spider":). That is, when solved purely chess challenge, actually developed the first model of artificial intelligence as such. Incidentally, when we wrote about the "paper Turing machine", then not noted, but now say that his algorithms worked on the second principle, that is taken into account only the branches, including taking (this is called static or material assessment). In principle, in modern systems often used II and the third type of decision-making, which also has a direct relationship with nature, especially implies more or less reasonable beings. As noted by biologists, and even that often can be seen in the scientific and popular TV programs about animals, much passed from one individual to another by copying the behaviour, imitation.

As part of the basic areas of application of artificial intelligence are considered expert systems based on the same principle - knowledge transmitted from person-expert (physician, mathematics, physics, economist, etc.). They are structured and take the form of code. Besides writing such systems are not borne on the shoulders of the experts - their only objective is to transfer own experience. For making the entire programme specialist responsible forms on Artificial Intelligence - if translate this specialty in Russian - an engineer knowledge (knowledge engineer). Also this direction are now actively working in the field of computer games, since the NPC (improper heroes, or, in simple terms, artificial characters) should have their AI. And how this can be achieved best way? Correct! Repeat the actions of any player, using his experience. And on the substance of most of today's programmes and specialized software and hardware systems can be regarded as expert systems.


A few words about algorithms…

One of the main tasks is to assess programmers II algorithms embedded agents or their community, which essentially must meet three key requirements:

1. The quality of results.
2. Speed.
3. Optimality.

Under the first item should be understood to choose the most correct decision, minimizing errors that often occur not only through misused algorithms, but in complex cases, major tasks and solutions because of approksimirovaniya calculations (in simple terms - to simplify the calculations, that is the replacement of the main functions more simple, simplified). The second item - speed, if assigned to the program part - usually simply calculated by the number of operations performed. In doing so, the question you need to watch very carefully, to understand the essence of the calculations. We already have in the past material in this series example of the multiplication table. It can be stored in a database with pre-established results, and you can use the usual formula that is much more convenient and easier. Under optimal line need to understand the complexity of algorithmic models in relation to the requirements of the mission. In doing so, among the main goals attendant can speak both quality and speed, and sometimes - and compromise between them.

Here are concrete examples. First. For many years in student competitions land-autonomous robots IGVC, which we often write, the machine must pass along, limited white lines. Departure beyond their boundaries "awarded" punitive goggles, a little, then the robot can and does not return to the track. Decision simple - video, the selection of white, an indication of the programme "taboo". In doing so, in most cases, since such rules, teams was used approximation. That is the input images converted (streamlines) to a binary type, that is, they were only black and white. Thus, the time necessary to enter if… then. For complex tasks originally at the route before and bochonki / obstacles with white stripes, which are also handled by robots. But… pay attention to the ambiguity made simplification. Indeed, in the mode of shooting could happen kazusy that change lighting (cloudiness) or at some sections of the route will shadow area. That is the first to suffer the quality of decision-making. While some point to solve the problem became virtually everything, and the main point was the time achieving semifinal. Several years ago strips on obstacles replaced homogeneous, but colourful. But this is actually not much complicated the task, because the incoming images can also be simplified to 16 - or 256 - colored presentation. More complex autonomous robots being developed for military purposes, provided the machine, equipped with laser scanners to determine the obstacles and perceptions of landscape areas. If the machine itself much in size, the approximation applied to another. For example, small stone can not be a critical constraint, so it into account when formulating decisions are not taken. Example third. Three-dimensional worlds in computer games. The main - is that the user sees, respectively, to show 3D-objects. It is enough to realize algorithm that otchlenyaet visible part of the invisible, and, accordingly, processed (such as lighting, etc.) will be only what is necessary.

