From patterns to personality: how creativity helps you find your own unique voice

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 335 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

As explained in books like The Creative Curve and Creative Confidence, the value of creativity is at a premium in a globalised, digitally connected world, where change and disruption are the new normal. It’s not just the number of ideas you have, but their quality, originality and customer or community value that are important.

Creativity can be cultivated by keenly observing patterns and connections in the world around us, engaging with audiences, and iterating ideas and prototypes. Engaging with the field and getting regular feedback helps build creative confidence and overcome fears about risk and mistakes.

In a chat with YourStory, insights on such creative patterns were shared by Satish Pujari,

Senior 3D Animator, Technicolor. Satish is also an artist, and his works are being showcased at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat in Bengaluru. He graduated from Vijay Mahantesh Lalitakala Mahavidyalay in Hubballi, and was also team lead at Tata Elxsi’s Visual Computing Lab.

In this photo essay, we feature some of Satish’s works, along with samples of the other exhibiting artists: Sanjay Chapolkar, Nilanjan Guha, Vidhu Pillai, Ravindra Mahale, Nagabhushan, Satish Biradar, Vittal Kulkarni, H Sheshechala, and Ram Mohan.

Satish has been in the animation field for over 15 years, but has also created a range of unique paintings that feature bonsai trees. As shown in this photo essay, some of the bonsai trees also seem to have elements of animals, birds and human characters – such as eagles, peacocks, snails, and even a pregnant woman.

“Making a connection between patterns and finishing a work of art is itself an act of success,” Satish explains. He also sees success for himself as an artist in making a deep connect with audiences.

His art works are priced in the range Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. “If someone shows an obvious liking to my painting but says he is unable to pay the full price, I don’t mind giving a discount. What matters is seeing that the art work gives him happiness,” Satish says, though he jokes that other artists may not see things his way.

The message he wishes to convey through his art is respect for nature, both plant and animal life – hence the duality of both forms in his works. “Imagine if all Indian citizens had to plant a tree in order to get an Aadhar card, and if the government then gave you benefits for planting the tree – how green India would be,” Satish explains philosophically.

He also offers advice for aspiring artists. “Observe the style of other artists, but don’t imitate them. Learn from them but don’t copy them – focus instead on developing your own unique style, based on your technique and the connections and meaning you see in the world,” he explains.

“Develop your own talent. Don’t constrain your creativity,” Satish signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and see how to build impactful connections with the shifting trends around you?

Satish Pujari

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at [email protected]!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

[“source=yourstory”]

Why You Can’t Find Parental Control Apps in the iOS App Store

Illustration for article titled Why You Can't Find Parental Control Apps in the iOS App Store

iOS: If you’re having trouble finding a good parental control app in the iOS App Store, there’s a reason for that: MDM, or Mobile Device management. According to Apple, apps using MDM “incorrectly” pose serious security risk, and so the company is cracking down—but what does this actually mean?

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a general term for any technology that allows one device to be controlled and/or monitored by another remotely. Parental control apps on iOS often rely on MDM as a means for controlling screen time, applying content filters, and collecting usage reports, because it’s the only way to obtain device permissions for these kinds of activities. Otherwise, your everyday app on the App Store can’t control your device to this great a degree.

This isn’t some newly implemented technology. MDM has been present on iPhone for years now, with Apple overseeing MDM certification for its devices and even controlling all MDM-based actions on iOS apps.

So why is Apple now so worried about apps using this feature in a way it wasn’t intended? The company now claims that apps with MDM can leave your personal data vulnerable and open to exploitation by hackers, hence the purging of parental control apps from the App Store.

On paper, the move makes sense. If an unwilling person is tricked into installing a certificate from a less-than-stellar app, they’ve just given over the keys to their digital kingdom—a privacy breach Apple would very much like to prevent.

“MDM does have legitimate uses. Businesses will sometimes install MDM on enterprise devices to keep better control over proprietary data and hardware. But it is incredibly risky—and a clear violation of App Store policies—for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer’s device. Beyond the control that the app itself can exert over the user’s device, research has shown that MDM profiles could be used by hackers to gain access for malicious purposes,” reads a statement Apple published last last month.

Developers (try to) fight back

Several developers with parental control apps now affected by the new MDM policy have responded to Apple’s claims, and their arguments highlight some inconsistencies with Apple’s reasoning.

