Monday, August 18, 2008

Steve Jobs is sick is not known what.

Something inexplicable happening recently with IT-giant Apple. On the one hand, a number of excellent products sold and the most financially successful quarter in the company's history, on the other - the collapse of shares and Steve Jobs mysterious disease. Try to understand.

Initially, Apple announced financial outcome for the III quarter of fiscal 2008 (ended June 28). During this period, the company increased profits by more than 30%, while revenue was $ 7.46 billion (For comparison: a year ago for the same period this amount is equivalent to $ 5.41 billion) 42% profit company received from international sales. Compared with last year, profits from sales of Macintosh PC family grew by 43%: Apple Mac shipments increased to a record 2,496,000 units (it is 41% more than in the III quarter of 2007 - go). Growth in PC sales nearly tripled Apple was higher than that, in general, for the industry. It was also sold more than 11 million players iPod - which means growth in sales and profits by 12% and 7%, respectively, compared with the same period a year ago.

In the ensuing interview, Steve Jobs described last quarter, the best in the history of Apple. According to the permanent leader "apple company, the success of the new iPhone 3G help further strengthen the leadership of Apple. A projected financial director Peter Oppenheymera Apple, the company earnings in the IV quarter is $ 7.8 billion

Also, Steve Jobs said: "We are now completing the establishment of several new products, which are fired in the next few months." Nevertheless, the market reacted to record a record 10% Apple - by the collapse of the company's shares. Much of the reason this has become a very unhealthy view of the Steve Dzhobsa and persistent rumours about his poor state of health. I recall that back in October 2003 Dzhobsu diagnosed cancer of the pancreas, and in 2004 - m tumor removed. But in June this year, Steve Jobs appeared in public very pohudevshim, and this has given rise to rumours about the new disease.

Even more confusion has made himself head of Apple in late July, when the journalist personally telephoned the newspaper The New York Times Joe Nosere and by placing a condition not record the conversation, told him about their health. According to the journalist, "the disease is not deadly, and it certainly is not cancer. At the same time, this is not an" ordinary disease ", which in June said representatives of Apple".

Note that more about the health of all other holders of the shares Dzhobsa worry Apple. The reason is simple: the company has no clear plan for the transfer of leadership and Jobs not yet appointed a successor, as recently happened at Microsoft, where Bill Gates quietly replaced Steve Ballmer.

Regarding announced Dzhobsom technical innovations, it is believed the Internet publication AppleInsider, it most likely is a new mobile PCs, which will be held in their construction no less significant changes than memorable passage from PowerPC processors to Intel in 2006 . I recall that now MacBook laptops and MacBook Pro are based on processors and chipsets platform Intel Santa Rosa, that is, on the same components as other PC manufacturers. But the next generation of desktops and notebooks Apple will no longer use the chipset Intel, although they still will be installed central processors Intel. Accordingly, the new MacBook and MacBook Pro will not appear Intel Centrino platform 2.

As they say specialists, the company Apple, preparing for the entry of an extremely thin and light notebooks like the MacBook Air, Intel chipsets are no longer satisfied in terms of energy consumption and low productivity due to embedded graphics controller.

In the view of most consulting companies in the coming years, financial indicators Apple will steadily increase. Among the main reasons for the success of Apple - the reliability of the operating system Mac OS X, the value of the PC Macintosh, comparable to Windows-computers, as well as consumers' apparent dissatisfaction with OS Windows Vista.

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IT-sector: the eve of the great Affairs

That's about, August 1, must allow extending from the beginning of spring conflict between the owners of the shares and top managers Yahoo. However, the historic meeting of shareholders will take place only on the day following the release of this issue newspapers, so that your humble servant can only clarify the placement of forces before the event.

The second-largest shareholder of Yahoo Gordon Crawford could not support the current leaders of companies in the forthcoming elections board of directors. According to the American media, Crawford dissatisfied with the actions of Roy Bostoka Yahoo chairman and CEO of Jerry Yang. In doing so, Capital Research and Management owns one of the largest blocks of shares of Yahoo - 6,5%.

And earlier this week Yahoo reported that the online music store Yahoo Music Store closes with music servers, protected from copying technology DRM. As stated in a press release, all servers will be closed, starting in September 2008. As a result, users will no longer be able to listen to songs with DRM, acquired earlier in the Yahoo Music Store.

Other news: Yahoo will soon launch a new version of its social bookmarking service Delicious. The developers of the project told the official blog that Delicious 2.0 almost ready for launch: service will be available to users in the near future. Work on the new version was about six months.

Now everything else. Intel Corporation has reduced the cost of several models of two-and quad processors for desktops and servers at 11-31%. In particular, have become cheaper dual-core processor Core 2 Duo E7200 2,53 GHz (at 15%, from $ 133 mark to $ 113), E8400 3 GHz (by 11%, from $ 183 to $ 163) and E8500 3,16 GHz (by 31% , With $ 266 to $ 183). All these chips are manufactured on 45 nm technology. Also at 14% - up to $ 193 - a popular price fell Xeon processor Core 2 Quad Q6600 for custom systems.

Regarding the server processor Xeon, they are also cheaper: Quad-X3210 (2,13 GHz) and X3220 (2,4 GHz) faces now at 12% less - $ 198 instead of $ 224 earlier. Dual Xeon E3110 (also based on 45 - nm technology) fell by 11% - up to $ 167. All new prices apply to wholesale parties - from 1000 processors.

