Never Too Old to Code: Meet the 82-Year-Old App-Maker

Never Too Old to Code: Meet the 82-Year-Old App-Maker

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Masako Wakamiya is one of the world’s oldest iPhone app developers
  • She asked software developers to come up with more for the elderly
  • Wakamiya learned the basics of coding and developed ‘Hinadan’

When 82-year-old Masako Wakamiya first began working she still used an abacus for maths – today she is one of the world’s oldest iPhone app developers, a trailblazer in making smartphones accessible for the elderly.

Frustrated by the lack of interest from the tech industry in engaging older people, she taught herself to code and set about doing it herself.

The over 60s, she insists, need to actively search out new skills to stay nimble.

“As you age, you lose many things: your husband, your job, your hair, your eyesight. The minuses are quite numerous. But when you learn something new, whether it be programming or the piano, it is a plus, it’s motivating,” she says.

“Once you’ve achieved your professional life, you should return to school. In the era of the internet, if you stop learning, it has consequences for your daily life,” Wakamiya explains during an AFP interview at her home near Tokyo.

She became interested in computers in the 1990s when she retired from her job as a bank clerk. It took her months to set up her first system, beginning with BBS messaging, a precursor to the Internet, before building her skills on a Microsoft PC, and then Apple’s Mac and iPhones.

She asked software developers to come up with more for the elderly, but a repeated lack of response led her to take matters into her own hands.

Wakamiya learned the basics of coding and developed ‘Hinadan’ one of Japan’s first dedicated app games for the over-60s – she is now in such demand that this year Apple invited her to participate at their prestigious Worldwide Developers Conference, where she was the oldest app creator to take part.

‘Source of inspiration’
‘Hinadan’ – ‘the doll staircase’ – was inspired by the Hina Matsuri, a doll festival which takes place every March, where ornamental dolls representing the emperor, his family and their guests are displayed in a specific arrangement.

In Wakamiya’s app, users have to put them in the correct positions – a task which is harder than it sounds, requiring memorisation of the complex arrangements.

The app, which is currently only available in Japanese, has been downloaded 42,000 times with hundreds of positive comments from users.

And while these figures are relatively small compared to Japan’s big-hitting apps which are downloaded in their millions, ‘Hinadan’ has proved popular enough that Wakamiya plans to release English, Chinese and possibly French versions of the app before next year’s festival.

Its success has propelled her on to the tech world stage, despite the industry’s reputation for being notoriously ageist

In Silicon Valley, workers in their 40s are considered old by some firms and according to media reports citing research firm Payscale, the median age for an employee at Facebook is 29 and at Apple is 31.

But international tech firms and start-ups are slowly waking up to the economic potential of providing for silver surfers, and Wakamiya has already met with Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook.

Wakamiya recalls: “He asked me what I had done to make sure that older people could use the app. I explained that I’d thought about this in my programming – recognising that older people lose their hearing and eyesight, and their fingers might not work so well.”

“Mr Cook complimented me,” she says proudly, adding that he had hailed her as a “source of inspiration”.

No time for sickness
Wakamiya concedes that she finds “writing lines of code is difficult” but has a voracious appetite to learn more.

“I want to really understand the fundamentals of programming, because at the moment I only learned the elements necessary for creating Hinadan,” she explains.

More than a quarter of Japan’s population is aged 65 and above, and this is projected to rise to 40 percent by 2055. The government is struggling to ensure its population remains active and healthy – and so also see the dynamic octogenarian as an inspiration.

“I would like to see all Japanese elderly people have the same motivation,” one official told AFP.

Wakamiya says her ultimate goal is to come up with “other apps that can entertain older people and help transmit to young people the culture and traditions we old people possess”.

“Most old people have abandoned the idea of learning, but the fact that some are starting (again) is not only good for them but for the country’s economy,” said Wakamiya, who took up the piano at 75.

Hinting that her good health is down to an active mind and busy life, she adds: “I am so busy everyday that I have no time to look for diseases.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Crack the Code on the Creative Team: Apply These 5 Secret Techniques

Tips for Boosting Team Creativity

In every type of job, there is always room for creativity and innovation. It is not only art or technology that needs to be creative and innovative. Even in accounting there are ways to be more creative. For example; you can make more creative presentations. For this reason, if you want your employees to be more creative, try the below recommendations at work.