All these three cases show examples of optimality. In fact, programmers, designers, choosing an algorithm or set of algorithmic, often exist in some uncertainty. That is, in fact, find themselves in the position player in solitaires "Spider". By no means rare situation where the developer to write software that calculates a substantial and decisive major challenge, respectively, after the testing phase was found errors which manifested themselves in certain situations. What to do? Revised himself algorithm or to make the patch specifically for identified situations? Well, if quickly manage to solve first, but it is not always so easy, moreover, can lead to deterioration of the situation, because the new algorithm can occur with other errors. And more often if there is a small percentage of critical moments are patches for situations. This is very often the case in dealing with major challenges. Computer DeepBlue, wins at World Chess Champions… In its algorithmic basis of virtually no use human experience, except database endshpiley (conclusion parties). A key module for decision-making is a very complicated evaluation function that takes into account about six thousand chess-specific indicators. As a result, selected the most profitable branches, which are calculated with great extension. And in the testing with Deep Blue played a grandmaster, who followed the computer and identify points of miscalculation of the latest situation. When the error was found, met the staff developer, discussed the cause, then changed rates in the evaluation function.

To be continued...

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Headphones. Secrets of production at the factory example, K-3

Today, even the smallest in terms of quality headphones sound can give many forums "large". But how and by what they do? How and what do do headphones, which way they are doing before we get into the hands? These issues concern not one and not two of our readers.

In this paper we will try to provide answers to many questions related to the development and manufacture of headphones. Help us in this virtual visits to factories, which are created headphones K-3. There, and a look at subtleties and secrets of this process.


The birth of headphones

The first thing pointeresuemsya, where should you begin the process of developing a new model of headphones? It begins as if it may sound trite, with the development department. The main difference between a serious producer in China from the rest - is the existence of the department in charge of the development (R & D). And the more this department, the more seriously manufacturer refers to its products. Now many major Chinese steel producers to receive patents for their design, they have to protect their products. Well, while the remaining "producers" go to the exhibition with cameras and ruler or go to the nearest store and buy a headset brands and make them close copy. All we know and see how they can do it, and, most importantly, the quality of what is produced in the end! Indeed, most headphones models sold in stores - far from their own development. Knowledgeable buyer, an experienced eye looking at many models lying on the window, immediately understands that this "clone", immediately setting his "father".

What are the parameters and characteristics are taken into account when formulating headphones? Many will say that in the headphones most important is the quality of sound. And they are right, but only partly. Indeed, headphones escorted its owner everywhere, wherever he may go. And if you nekomfortno in headphones, you get the pleasure of listening to your favorite songs? Or, for example, you went on the trip, and you turn of wire? Familiar situation? That is why before create some new model of headphones, first determine for whom it is intended, and what it should be consumer properties. For example, headphones for active sports are likely to have improved vlagozaschischennymi and binding, that they do not drop down from your ears when running. A headphones for everyday use will be made most comfortable for hours of listening. Well, in models designed for those who value sound quality, will be used better dynamics and accessories that you heard what must hear, rather than noise and cod.

So, the model developed, what happens next? Once was coined and fully tested the new model, it begins its journey on the production. First, to the smelting machines fall asleep granulated plastic, to which add a little dye, which will depend color products.

Liquid filled in special plastic moulding and plastic parts are manufactured. Then check their overseers, and those that have passed inspection, sent to the assembly. And the fact that, less than control, sent to salvage, while the smaller factories - for recycling. Meanwhile, simultaneously with plastics make wires and dynamics, as well as the packaging. After all these components on the assembly line and collect headphones. Here each staff member (on assembly lines at most enterprises are working women) is responsible for its operation. For example: a headphone halves together in a single whole, the other decorative elements attached, if any, third pripaivaet connector to the wire, fourth pripaivaet wires to the dynamics, etc.

Along the lines of assembly and go overseers monitor the quality of the work. Controller can be distinguished from other workers on a white shirt. And finally, when the headphones are ready, before packing them selectively promiscuous and depth testing.