In analytical company Gabriel Consulting Group believe that Intel reduces prices, trying to "podchistit" stocks - simply get rid of these chips before they withdraw from production. Incidentally, the previous large-scale decline in prices occurred in April this year: whereas the prices of various models of chips were reduced by 12-50%.

Microsoft Corporation wants to buy the company DATAllegro - developer of corporate data storage systems. DATAllegro central office is located in the town of Aliso Viejo, California. Conditions will not be disclosed, but it is known that most of the employees will remain at their posts.

According to most analysts, the purchase DATAllegro - part of Microsoft strategy for the development of data-points and reducing the cost of their services. Unlike most other manufacturers of data storage systems that specialize in volume arrays 1-25 TB, DATAllegro develops products, capacity reaches several hundreds of terabytes. Accordingly, among clients - large factories and enterprises, retail sales network and supermarkets, telecommunication companies, banks.

DATAllegro Executive Director Stuart Frost in his commentary notes that now hardware-software complex DATAllegro, using components production EMC, Cisco, Intel, Dell and Ingres, a technology integration with Microsoft SQL Server. The result should see the light one of the strongest solutions in the market of corporate data storage systems.

The company Motorola radically reorganize one of its key units. As part of the unit Motorola Home & Networks Mobility will be created three structural units, whose staff will specialize in corporate systems, broadband access level of customer devices and equipment for mobile communication networks. In the press release states that "such a reorganization will help Motorola strengthen its positions in the market, more fully realize the potential business growth and, ultimately, to increase profits."

This is not the first restructuring of IT-American giant. In 2009, Motorola expects to complete reorganization of business in the field of mobile phones. It is expected that production will be transferred ringtones independent subsidiary company - perhaps as a strategic investor will speak Chinese ZTE. The very same Motorola will focus on equipment for cable and wireless networks. According to recently published statistics company Digitimes Research, today at the market share of Motorola ringtones is 7.3%. That is, the company retreated to fifth place in the ranking of manufacturers of cellular phones, skip forward Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson.

Manual Google decided not to acquire a social news site The cause of derailment transaction informally referred to as technical problems - they surfaced in the study site specialists Google. According to another version, the decision to abandon the purchase was made top managers after Google personal communication with the leadership of I recall that a couple of weeks ago, Google was ready to pay for approximately $ 200 million

In Germany, Munich court sentenced the former head of the telecommunications unit of Siemens Reinhard Sekacheka to two years' deprivation of liberty and a fine of 108 thousand euros. The judges felt that it was responsible for Sekachek "corrupt business component of Siemens - that he held talks with officials in different countries and gave them bribes, receiving the most favorable for the company contracts.

The case of corruption in the German concern has long stretches, but the sentence in it - first. As demonstrated own investigation Siemens, for a total of bribe officials spent about 1.3 billion euros. For this concern, even in special funds were established bribes. Of these, Siemens has paid millions of euro cabinet ministers and other high-ranking officials in Russia, Nigeria and Libya - were both won contracts to supply these countries in telecommunications equipment.

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This strange second quarter

The world's leading IT-company together published their reports on the work in II quarter of this year. Reports really impressed by your humble servant. And in the first place - its contradictory. As if single market trends disappeared altogether, and famous brands operate on the principle of "those in the forest who firewood".

The most dramatic situation is from the producers of mobile devices. Initially, the company Nokia announced that the results of its work in II quarter of 2008 were "generally positive". The company sent a retailer 122 million phones - a 21% more than in II quarter of 2007, and by 6% more than in the current quarter I. According to experts the company, Nokia now controls about 40% of the world market - a 2% higher than a year earlier, and by 1% more than the quarter ago. In general, there is steady growth - without breakthroughs and derogations. In doing so, a Finnish company, despite the pressure of competitors, has managed to retain positions in Europe, where it sold 27.1 million phones - exactly the same as a year earlier. And the most significant growth (42%) for the quarter, as before, demonstrated the Asia-Pacific region - the biggest market for the products of Nokia. Problem zone for North America remained Nokia, but where things go well: sales grew by 9.8% compared with the II quarter in 2007

In turn, the company LG in the second quarter of exhaust also not bad. As a result of the reporting period (ended June 30, 2008) sales company LG in the world market grew by 22.1% to $ 12534 billion profit from sales reached $ 843 million in II quarter of 2008, the most significant growth in sales showed unit Mobile Communications. Compared with the same period last year, unit sales of mobile communications increased by 34.3%, which brought the company $ 3788 billion profit from product sales units increased to 13.9%. In the sphere of implementation of mobile phones increases profits amounted to 14.4%. The volume of shipments of mobile phones reached a record, as a whole totaled 27.7 million units. In doing so, the main market for these products is North America, Middle Asia, CIS, Central and South America. Thus, by the end of second quarter revenue from the sale of mobile phones amounted to $ 3695 billion, which is 38.6% higher than the previous year. Sales Digital Appliance unit for the year increased by 4.9% to $ 3721 billion Digital Display unit sales increased by 37.2% to $ 3683 billion Regarding the previous quarter profit from sales in this segment remained positive, amounting to $ 37.4 million As a result of the reporting period increased sales ploskopanelnyh televisions, LCD televisions (86%), plasma televisions (31%) compared with the previous year. Sales of plasma displays increased by 22%. Digital Media Company demonstrates not so high rates of growth of sales volumes, due to seasonal decline in activity. Sales in this segment for the year declined by 2.1% to $ 1201 billion Nevertheless, thanks to optimize operating costs and profit margin rose to $ 12.8 million

