Over a third of companies now use AI in some way

A new survey from Gartner has revealed that the number of organisations implementing artificial intelligence (AI) has grown by 270 per cent in the past four years and tripled in the past year.

The results from the firm’s 2019 CIO Survey showed that organisations across all industries have begun to use AI in a variety of applications but still struggle with finding talented workers in the field.

Research Vice President at Gartner, Chris Howard provided further insight on the findings of the survey, saying:

“Four years ago, AI implementation was rare, only 10 per cent of survey respondents reported that their organisations had deployed AI or would do so shortly. For 2019, that number has leapt to 37 per cent — a 270 per cent increase in four years. If you are a CIO and your organisation doesn’t use AI, chances are high that your competitors do and this should be a concern.” 

AI deployment

The deployment of AI has tripled during the past year rising from 25 per cent in 2018 to 37 per cent today. This massive increase is a result of the fact that AI capabilities have matured significantly and now businesses are more willing to implement the technology.

CIOs have come to the realisation that digital transformation and task automation go hand in hand. AI has  now become an integral part of organisation’s digital strategy and the technology is already used in a variety of applications.

Gartner’s survey shows that 52 per cent of telcoms deploy chatbots and 38 per cent of healthcare providers rely on computer-assisted diagnostics. Fraud prevention and consumer fragmentation are other operational use cases for AI.

As more organisations work with AI, the more difficult it becomes to deploy the technology with 54 per cent of respondents to a Gartner Research Circle Survey citing the skills shortage as the biggest challenge facing their organisation.

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Motorola Razr V4: what we want to see

The Motorola Razr range was iconic in the days before smartphones and it could soon be a big deal once again, as a new entry – which might be called the Motorola Razr V4 – is heavily rumored.

But unlike the old models this is unlikely to be a feature phone, rather, the Razr V4 is tipped to be a full-fledged smartphone, and more than that, it will probably fold. However, it might also cost an awful lot of money, so you might want to get saving.

In the meantime, here’s everything we’ve heard about the Motorola Razr 2019 so far, along with a wish list of what we want from it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A foldable reboot of the Razr range
  • When is it out? Possibly February
  • What will it cost? Maybe around $1,500 (roughly £1,170, AU$2,010)

Motorola Razr V4 release date and price

The Motorola Razr V4 could be available as soon as February. At least, that’s what a report in The Wall Street Journal says, adding that the phone is still in testing (as of mid-January) and the release timing isn’t final yet and could change.

Still, if it does arrive in February then MWC 2019, which kicks of on February 25, might be when we’ll see it, as lots of phones are likely to be announced there.

As for what it will cost, the same report says to expect a starting price of roughly $1,500 (around £1,170, AU$2,010). That would make it far more expensive than most phones, but that’s not surprising given that it’s rumored to have a foldable screen.

Expect the new Motorola Razr to be a lot more modern (and a lot more expensive)

Expect the new Motorola Razr to be a lot more modern (and a lot more expensive)

It also sounds like Motorola and parent company Lenovo aren’t expecting the Razr 2019 to be a mainstream device, with the report also saying that only around 200,000 units are likely to be made, and that in the US it’s a Verizon exclusive. 

It’s not clear whether or not the phone will be sold outside the US.

Motorola Razr V4 news and rumors

The main thing we’ve heard about the Motorola Razr V4 is that it will have a foldable screen. The first hint of that came from Lenovo’s CEO Yang Yuanqing, who, during MWC 2018, said: “With the new technology, particularly foldable screens, I think you will see more and more innovation on our smartphone design.

“So hopefully what you just described [the Motorola Razr brand] will be developed or realized very soon.”

Much more recently, a report suggested that the Motorola Razr V4 would be high-end and have a foldable screen.

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Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)
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Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)
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Credit: Mobielkopen

Credit: Mobielkopen
(Image: © Mobielkopen)

We’ve also seen patents pointing to a foldable screen. You can see images from the older patent above and the newer one below, but they both point to a clamshell design with a foldable display. 

However, while the older one shows a large hinge and seemingly a gap between the two display halves, the other, newer patent (found by 91mobiles) shows a truly foldable display.

There’s still a hinge, but this isn’t as visible when looking at the screen. This one also appears to have a smaller secondary display on the back of the phone. That makes some sense, as otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see a screen unless the phone was fully unfolded. The newer patent also shows a notch at the top of the screen.