Tips for Boosting Team Creativity

  • Hire Diverse People: Different people with different backgrounds see things from a different perspective. As a result, when they are trying to solve something, they come up with different solutions. Therefore, if you hire similar people with similar education and similar cultural values, you can miss out on different options. For this reason, try to hire individuals who come from different places and who are at different places in their lives to increase creativity in your company.
  • Get Out of the Office: Especially if the weather is nice, then, take your team outside of the office for a meeting or for brainstorming. You don’t need to take them far away. You can even go to the parking lot and sit on the grass. Having some fresh air clears your mind and helps you think better. Thus, your employees can get more creative and find out new ideas.
  • Seating Plan: Have an open seating plan in the office. Also, try to have a seating plan where different groups will engage with each other. Some workplaces require their employees to sit at different desks everyday so they can meet with new people, learn from them and share their knowledge with them. Hence, collaboration and creativity among employees rise.
  • Try Stand-Up Meetings: When you are standing-up, you are more focused on the topic because you don’t get distracted from computers or phones. When you are more focused, the meeting time becomes shorter allowing you to use that extra time for something else. Also, the energy level of your body when you are standing up is completely different than the one when you are sitting. Standing up makes you more energetic and alert. As a result, your brain thinks faster and your creativity increases.
  • Have an Inspiration Room in the Office: Make an inspiration room different than any other rooms in the office so when your employees want to take a break or need some inspiration, they can go to this room and refresh their minds. Also, make this room social so your employees can gather together and have a lunch or coffee break. It is best to decorate this room in an innovative design to reflect that creative feeling so you may want to work with an interior designer for this.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

How Vine’s Entire Source Code Was Online for Anyone to See

How Vine's Entire Source Code Was Online for Anyone to See

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The ethical hacker was taking part in Twitter’s HackerOne programme
  • The hacker gained access to source code through a Docker image
  • The bug was fixed by website within 5 minutes of flaw’s demonstration

Hackers are known to be notorious. They like to find out all the vulnerabilities that various sites possess and depending on their intention, they use this knowledge to either create nuisance for the website owners or inform them about the loopholes to help make the site safer.

The makers of video-clip sharing site Vine, currently owned by Twitter, should be grateful that ethical hacker known by the name ‘avicoder’ chose to be the latter sort when he found a way to download Vine’s entire source code.

For those who are unaware about the subject, a source code for website usually contains confidential information and access to it can leave the site extremely vulnerable to attacks that can potentially even destroy it.

In this case, ‘avicoder’ was just looking at the potential security flaws without any ill intentions and in his blog post, he explained the entire flaw and how he gained the access to the site’s source code through its Docker image, which should ideally have been private but was publicly available. With the image, he was able to run the service locally on his machine.

“I was able to see the entire source code of vine, its API keys and third party keys and secrets. Even running the image without any parameter, was letting me host a replica of VINE locally,” the hacker said in his blog post.

On March 31, avicoder demonstrated a full exploitation of the security flaw to Twitter as part of its HackerOne bounty programme and the site then fixed the bug in around 5 minutes. The hacker was rewarded a bounty of $10,080(roughly Rs. 6,73,000) for informing the site about this flaw.

Tags: Ethical Hacker, Twitter HackerOne, Vine Security Flaw, Vine Source Code

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

New DIY wearable teaches youngsters to code and be lively’

The Mover kit aims to combine the fun of wearable tech for kids with essential programming gear that’llassist them later in existence. It also has rainbow lighting fixtures that you can software to flicker every time you moonwalk. If either of those things sound palatable to you, there’s a Kickstarter availabletogether with your name on it.

you may thank generation Will store Us for the concept, an enterprise founded to foster creativity in kidsthrough hands-on era. The package is geared toward children eight and up, presenting a bit of buildable, wearable tech that may be programmed to carry out a huge kind of duties using an onlinedevice called pass.

The Mover kit can be assembled in about 15 mins and is made out of a Mover board, eight RGB LEDs, accelerometer, magnetometer, USB connector, rechargeable battery, snap band bracelet, and a lanyard. Thedevice went through numerous distinct prototypes in checks with over three hundred children, and itgives several distinct alternatives for youngsters to repurpose it every single day in the event that theyselect to.

to this point the Kickstarter has raised over $29,000 of its $50,000 goal with 28 days left to go. it’s anthrilling addition to the growing wide variety of tasks geared toward kids with easy-to-recognize code and meeting, and can even come to be appealing to DIY novices as well as youngsters if it hitsproduction.