But Sony Ericsson has already lost: II quarter results were disappointing. In II quarter Sony Ericsson sold 24.4 million phones, which is 9.4% lower than the results of the quarter II in 2007 Accordingly, revenues declined and net profit fell catastrophically. Losses amounted to 2 million euros, although for the same period last year, the company earned 315 million euros. By its own figures Sony Ericsson, its market share after the II quarter of this year did not exceed 8%. As President Dick Komiyama Sony Ericsson, the company plans to annually save 300 million euros operating expenses. And the effect of the measures taken will appear in about a year. These measures - especially the reduction of 2000 jobs worldwide. It turns out that each company dismissed its sixth employee.

Do Internet companies are also cases in different ways. eBay said that profit company in II quarter was $ 460 million - a 22% higher than the figures for the same period last year. Revenues eBay increased by 20%, to $ 2.20 billion online store has also published a report on performance in II quarter of this year. In the period from April to June inclusive Amazon company received income of $ 4.06 billion This is 41% higher than in the second quarter of fiscal year 2007, when the Internet-shop revenue was $ 2.89 billion net profit for the reporting period reached $ 158 million For comparison: a year earlier online store has received $ 78 million Thus, for the year quarterly profit growth of 102% Financial results in II quarter exceeded analysts' forecasts. Experts believed that Internet shopping will receive profit of 26 cents per share, with revenue of $ 3.96 billion quarterly sales of multimedia products including CD-ROMs and DVD for the year grew by 31%, reaching $ 2.41 billion revenue Sales of electronics and other goods grew by 58% - to $ 1.53 billion Despite the economic crisis, sales at North American market in the second quarter increased by 35%, reaching $ 2.17 billion forecast of analysts, Online bookstore revenues in the III quarter range from $ 4.20 to $ 4.43 billion (an increase of 29% to 36% compared with the third quarter of fiscal year 2007). In general, as expected, revenue for fiscal year 2008 will reach $ 19.35 - $ 20.10 billion

But quarterly financial results announced by the corporation Google, disappointed analysts. Promotions company once cheaper by 8%. Analysts believe that this is a direct consequence of slowing growth in advertising market. Net profit company on the basis of the quarter for the year increased by 35%, reaching $ 1.25 billion But I quarter profit was higher - $ 1.31 billion total revenue as the company was $ 5.37 billion, an increase over the year by 39%, and for the quarter - up 3%. In doing so, Google have their own websites Internet companies $ 3.53 billion - 2 / 3 total revenue. For the year the figure rose by 42%. According to the financiers of Google, the financial indicators were worse than expected consequence of low returns on investment funds free Google - a total of $ 12.7 billion this

The second quarter of this year proved highly successful for Intel. For the year revenues corporations increased by 9%, reaching $ 9.5 billion as a result rates Intel at $ 150 million surpassed analysts' forecasts. A corporation's net profit grew by 25% to $ 1.6 billion while Intel Shares went up by at 2.3%, their value reached $ 20.94 per piece.

But perhaps the main outcome quarter II: global PC shipments grew much faster than expected. According to IDC experts and Gartner, this primarily contributed to the unusually high demand for PCs in emerging markets (Asia, Africa) and falling prices of computers in the United States and Western Europe. In the report Gartner argued that the world's supply of PCs grew by 16% compared with the situation a year ago and amounted to 71.9 million units. Expected growth in the same 11.2%. The firm IDC, which uses a different method of tracking sales, reports that deliveries increased by 15.3% compared with the previous year and reached 70.6 million PCs. The growth occurs primarily through increasing the volume of deliveries in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and growth in the number of computers (especially laptops) at home users. And company IDC, and Gartner named the world market leader PK corporation Hewlett-Packard. The share of NR in the world market remained the same as a year ago - 18.1%. However, the increase of sales through retail stores, adopted by the leadership of Dell earlier in the year, helped the company № 2 to consolidate their positions. In II quarter deliveries Dell grew by 22%, while growth in shipments from HP amounted to 17%. As a result, Dell increased its market share from 14.8% a year ago to 15.6% now. In the world's top five leaders of the PC market also includes Taiwanese Acer, Lenovo Chinese and the Japanese Toshiba - each with a share of less than 10% of the market. Apple Company on a global scale, took sixth position in the market but the U.S. holds third place with a share of 7.8%.

IT-sector: drop top

It happens does! July 21, Yahoo leadership suddenly found a common language with its principal enemy and leading shareholder - Carl Ikanom (he owned nearly 5% corporation).