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Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles
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Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles
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Credit: 91mobiles

Credit: 91mobiles

The back also contains what looks to be a single-lens camera above the smaller display, and a fingerprint scanner on the lower section.

There’s no guarantee that either of these patents show an accurate picture of the Motorola Razr V4, but we’d expect a clamshell design, since that’s what the original Razr range had.

What we want to see

Rumors about the Motorola Razr V4 are starting to roll in but we don’t know much yet, so we’ve come up with a list of what we hope it offers.

1. A great design

One of the reasons the Motorola Razr range was so popular was because of its slim, stylish design. Of course, the old models like the Motorola Razr V3, are dated now, but we’d like to see the spirit of the design carried on for the Razr V4, but in a more modern form. We want a slim, futuristic handset.

The good news is that if the screen really does fold then it should at least be futuristic, though it might not be all that slim when folded shut.

2. Genuinely useful flexibility

There’s a worry that early foldable screens could be little more than a gimmick, but we hope that’s not the case with the Motorola Razr V4. Hopefully, the company will find a way to make it feel genuinely useful.

If Motorola successfully makes a screen that can change from phone to tablet size without feeling awkward then that would be a good start.

3. Flagship specs

Any foldable phone is inevitably going to be expensive and rumors specifically suggest that the Razr 2019 will be pricey.

So we really want to get our money’s worth, by not just getting a foldable screen but also specs that can compete with the best of 2019’s upcoming flagships, like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11.

We want the Razr V4 to be able to compete with the latest flagships

We want the Razr V4 to be able to compete with the latest flagships

4. A long-lasting battery

We want all of our phones to have decent battery life, but this is of particular concern with foldable phones, as the larger screens could be a big drain.

So hopefully there will be an appropriately large battery in the Motorola Razr V4 to keep it going through the day and beyond.

5. A palatable price

Early rumors suggest this will be one very expensive phone, and we’d expect it to be too, since foldable screens are a new, likely pricey feature. However, for these devices to have remotely mainstream appeal the cost is going to need to be pushed down.

That probably won’t happen until the second or third generation of foldable devices, but it would be a nice surprise if Motorola (which is known in part for offering great value handsets) manages to make an affordable one on the first attempt.

6. Near stock Android with foldable features

One thing we love about most current Moto phones is that they use a version of Android that’s had little done to it, ensuring the software is polished, easily approachable and typically quick to get updated.

We hope the same is true for the Motorola Razr V4. Or at least, for the most part. What we would like to see though are some software features that help you get the most out of the foldable screen. We’re not sure what those would be, but hopefully that’s something Motorola has given some thought to.

7. A sharp, durable screen

Being foldable is one thing, but we don’t want that to be the only thing the Razr V4’s screen has going for it. We’d also like it to be a sharp, high-quality panel. And for it to be durable, because it’s going to need to be if it’s constantly being folded.

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Digital retailers are selling movies at bargain prices this week

What better way to shake off those January blues than by staying sat down in front of the TV like you were going to do anyway? 

The UK’s first ever Mega Movie Week is underway, with a seven-day celebration of cinema across a variety of digital retailers, all offering select discounts on hundreds of different titles.

That covers everything from action blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Fallout or John Wick, to comedies The Spy Who Dumped Me and Deadpool 2, to gripping dramas like The Revenant, Hidden Figures, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Many are discounted to only £1.99 or £2.99, while some services are also discounting seasons of TV series like the Sopranas to only £6.99 – or Season 7 of Game of Thrones for £11.99.

The sale only lasts until Sunday January 27, so you have only a number of days to buy those movies you’ve been eyeing up at such low prices.

Teamwork

The confirmed retailers are Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes, Sky Store, Rakuten TV, BT TV, PlayStation Store, Xbox, and Chili – though the selection of movies is slightly restricted by the distributors on board. Those are HBO, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony, StudioCanal, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros. (To be fair, that’s a lot to be getting on with.)

Each site is running its own price cuts, so you may well get better deals in some places over others. But whichever your go-to is, there’s a big helping of savings to be had.

Mega Movie Week runs January 21-27, exclusively in the UK.