The next question: accessories such as loudspeakers purchased on the side or manufactured in one factory with headphones? Major manufacturers are doing everything themselves. A small buy-side components, although there are exceptions. So, many producers can afford the full production cycle, not to procure parts from third party manufacturers and not dependent on them that way. There is another reasonable question: What are the characteristics of different materials used in production?

If you see foreign matter in plastic or uneven color - hence, the producer saved to reduce the prices of raw materials in the manufacture or violated tehprotsess (for example, uses purified raw or poorly maintained recycling plastics). High-quality plastics should be homogeneous mass and colour. To wires not dropped and do not break ground in the biggest loads, their specially reinforced by additional elements and using larger diameter wires, and that the conductors do not "dubeli" on the cold, frost resistance insulation made from materials. Production of speakers - one of the most painstaking and important processes. Because of the quality of the dynamics directly affected the quality of what you hear. That is why this country is the most advanced equipment, and this site is being paid the most attention. And the resulting membranes so small and fragile that they do not always get even take in their hands, while not damaging. Automation today at every turn replaces rights. But in creating such small, simple and complex things simultaneously, as headphones, one oboydeshsya not automatics. What are the stages of automated production, but on what is being hand-assembled? Manual labor is mostly used during assembly and packaging, and all other processes are automated. At all headphones except that the cheapest models noname-we are accustomed to see the logo of the manufacturer as a minimum, though often on the body markings and other information. How did it get there? For causing the logo used a special form-harvesting, through which sprayed logo on the surface. To do this, apply paint resistance to abrasion, and what it would be better, the longer you keep your headphones logo producer.

Probably the latter, a serious question: Does taking any test of the strength of the final product (shock proof, the strength of wires in the gap, temperature regimes, etc.)? Yes, sure. From each batch is selected few copies that will be subjected to comprehensive tests: check the appearance, sound quality and availability of defects. Also check the strength of their wires and soldering connectors will be checked by the quality of all connections. And finally temperature chamber.


Conclusion

As you can see, the process of production headphones not as simple as it seems. And even such a simple, seemingly product is painstaking work of many workers who are working hard with you that our everyday life have become "musical". And perhaps, it is manufactured at the time you read this article through headphones will be some time in our shops display cases and may, in your ears.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

IT-sector: Practical Magic

How do you think, than even engaged in IT-business figures during the summer, except that count profits in the first half and identifies with the plans for a second? Correct: they evaluate the prospects of markets. And these prospects, I should say, look quite tempting.

The company Vanson Bourne conducted a study during which revealed that 79% of mobile subscribers in Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.S. would invest in advertising messages, if the very mobile e-mail-service became free. 62% of the respondents admitted that interested in the opportunities of mobile e-mail-services - even though they themselves have not yet enjoyed. 58% of users stated that tried to use new services, if they were free. For comparison: test services, on the advice of a friend agreed to only 5% of the respondents. In doing so, 98% of users admitted that did not use any service because of its high price. This study has shown interest to users of a new generation of services and their tolerance for mobile advertising.

Meanwhile, the firm The 451 Group issued a report, which experts believe Google raskoshelitsya at $ 10.5 billion to buy the company and Salesforce.com. Google has recently concluded an agreement with Salesforce.com, in which the vendor million paid subscribers have been able to use free online office applications package of Google Apps. That is, trade organizations, marketing groups and support groups can now use the Salesforce.com platform with such products Google, as e-mail, Internet voice pager, calendar, word processor, spreadsheet and tools for building Web pages. But analysts believe that this treaty will bring Google does not bode well, since staff Salesforce.com has no incentive to move Google Apps. The report notes that companies pay employees for selling software Salesforce.com, but they did not encouraged for the realization of third-party products. And in order to control the channel of distributive Salesforce.com, Google's need to monitor very firm. At least, experts hold that opinion. Analysts also calculated in what amount can do Google buying Salesforce.com. Given that Salesforce.com market capitalization is $ 8.5 billion, a top search giant will pay 23% of this amount as income from shares, the total of Google will have to lay out the company for $ 10.5 billion With this purchase Google eventually will receive a platform that will help the company compete not only with Microsoft Office, but also with products for content management, intellectual resources and other business decisions.