August 1 by a general meeting of shareholders Yahoo, which will be decided by fate companies, and especially the fate of its top managers. The new distribution of powers is as follows. Eight of the nine-member board of directors will be re-run to their seats. Among them are the ideologists of Yahoo, which we know - the chairman of the board of directors Roy Bostok гендиректор and Jerry Yang. Not only will run Robert Kotik - he goes to rest. At the same time, the board of directors will expand to 11 seats. One of them takes himself Karl Ikan. Another two will be given to people from the list Ikana. This means that "the faction Ikana" will receive about 27% of votes in decision-making. Sam Ikan pay these three places its stake votes - he would support the current board of directors at the shareholders meeting. This impression that the conflict "ustakanilsya". Jerry Yang has already stated that the struggle for the management of the company behind, and Yahoo will be able to continue to adhere to the strategy, under which it is the "entry point" for every Internet user. Carl Ikan, in turn, thanked for what he will be allowed to enter to the board and help the company fully disclose its potential. He still believes that the sale of Yahoo or part of at least worthy of discussion, but now he shares the view of the board of directors at Yahoo as a unique blend of valuable assets. Let me remind you that Karl Ikan since May urged other shareholders to remove directors Yahoo and resume negotiations on sale of search engine company Microsoft. Hiccup represented the interests of a number of investors and even drew up the list of directors that it proposes to replace the shareholders' meeting on August 1, current leaders. Meanwhile, sources close to the Board of Directors of Yahoo, did not see the point in compromises with Ikanom. Even more recently leadership Internet companies accused Karl Ikana that he intended purely short-term goal - profit on the difference in value of securities Yahoo before and after the possible sale of the business corporation Microsoft. The rest Ikana, as asserted executive director of Yahoo Jerry Yang, simply do not care. Still, Karl and Ikan suffered a significant defeat in mid-July, when it became aware of the intention of one of the major investors Yahoo - the company Legg Mason - to support the company's current board. At the disposal of Legg Mason - 4,4% of the total number of shares of Yahoo. And what Microsoft? And Microsoft, seems to be completely "flies". Incidentally, Yahoo's net profit in the I half of this year grew at 2.2 times - to $673.4 million ($302.9 million for the same period last year). Revenue grew by 7% - from $3.37 billion for the I semester of 2007 - up to $3.62 billion in the current year. Operating profit was $221.1 million, which is 47% less than the figure I semester in 2007 Financial figures as the first half as a whole and II quarter were below analysts' forecasts. The very same company appreciates the ongoing financial results, calling the cause earnings growth to choose the right strategy.

Now everything else. Analytical company IDC presented a very interesting market research results neproprietarnogo (ie free) software. According to experts, the spread of software products, open-source can be organized in profitable business model. The study describes the strategy of making a profit from the spread of various businesses open software. According to IDC, the majority of software companies that promote proprietary software, generate 63% of profits from sales and 30% of the service. The remaining portion of the minimum is for sale, third-party developers and computer components. The basic income (59%), distributors of open software products depends on user subscriptions, giving the right to use the product and service. In fact, 10 out of 21 respondents thus receive 100% of income. Also, the study showed that on average 80% of income generated by open source vendors directly to the company, without the participation of partners. The largest such companies receive revenue in the U.S. - 62%, to European countries accounted for only 23% of total profits.

Events and telecom industry figures, as usual, impressive. I begin with troubled Motorola. Current data on sales of the company had not yet been published, but analysts hastened to assume that LG has been able ahead of American companies in II quarter of 2008 and as a result of gaining a foothold in third place - after Nokia and Samsung. That forecast, in particular, have made analysts Macquarie Group Ltd. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. Given that Sony Ericsson will is not very far from LG (24,4 million phones sold), we can assume that, following II quarter, and Motorola could prove to the fifth spot. And Motorola filed a lawsuit against its former executive director. Michael Fenger - currently Vice President of Sales Apple iPhone - is accused of violating a contract where he had no right to cooperate with competing organizations. According to Motorola, former employee of the company received several million dollars in cash and securities in exchange for agreement not to accede to competitors within two years. Also Fengera blamed for disclosure of commercial secrets. Fenger accepted the offer Apple less than a month after the departure of Motorola and peremanil, according to company proxies, two more managers with access to confidential information. Apple representatives refused to comment on events; itself Fengerom also can not be contacted. Meanwhile, Motorola requires a judicial ban on Fengera in Apple within two years and the return of stock options granted to former executive director of the company.

Revenue is one of the world's largest cellular operators British Vodafone Group I quarter for the 2008-2009 fiscal year amounted to 12.35 billion euros, while the previous year stood at 10.37 billion euros. This is stated in the published financial report the company. In doing so, company earnings in Europe for the reporting quarter amounted to 9.02 billion euros - growth of 15.5% as compared to similar indicator for I quarter of fiscal year 2007-2008. These findings coincided with the expectations of analysts. The company connects the successful financial performance during the reporting period, in particular, with increasing profitability of their operations in emerging markets and stable profitability in Europe. I recall that net profit Vodafone on the basis of 2007-2008 fiscal year amounted to 8.49 billion euros. Vodafone Group - one of the world's largest telecommunications companies. It works in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the USA. The number of subscribers of Vodafone is more than 240 million people.

The company Logitech - known manufacturer of small-scale computer peripherals (mice, keyboards, Web cameras, etc.) - reported the results of the work in I quarter 2009 fiscal year (ended on June 30). Logitech Revenue for the period from April to June was $509 million This is 18% higher than during the same period of fiscal year 2008 - when the company received $430 million revenue. Logitech Operating profit for the year grew by 24%, reaching a mark in the $30 million against $24 million a year earlier. Net profit in the Logitech I quarter 2009 fiscal year was $29 million (the year before the company received $26 million). Logitech stresses that for the year quarterly sales of products grew by 20% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 10% - on the American market, and by 41% - in the Asian region. The company Logitech, in particular, noted good demand for multifunctional Harmony remote controls and informative devices.