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UK hit with 30m cyberattacks in just three months

Almost 30m cyberattacks were carried out in the UK during Q4 2018 according to new research from the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

Cybercriminals favoured web browsers as their primary method for spreading malicious programs in the UK and the firm detected and defended against over 12.1m different cyber threats between October and December of last year.

Overall, 16 per cent of those who used Kaspersky Security Next products were attacked by web-based threats which the company helped defend them from.

The number of attacks that occurred in the UK puts the country in 125th place worldwide when it comes to how dangerous it is to surf the web.

Local threats

While web-based threats were high local threats were more prevalent with Kaspersky Lab stopping more than 17.5m during Q4 2018 placing the UK 138th in the world.

Additionally the number of incidents caused by servers hosted reached 11.2m, putting the UK at sixth place worldwide.

The most common tactics used by cybercriminals to carry out attacks via browsers were implementing infections that exploited vulnerabilities in browsers and their plug-ins and social engineering.

When it came to local infection statistics, Kaspersky Lab found that worms and file viruses were used for the majority of such incidents.

  • We’ve also highlighted the best antivirus to help protect you from the latest cyber threats

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Spotify toys with block button for your least favorite artists

Spotify appears to have launched a new block feature for its users, allowing them to prevent certain artists and bands from playing when shuffling their Spotify library or listening to curated playlists.

Select users are able to click on the “…” menu by an artist’s name, and select “Don’t play this artist”, stopping their tracks from playing in Discover Weekly playlists, Daily Mixes, or national and global music charts.

Thurrott first spotted the new feature, which has appeared on a number of seemingly random user accounts – Spotify’s usual practice for trialing a new feature before it rolls it out on a larger scale.

There’s no official word on the feature, though, so this may be one software feature that never makes it to the wider market.

Guilty displeasures

Subscribers to the music streaming service have long called for a way to stop their least favorite bands popping up during otherwise joyful playlists – both to protect their ears and to stop financing artists they don’t want to support.

Even if it would benefit the user experience, though, there could well be pushback from artists who find themselves losing streams on popular playlists – say, if the global userbase decided to cull Ed Sheeran every time he popped up in the top singles chart.

Whether your pet hate is Justin Bieber, or you don’t think you should be listening to R. Kelly anymore, the new feature is sure to be a boon to those wanting more control over their music. That is, if Spotify grants it to the rest of us…

Via SlashGear

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How To Download Music From Spotify

Spotify is one of the biggest streaming services in the world, and not only allows you to listen to millions of tracks on the go, it also lets you download music for offline listening too. This service is available to Spotify premium customers for £9.99 per month, and the app is available on iOS, Android, Mac and PC.

Have a look at our guide to the best music streaming services of 2019.

How to download music from Spotify: Download Spotify and get Spotify Premium

If you’re looking to get Spotify, you can grab it for free from their website. Alternatively you can grab it for free on the Play Store if you’re on Android or the App Store if you’ve got an iOS device.

Once you’ve downloaded the app or installed the program, you can freely use Spotify. However, if you’re looking to legally download music from Spotify, you should subscribe to Spotify Premium. You can trial the service free for 30 days, and then start paying the £9.99 subscription charge per month afterwards.

Once you’ve got Premium, you’ll be able to download and listen to music offline. We’ll go through the desktop and mobile platform. Also read: Spotify Free vs Premium.

How to download music from Spotify: Listen offline on desktop

On your Mac or PC, sign into your account and navigate to your playlists or library.

If you’ve not added music yet, simply find some songs you like and right-click on them to add them to your library or playlist. Alternatively, press on the small three dots next to the right-hand side of the song, in order to be given the option to add it.

How to download music from Spotify - Desktop

Navigate to your library and playlist and you’ll be able to see a toggle to listen to the songs offline: ‘Available Offline’.

Once you toggle the option, Spotify will make those songs available offline, where it downloads the songs and enables you to listen to them whenever you want. You’ll be able to see the songs being downloaded with a circular symbol indicating the download process. Once it’s complete, it will be replaced by a downward-facing green arrow.

Finally, if you want to force Spotify to go offline, navigate to File at the top left-hand side of the program and click on the ‘Offline Mode’ option. 

Also read: Deezer vs Spotify vs Tidal vs Amazon Prime Music vs Apple Music comparison.