As the study showed companies Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Norway and Great Britain in the cost of Internet advertising in terms of one user was the highest. For example, spending on Internet advertising in terms of one Norwegian, using the Internet amounted to 133 euros and one British - 121 euros. In Denmark the figure is 110 euros. According to the study, spending on Internet advertising in terms of one Internet user in the European Union average 81 euros. For comparison: the figure for the U.S. equals 92 euros. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe, the budget Internet advertising in Europe in 2007 increased by almost 40% over 2006 and totaled $ 11.2 billion The rate of growth of advertising spending in Europe were higher than in the United States. In the United States, spending on Internet advertising increased by 26% to $ 14.5 billion Of the total budget of the European Internet advertising accounted for 34.2% UK, 22.3% more - to Germany. France spent 8.9%. Increased advertising costs attributable to the increasing penetration of broadband Internet access. In Britain to the network through high-speed channel has already connected 57% of residents, and for the Netherlands and Norway the figure is 70-80%.

The magazine Elektronik Tidingen reported that a meeting of representatives of some companies HTC and Sony Ericsson was cancelled due to the fact that the parties are "in the process of merging". This sensational information has not received formal confirmation, but this possibility is considered very seriously by experts. Indeed, Sony Ericsson and HTC have a very strong link in the person of gadget Xperia X1, which produces exactly the Taiwanese company. HTC is considered a recognized expert on the production of smartphones running Windows Mobile. Recently, due to weakening growth in the world economy and the strengthening of the euro profit Swedish-Japanese company has declined considerably. At the same time, the situation is complicated by the desire to Sony Ericsson to expand market share company. With mixed results: while this has led to a drop in the average cost of phones, but Sony Ericsson, on the basis I lost a quarter of its fourth place in the world ranking producers phones, giving his LG.

The Russian hi-tech sector the main news in recent weeks has become AFK "System", announced a reshuffling in the leadership of the MTS. As President Leonid Melamed, MTS replaced Mikhail Shamolin, previously head of Business Unit "MTS Russia". Melamed was able to achieve the goals set for ITT - in particular, to increase the capitalization of $ 20 billion At the time of his departure cellular operator market value was $ 35 billion Mikhail Shamolin will implement new projects. In particular, ITT announced the launch of 3G network in St. Petersburg. In the near future is also expected to launch 3G in Kazan, Sochi and Ekaterinburg. Perhaps these initiatives will increase ARPU subscribers and increase the share of MTS on revenues in the Russian market. By the way, after the departure of MTS, Leonid Melamed went on improving and won the office of President of AFK "system". However, the highest rate of growth at the juncture of spring and summer demonstrated the Rambler. A week shares in the company rose by 6.5% growth for two weeks amounted to almost 25%. Shares Rambler continue to rise against the backdrop of rumours about the IPO "Yandex".

It would be difficult to ignore the social networking market. The increase their popularity is obvious: for example, in a recent report "The state of mobile internet" from Opera Software says that about 40% of all traffic mobile Internet traffic accounted for social networks. However, increasing detected and their systemic deficiencies. Obviously, part of an international audience, at first attacked on the ability of social networks, experiencing fatigue and frustration. A typical example - the recent top shortcomings of social networks, issued the largest U.S. computer magazine PC World. According to the version PC World, the main drawback of social networks - "syndrome sets": you can not decide what kind of social network to use it, so recorded in several. This leads to the fact that every day he spends too much time to read the messages from different networks, which in turn negatively affects the learning, work and personal life and eventually oppresses and annoying user. A second drawback - "useless application", which, as noted in the publication, especially a lot of online Facebook. The user pays too much attention to them, which also leads to loss of time, but also increases the risk of contracting computer viruses. At the third line "rating shortcomings" - too complex interface. Not all social networks easy to understand, and not all users on the fly capture the principle of their work. At the fourth spot - spam coming from unknown, engraved in friends, and the actual advertisements. At the fifth - the need to communicate with strangers and maloznakomymi people. The sixth - the dissemination of pornography. At the seventh - poorly developed mobile interface. At the eighth - the abundance of boring business of social networks - such as LinkedIn. At the ninth - terrible design of most networks. At the tenth - the possibility of viruses and worms.