Despite the economic recession, the spectacle in America are still in demand. As I half of this year sales volume Blu-ray discs in the U.S. increased compared to the first half of last year by 300%. In just half a year Americans spent discs Blu-ray $200 million But overall sales of optical discs in the U.S. for the first 6 months of this year declined by polprotsenta to $6.17 billion In doing so, the cost of rental disks Americans in the first half of 2008 - the first increase at the same polprotsenta, reaching the sum of $3.97 billion first reported that in I quarter of this year sales of Blu-ray discs in the U.S. increased by 351% over the same period last year. The total market for home video in the U.S. during the first three months of this year amounted to $5.5 billion

And finally - on the gaming industry. Playing Wii system eventually became the console sold in the U.S.. In June, Nintendo sold 666,700 console, a total of 10.9 million dollars realized Wii, which enabled Xbox 360 console ahead in this region. According to statistics, in June the most successful portable gaming system has proved to Nintendo DS (783.000 consoles sold). Wii is in second place, while three leading interconnects with the result of PlayStation 3 console sold 405,500. Moreover, Americans purchased more than 337 thousand PSP, nearly 220 thousand Xbox 360, as well as about 189 thousand PlayStation 2. High PS3 sale due to the successes Action Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. New game studio Kojima Productions dispersed in the U.S. circulation of 774,600 copies, taking first place in the list of most projects sold June. The second place was portable simulator Guitar Guitar Hero: On Tour (422.300 copies) for the DS, and took third position Ninja Gaiden II (372.700 copies) for Xbox 360. Total revenues in June of the game industry in the U.S. amounted to $1.69 billion, which is 53% more than managed to earn over the same time period a year ago. Of these, $615 million (54% more than last year) had sales of consoles. More than $872 million (a 61% increase last year's performance) was able to earn on sales of games and all kinds of accessories brought $202 million (25% more than last year). NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier notes that the game industry revenues continue to grow despite the continuing economic crisis. She is convinced that even if this growth will slow further, in 2008 still will be a record for the gaming industry. It is estimated that the total revenue of all companies should make more than $22 billion

Year really good: for example, a division of Microsoft, responsible for gaming console Xbox, the first time been able to make a profit on the basis of which ended June 30 fiscal year. Previously managed to achieve success only in some quarters, for example, when the sale came from a series shooter Halo. In the fiscal year ended unit Entertainment & Devices, which is also responsible for moving the Media Player and Zune line projects Games for Windows, has been able to make a profit of $426 million Yet since 2001, when Microsoft entered the market for gaming consoles, the company incurred losses annually . Last year the unit lost $1.9 billion in early June, Head of Unit Entertainment & Devices Robbie Bach has already predicted the positive outcome of the year. It connects the Xbox 360 success with such projects known as Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV, despite the fact that the latter virtually no impact on sales of the console. Microsoft representatives also reported that worldwide has already sold more than 20 million Xbox 360. Let me remind you that this console is now in second place in a race current generation consoles, yielding substantially implemented by the number of Wii console. Third place took a PlayStation 3, which is gradually beginning to catch up Xbox 360.

Meanwhile, Sony hopes in the coming years ahead of competitors, increasing sales volume PlayStation 3 to 150 million units. The Director-General of Sony Computer Entertainment Kaz Hirai said that first-generation PlayStation sales reached 102 million pieces since the advent of stations in the market in 1994. Over 9 years old market presence PlayStation 2 company sold 140 million copies. Hirano hopes that the PlayStation 3 significantly surpass its predecessor. Analysts company JupiterResearch meanwhile reminded that in the past from Sony was not strong competitors such as Nintendo. Two-generation PlayStation kept the leading position in the market that was impressive result. Sony unlikely to again dominate the market of gaming consoles - the question is whether the company potesnit Nintendo. Representatives of Sony, in turn, recognize that the company was too early to make a bet on technology Blue-ray: its slow spread adversely affected the sales of PlayStation. Another reason for declining popularity console Sony is seen in the lack of bright gaming portfolio at the time of emergence of PlayStation 3.

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The current arrangement and…

If we take any particular artist, then you will notice that growing up with his creative and further growth appears certain charm. Professionalism. The same can be attributed to the industry as a whole, that is the same western show-business is a professional, and as a fact of production not only profitable but also eksportosposobna if impose such a notion. There are a layer of issues that are constantly. Answer them are in many ways, because modern high level of creative skill sometimes directly linked to perceptions of technological and professional mentality. If not as high-, today we mostly talk at the level of practical experience. So, startuem. The current arrangement…

… And work with timbre

If we talk about modern music, the tembralnom plan should always avoid secondary. Yes, you purchased a new synthesizer or program, the bank bought samples or something else, but that does not mean that everything must be purchased to use in its pure form. Because as, first, you're not the only ones who will do the same, secondly, all these sounds can be considered as raw material, the original billets for further action. Collecting arrangement of them should not be. Many will argue, but it is in reality - depends on the arrangement closely timbre of each instrument. For example, if it is not saturated, although modern, energy is produced emptiness that must be something to fill. Therefore, very often it is possible to meet the situation where arranger understands that something is missing, and begins to add other elements, sometimes in unison, that somehow "zazhirnit" sound. This Heard immediately. With much more usefully, you can spend time on the processing of basic timbre, its saturation. In this case, gains obtained through transparency and sound energy picture.