How to download music from Spotify: Listen offline on iOS and Android

Once you’ve downloaded the app, make sure you’re initially connected to the internet.

Within the app navigate to a song you like or an album and you’ll see the ‘Download’ toggle at the top of the playlist. Once you select the option, you’ll be able to download your songs.

Remember you’ll need to have Spotify Premium for this service and that you’ll initially need internet connectivity. If you’re using the service over cellular, make sure you’ve got enough data to support your downloads.

How to download music from Spotify - App

Once you’ve downloaded the songs you wish to listen to offline, you can enable Offline mode by navigating to your settings, which is found on the left-hand menu. 

Toggle ‘Offline’ at the top of the settings menu and you’ll then be able to listen to your downloaded songs no matter if you’re connected to the internet or not.

Remember that downloading songs can take up your smartphone’s storage space, so ensure you’ve got enough before downloading multiple albums.

How to download music from Spotify - Offline

Read next: Best cloud storage services 2018 UK.


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SoundMagic E11C review

SoundMagic is well-known for making some of the best cheap headphones you can buy, but are the E11C in-ears up to the task? Here’s our full review.

Price

Although the E10 headphones were a very reasonable £34.99, the E11C are a little more expensive at £49.99/$49.99. They’re available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

But that justifiable considering the upgrades you get, namely an in-line control.

Scraping in at just under £50$50, might not make them the cheapest of headphones but if you can stretch your budget then you’re unlikely to regret it.

If you really can’t stretch the you can opt for the regular E11, which don’t have the in-line control. They’re £10/$10 cheaper.

SoundMagic E11C in-line control

Design & Build

When comparing the E11C to their predecessors, a fair bit has changed in this department. The tweaks are individually quite small, but some are significant.

For starters, the E11C in-ears are only available in one colour option – it’s the silver you see in our photos or nothing. They look nice, but with four colours previously (albeit not as stylish and grown up), it’s a shame if this style isn’t to your taste.

SoundMagic E11C jack

Other changes include an angled jack – somewhere between straight and 90 degrees – and they don’t have small coloured plastic bits to indicate which is left and right. This wouldn’t look as nice, so now you’re best off remembering that the in-line control is on the left.

Speaking of which, the in-line control is the biggest design upgrade. It’s got a microphone and three buttons for volume and playback. It’s annoying when an in-line control only works with some phones but the E11C’s controls work seamlessly with iOS or Android.

Build quality is decent with machined aluminum housings for the earbuds and a 1.2m silver-plated copper cable that has an anti-tangle design. It really works, too.

SoundMagic E11C case

You get a basic but solid case to carry them in. The only thing we’re a little disappointed by is the small selection of tips. You just get small, medium and large when SoundMagic often provides more, including dual-flanged options.

With the right tips, you should find the E11C comfortable for long periods of listening. Unlike some rivals, the earbuds are compact and lightweight.

Sound Quality

Despite being so small and light, SoundMagic manages to fit large 10mm Neodymium drivers into the E11C headphones. We’ll accept the basic selection of tips considering the upgrade in sound.

Once again, the E11Cs have solid bass and treble without overly favouring one or the other. This is what we found with the E10 earphones and means they will suit a lot of music and listeners.

The sound quality is better though, with a lot more clarity and dynamics. For once, the manufacturer’s description sums them up very well – “Balanced, accurate sound with rich bass and extended clarity” says SoundMagic.

SoundMagic E11C headphones

Just about every aspect of the headphones sounds great, whether it’s detail, soundstage or otherwise. Bass is warm and tight and the top-end is bright, but the mid-range is more forward than previously giving vocals more prominence in the mix.

These are grown-up sounding headphones that are versatile, with sound punching above the price tag.

Verdict

They might be a little more expensive than the older E10 headphones, but the E11C are worth the extra money. And you can buy a cheaper version if you need to.

Not only are these in-ears more stylish, they come with an in-line control and mic that works with both iOS and Android. We also find them comfortable due to the compact and lightweight design. The anti-tangle cable is a boon, too.

A basic set of tips is a shame, but we don’t mind too much considering the upgrade in sound quality. The E11C headphones sound amazing for a pair so affordable, with a more dynamic and powerful sound that’s still balanced and considered making them very versatile.

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