The company Novell reported its findings in II quarter of 2008 fiscal year (ended on 30 April). Reported revenues of one of the largest suppliers of Linux operating systems for the reporting period amounted to $ 236 million This is slightly higher than in II quarter of 2007 fiscal year ($ 232 million). Now the company's profit amounted to approximately $ 5.9 million, while Novell year earlier loss of $ 2.9 million Novell said that quarterly revenues from sales of public companies platforms (Open Platform Solutions) for the year grew by 31% and reached $ 30 million And $ 29 million of that amount came on sales of OS Linux. Decisions in the field of security in II quarter of fiscal year 2008 brought Novell $ 31 million revenue, up 13% above last year's figure. Finally, revenue from sales of Novell products for managing systems and resources amounted to $ 41 million, which is 15% higher than for the II quarter of 2007 fiscal year. According to the projections of analysts Novell, as a whole in the 2008 fiscal year, the company expects to receive proceeds in the amount of $ 940 to $ 970 million.

If you think that Yahoo and Microsoft calmed down on each other, then do not think: it seems, here we see a lot more interesting. The fact is that U.S. antitrust authorities allowed neposedlivomu billionaire Carl Ikanu Yahoo to acquire shares amounting to $ 1.5 billion Thus, now owned by Ikanu shares of Internet corporations is $ 2.5 billion The next step on his part (this has already announced) will attempt to overthrow the board of directors Yahoo. Buy tickets for the show! Until the court case yes, Yahoo is trying to break into the Russian Internet market by buying one of the local players. In recent weeks delegation American corporation talks with Russian search engine and investors. One of the most probable sites of interest Yahoo experts called "Yandex". In the assessment of market participants, the minimum value "Yandex" - $ 1 billion Managers estimate the company in its $ 5 billion Here, the truth is worth recalling that Google took three years to enter the Russia market. In doing so, Google has opened the Russian representative office, nobody is buying. The company prefers to develop fundamentally through organic growth and buys only small development company.

Apple revises its production plans. "Fruit Company" has already made adjustments to the work of their suppliers involved in assembling players and computers. Namely: the first is prescribed to increase production and reduce - the second. In Cupertino decided that there should be more than 15% increase production players iPod, that will provide summarily 35 - percentage increase in quarterly sales of these devices. In doing so, increase mostly affected the budgetary iPod shuffle and nano, but "tachpodov", conversely, would be collected less. Now difficult to say why the company had made such a step on the model iPod touch. Maybe this could be related to the launch of a new generation of communicators iPhone. Later, his form factor will be applied in the new generation iPod touch, which is expected to launch in autumn. Now the Cupertino begins to reduce the current production models, so that by September not to be in position when approaching a new model and beaten by old warehouses. As for PCs, in this quarter "Makov" will be produced by about 15% less, but this is due to the increased pace I assembly in the quarter that allowed us to create the necessary margin machines. And in early June, Apple began a new promokampaniyu to advance educational sales of computers Mac, which, according to Senior Vice President Ron Johnson company, will become the largest in its history. As part of the annual stock sales to advance educational and training institutions, students can acquire the appropriate model Mac (MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro) and get a free player iPod. According to the forecasts of online publications AppleInsider, this year Apple Mac buyers can provide a free iPod touch, because the cost of promotional player increases from year to year: in 2005 and 2006, these were iPod mini and 2 GB iPod nano worth $ 179 in 2007 - iPod nano 4 GB ($ 199). This year's list of shareholders be reinforced with new Mac laptop MacBook Air.

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