Many wondered how this tool to better use? In fact, all you have on hand, just have to notice. To cite a specific example. Around 2005 - m I ordered arrangement for savers and substrates for computer game-style techno-trance, that is bright, rhythmic music and dance. I did. After this, showing the work of one of the friends confronted with the obvious question: What software was used? I replied: Native Instruments Absynth. "As Absynth!? I vrubal it - there is something brutal-doleful! "To have people listen to standard banks, to be supplied with the program and concluded, without even having considered the very structure and architecture for the proposed work directly with the synthesis. And Absynth beneficial so that he can give a small own "a colour" standard sounds, that is, you can get something quite unique. Of course, I was not surprised the further course of the conversation thinking, because he delivered the key: "Could you give your bank for free or for a small amount?" Actually, no, this is business.

However, I once until this very helped work on firms engaged in production of libraries loop 's and individual samples. To them it was business, too, and do you say, selection is made very critical. If timbre, musical or rhythmic phrase is not swinging, they just are not taken. Incidentally, there is also an interesting moment in the use of banks samples. The point is that they are preparing for sale, respectively, there are even some semblance of mastering, and audio snippet itself is produced as the finished product. That is a huge part of such material can be used for the homemade music, but in a professional production is not always. For example, in 2003 - I m, again, did Bank of sounds for computer games. It was a lot of voice characters. The real work was, as usual, cheerfully, though traditionally. For example, a large military robot steps were nothing but a huge pops razdolbannoy iron door, to actually speak directly if, lockable toilet near the radio station where I then worked. But the sound - is something, and it even had little or no handle. After received an order for the preparation of several rhythmic loop 's. Where to get a unique bass-keg? Let's remember this sample, loop was formed, sent and accepted. But he did not entered the assembly, as events have gone on to another destination. The company gave otslushat unedited material in several studios, and one of them interested repurchase of my loop 'but with exclusive rights. And they asked not ready to use version, posemplovuyu with a technical description (rhythmic grid, processing, etc.). That is, pay attention to what they needed was not finished product. And indeed, use it quite problematic.

Painstaking work with regard to sound and normal instrumental parts. Guitars, bass, etc. should sound tight, transparent, to a certain mood. I will not talk platitudes that sound you need to rebuild, qualitatively match kombiki, classrooms, effects processors, not to mention the starting material, that is the very tool. Separately worth mentioning about the symphony arrangements. With the proliferation of semplernyh technologies and the emergence of professional sound banks recorded famous philharmonic orchestras and collectives, at first glance may seem that the situation has improved. But it was not there. A huge amount of work is more zagromozhdeniem, lack of naturalness, etc., they lose much options with a professional record of live orchestras. Transparent arrangements can be counted on the fingers, often seen Street use tools. The classic example that I have not once led - template reverb premises in concert programmes with Convolution type functions Waves IR-1, etc. But those same orchestras for movies and games are written not in concert halls, and in special studios. Concert halls are designed to another. The second point is the shortage of time and resources, and sometimes - and simply knowledge for quality orchestrations technical way. For example, in 2006 - close to me m development team ordered three symphonic composer of the track from Peter. That, of course, download your favorite Vienna Symphonic Library and issued two days already finished songs. In melodic terms of standard, that is, and that required, but the orchestration… and her voice ... For comparison took several branded soundtrack, and the quality of strikingly different. And customers themselves, because not associated with zvukoindustriey could not understand what's wrong, and thus clearly explained. Seek advice. I responded directly and that the wrong done than, of course, could offend the very composer. But he was not to display sanctimoniousness, the more that much work and studied for my articles including. I took one multitrek songs, began to do with some redistribution of optimization tools. As a result, about 70% (figure surprising, but it was) information has been removed for catches. Namely the most part, these overlapping tracks and so on. For example, the same lot a lot of violins played with different manner, the result is a porridge. The completeness of the composite picture has become not achieved mass, a literate arrangements. Song voice, has acquired many additional tembralnyh melodious and paints. Naturally, the sound of each instrument brought to the ideal, and there was no blunt use of raw samples. After that, based on the composer himself received example dodelal other tracks and, incidentally, now produces very good work, collaborating with several companies. Although, given his initial reaction to criticism from customers, which is: "What do you want, this is not a live orchestra!" - A way was not promising.

This, incidentally, one of the few examples where everything was seen normally. There have been other cases. Suffice it to recall in 2001 and an invitation to one session then known pianist, besides playing in pop orchestra and certainly exposed stellar disease. It was to write a piano party. I closed its eyes to pop a lot of supposedly "jazz" cliches, something vs. main theme. Rather, it had to turn a blind eye because this was a good musician friends producer collective. Naturally, the use of such material I have not anticipated. But we specifically to fall out with an audible on issues. I do not accept plastic sound of live instruments, to abound virtually all mid-level Synthesis and Sampler (recall: He was in 2001). Of course, if this does not apply. As a result, I have asked all the usual play on the piano than, as it turned out, humiliated. The question in the same professional mentality. That is why from the musician-it was obvious that the sound he understands the issues better, but not your humble servant, who was not otherwise who, as director of sound, sound producer. Besides, he obviously has not heard plastics in timbre, which was evident. In principle, there are examples of such great many - sometimes even comes to that musicians seek other guitars, etc. The fact is that the composition and quality will stick sounds including their fullness, of course, energy. This should not talk about the one-day music, which becomes fashionable only because epatazha and forcing a massive rotation. And how important sounds - so you can see on TV include some Russian women's series. What is and what they are doing the music for them, remains the only guess.
Ongoing: modern arrangement…

… And experiments

In creativity needed to be free. Of course, there are purely experimental subkulturnye musical direction, but the experiments can be conducted and in the commercial arts. These elements formed the distinctive characteristics of manufactured products, which certainly works in the plus. This may be literally in all respects: melodious course, individual parties, the same sound, sound combinations, etc. Plays an important role and tools, often have ideas come from the obvious, which most often simply ignore. A classic example - Cher song "Believe", in which avtotyuner used, it is then used in the famous operatic arias from the film "Fifth Element", and after it and did well, lazy not used. Now, including TV, you can hear the song Kylie Minogue "Wow", which is also based on a technical effect wow, but rather simply use wheel pitch, which is provided in any synthesizer. Made nice - think soon you will hear many similar arrangements in the secondary market. That is, apart from the fact that you have some interesting technical element, it is important to its quality and maximize available to teach. Such experiments necessarily needed. For example, his experience can say that there are many different songs, which were in force odnodnevkami standardness arrangements. Do not stick, and all! When there is frankly gray material that will leave only through technical solutions.
And finally - modern arrangement…

… And kept

When the music playback implied the possibility of monotochki, and the main criteria for assessing the quality of Phonograms only formed, the special issues and how would not arise. Breathing, volume, the movement created only musical techniques. At the current level technologies allow other means to create a feeling of space. And this applies not only to search for unique sounds, sound combinations, but also directly own information. The Movement emphasizes, among other things, and change the balance between instruments, their shift in space. That is now writing a simple arrangement is not enough - you need to see how everything will be combined and how to put in the voluminous submission. Even the stereo is still not exhausted its possibilities. For example, you can take the fall for any soundtrack for the film or computer game (in these areas are now concentrated most powerful professionals), listen to how he sounds, then draw from mono and stereo to listen again. What disappeared in the first place? You can list: dynamics, space, transparency, part of motion, then there are all key elements. Even more: we have largely mono televisions reproduce, find the same clips in digital standard, which is present stereo. Compare the feeling.

And in this case there are two mistakes. First, perhaps even a mistake and was not as well done deliberately - is preparing a mono recording. This can be found even in the phonograms with major world stars, although such albums dullish tried fairly, quickly priedayutsya, but clips loud:). The second mistake - made stereo, but when playing in mono main elements of songs - such as soliruyuschie vocals and instruments - are lost. In fact, needed a golden middle. So, if there is no skill in this matter, at the initial level recommended stereo, and then listen to what the picture is produced when plyusovanii channels in mono. Also see how it is done in company records. But stereovariant must be, because it is more comfortable for listening and beautiful.

In conclusion

Finally, it makes sense to say about the professional mentality. As part of this article does not imply a level of school holidays, days of harvest, reporting Philharmonic concerts and so on. We are talking about export products that require a certain approach and appropriate packaging. Why is something we considered for selected products, while high-quality foreign products purchased by our fellow citizens with the same pleasure. Looking at all, young professionals can create the sensation that musical career peak occurs when the entire country would begin to sing your songs nezateylivye "on the pope". In general, this is an erroneous sense, wrong.

The second point… In fact, your humble servant at a lot of music not to work, even taking into account cooperation with foreign counterparts and major projects. Why? Pay attention to how much is licensed WaveLab, products from Native Instruments, and so forth, and all will understand. A different approach "there" do not understand. This is also part of the professional mentality.

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Popular on AI

It seems that after reading materials of previous series appearance of artificial intelligence as something sverhrazumnogo, powerful and not committing several errors and began to lose poblek pink paint, inspired by fiction. All Man. Even more, not quite as it might seem at first glance. For example, a recent National Geographic on the program in a series of "whether there is life on Mars" or something similar. Despite the predictability of total povestvuemogo, accidentally sounded like an interesting phrase. Suppose the robot landed on Mars, but how he can determine if there is life? Indeed: but in general, think of whether at least some sensors to conduct such an analysis, finding objects endowed metabolism (ie metabolism)? "I find, but you tell me what to seek, and how to do it".

Even more, with modern approaches to the formation AI to realize such a system is unrealistic, because he could not independently group of the many components of previously unknown objects or, in other words, images, which is closer to our perception of nature. However, there are options that we discuss in the following materials series, and today continue the theme.

Unexpected costs

Of course, the hardware power of modern computers are already quite large - at least, too many programmers working on the creation of standard applications on a high-level languages, has rarely think about the so-called "vylizyvanii" code. And why, if everything works? But when we talk about programming AI, the question of optimization is still quite severe. For example, before the material we discussed A * algorithm - finding ways to the grid, which is often used in games, especially the old generation. It showed its most primitive form, and let's think: what such a complex, it may appear? Why is it necessary optimization? In fact, in practical terms is often criticized for it, because time is spent precious expensive.


When introducing the same *- A search is crucial distance which must be overcome artificial character to achieve the goal. What is more, the calculations become more labour. And this is only what is obvious on the surface. A search *- addition, there are many different algorithms that are much more complicated in structure, but their calls for modernity. Same ogibanie obstacles, navigation can occur in different ways, especially if these obstacles are various forms, etc. These algorithms, we will consider in detail in the following materials series. It should take into account the fact that, besides finding ways is parallel to many other calculations.


There are a number of contingencies that may arise dynamically. For example, follow the path chosen, but within the virtual environment is moved not one character, and several, respectively, are possible clashes between them. How do in this case? At the old methodology when such a situation the way calculations are carried out anew, taking into account that taken by other virtual entity cell is perceived as an obstacle. That is, apart from the static information on the status of the virtual world, you need to be dynamic, to analyze the changes that are occurring there. It must be some semblance of sensory system. Games we take as an example because there are many practical problems solved, which are applicable in other areas - for example, in the same autonomous robots, control systems, etc. Although many consider usually AI in the same games "popsovym" option for such a serious science, in fact, if analyze all engines and algorithms, which invented and invented variant of this application, it can sometimes be found dramatic model. But, in principle, talk of "popsovosti" have a reasonable way. For example, the games have a substantial and significant simplification: finding ways is always informed. That is improper data environment originally known characters, few of the designers AI could be the same description of the very special environment as a model site with the placement of points for each change of route maps, which makes the task of further trivial. But there are more complex algorithmic scheme, in which behavior is modeled completely independently of a particular card. That is an artificial character appears in the same position as a player. This is the highest pilotazh.

As you understand, algorithms for calculating the optimal movements very expensive, and among the many tasks AI is a designer and limiting the number of treated adequate information so that the task was performed, but the extra computing is not made. It's quite difficult to observe in some cases, because within the cell surrounding space must follow the many additional parameters that pre-emergence of certain situations. Of course, one can impose restrictions as part of a "sight", that is not to the entire world, but for a small area around… In general, everything depends on the mission.

The third…

Increased computing power of modern PCs and greatly expanded the range of complicated tasks. For example, in those same games virtual worlds have become more and diverse. In fact, the A *- search, an example which we have in the material before, works for 2D, although modern game already three-dimensional space. And now there is a direction to explore exactly 2D-algorithms that are regarded as a simplified version of 3D. It would seem that may be trivial, it added yet another axis, and all. But that's not quite right. In fact, very often for the full implementation of three-dimensional need to seek new solutions, implying another level of complexity. 2D-solutions are often "nanizyvayutsya" in 3D, and here, incidentally, at one time was very correct terminology corrected with the introduction of the notion of 2,5 D is precisely in such cases. Good or bad - the answer is generated, and basically it depends on the emergence of a fully operational decisions. For example, 2,5 D can justify the fact that virtual worlds have gravity, and this implies gravitation 3D to 2D.
Go further…

The fourth…

When we talk about navigation systems for improper artificial characters within the same virtual worlds, often imply some samples - for example, human behaviour. And very often faced with such descriptions as part of the initial phase of language requirements AI, along with light systems analysis, analysis that is the platform where everything is done. But when we looked at searches in the material before this series, it was clear that "machine" all you need to explain at the rudimentary level - in fact, begin to think how it to us to create the necessary emulation of conduct.
But the difference between itself and our "engine" principled thinking. It is expressed in even the differences of perception and its continuity discreteness. There are other differences. In short, the main problem is that how would neither beautifully described AI for games, most artificial characters in them in human terms behave abnormally, and even more so - irrationally. Not to mention critical bug passing through walls, etc. In military strategies computer management armies predictably, and this is the future development of military technology. After all, not without purpose is introduced Americans overall command architecture management Unmanned robot JAUS, while the Europeans - its analogue CIP. And if you think that the developers AI engaged in games something fundamentally different than the developers AI for military industry, then you are mistaken. In this case, there are gaps that have yet to fill, and the modern algorithms are not ideal.

The fifth…

I think that to "in-fifths" already need to complete the transfers, and then you become boring to read:). There are two types of conduct algorythmization: fully programmed with the virtual absence of intellectual and II. Earlier in the games, robots, etc. inclined to the first option except for the use of primitive agents, based on reactions and, if necessary, random-regimes. Our search for more A *- closer to it. But then began to come to a full realization II. And the main stumbling block was the option TOUGH algorithms (as we have previously used the phrase "quality algorithm", which implies a similar criterion). That is an algorithm should work in all situations regardless of where it was originally designed. For example, in the same race student IGVC, in which autonomous robots were to travel on the route, limited white lines with a certain number of obstacles, initially to get only one semifinal. Thus, the speed of the task of waste to second place. In modern games you can find many bugs related to the inadequate situation improper behavior of characters, AI computer opponent, etc. And by the way, this is good because both examples do not need to go far, they are obvious, you can see them. Reliability algorithm achieved large enough efforts both at the stages of its planning and design, both in the implementation and testing. That is the same with the development of games "otkatyvat" AI need at all levels that are available. However, experienced a variety of tests - is an integral part of any complex technical development.

Bridge completion

The euphoria surrounding AI vitaet mostly around his abstract, rather than applied, reflection. Accordingly, specialists in this matter continually manoeuvres between the maximum and minimum abstract submission tasks, the main objective - Emulation rational behaviour with a high degree of reliability, implemented by mathematical methods. It should be noted that much hardware power of modern PCs slightly discourage developers, and it is. But…

This cycle of materials though the name has enough light "on the Popular AI", has one major drawback. Namely: he could not likened the same series of books on programming "for Dummies", which does not teach the core notion of expression-oriented (oriented expressiveness) not only about writing code, but the algorithmic and implementation. In AI precisely this point is very important. As an example, one can say that in those same books on the subject (AI) much more attention being paid to evaluate algorithms, recursive functions and so forth, that is rarely deployed described in the literature for programmers. And all this against the backdrop of a different terminology.

To be continued.

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