One app, OurPact, uses MDM to allow parents to set screen time limits on their child’s devices. OurPact’s developers released a statement using Apple’s own MDM documentation to refute the alleged security risks. You can read the full statement here, but the gist of the argument is that since Apple controls the entire MDM review process for iOS apps, properly vetted apps should not pose any of the risks Apple is warning against. As well, OurPact has been open about what it does and how it does it:

“OurPact’s core functionality would not be possible without the use of MDM; it is the only API available for the Apple platform that enables the remote management of applications and functions on children’s devices. We have also been transparent about our use of this technology since the outset, and have documented its use in our submissions to the App Store,” the company’s statement reads.

Photo: OurPact

Some have suggested Apple’s actual reason for removing these MDM-enabled parental control apps is to curb potential competition with iOS 12’s screen time feature. However, other reports point out that many of the apps were purged for various other violations unrelated to MDM, like the prohibition on creating “an App that appears confusing similar to an existing Apple Product, interface, app, or advertising theme.”

If you ask us, the whole this is a net loss for Apple’s customers, even though it is the security-minded approach to take.

What Apple’s purge means for you

Policy disputes between Apple and app developers are one thing, but the biggest concern for iOS users—especially for parents—is that parental controls/screen time apps are being removed from App Store.

This would be less of an issue if Apple provided developers with its own API for controlling screen time, but it does not. More importantly, many of the removed apps like OurPact, Kidslox, and Qustodio included features that iOS parental controls do not—such as filtering web content on non-Safari browsers and cross-compatibility with Android. Their absence leaves parents with fewer options for monitoring their child’s screen time (though there’s debate over just how effective screen time limits can be).

Hopefully, the outcry from developers and the feedback from users will force Apple to at least open up a discussion about the future of parental control on the App Store. For now, however, you might as well settle for using the parental control features built into iOS 12. They’re not as robust when compared to the rival apps, but it’s probably your safest bet for locking down your kids’ activities right now. It might soon be your only one.

[“source=lifehacker”]

Researchers Find New Insights Into Role of Little-Understood Placenta

placenta health illustration

More than 15 percent of women in developed countries suffer from pregnancy complications associated with the placenta, the disk-shaped organ that sustains a growing fetus. Now researchers find the placenta adapts when nutrients are scarce. The discovery identifies possible targets for intervention, the researchers say.

“Pregnancy complications are [often] linked to poor placental growth and function,” said Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, a physiologist and developmental biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, who led the new research. “However, we lack information on what determines how well the placenta grows and functions to support fetal growth during a healthy pregnancy, let alone when the mother is challenged by a suboptimal environment.”

Pregnancy Problem

The placenta is a temporary organ that sprouts a baby’s umbilical cord. The organ then provides the oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus. It also synthesizes hormones and other molecules necessary for pregnancy and pulls waste products from the baby’s blood. Beyond these fundamental functions, however, researchers know little about what makes for a healthy placenta. But if a placenta isn’t working properly, it can compromise the fetus’ development.

One in 10 infants are born small from growth restrictions in the womb. And those newborns face a higher risk for death in their first few weeks of life, followed by a lifetime of poor health. Hypoxia, an insufficient amount of oxygen getting to tissues, is the chief factor behind growth-restricted babies born at high-altitudes, but is also a common feature of pregnancy complications at sea level.

Sferruzzi-Perri and her team wanted to find out what factors contribute to a healthy placenta during a normal pregnancy, as well as what hinders the organ’s function during complications. The researchers assessed how well mitochondria, the cell’s energy factories, use oxygen and nutrients to produce energy in the placentas of pregnant mice in their third trimester. Some of the mice lived in conditions that mimic a high-altitude environment about 12,000 feet above sea level.

Mighty Mitochondria

In the final stage of labor, the placenta comes out. (Credit: ChameleonsEye/shutterstock

“We found that in the placenta, mitochondria alter their function during the course of pregnancy to best support the needs of the rapidly growing fetus,” Sferruzzi-Perri said.

The mitochondria used more oxygen in earlier stages of gestation than near term, the team reported online January 17thin the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results suggest mitochondria are more active when the placenta is growing quickly. It then switches gears closer to term to shuttle oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus.

The researchers also found that the mitochondria compensate for when mothers are not getting enough to eat or are in low-oxygen environments. “When the placenta is not able to compensate for such challenges then this can lead to complications such as fetal growth restriction,” Sferruzzi-Perri said.

“The next step would be to find ways to target mitochondria in the placenta to alter their function and improve pregnancy success in women where we know the outcome might be poor,” she added.

[“source=discovermagazine”]

Oppo Find X First Impressions

Oppo Find X First Impressions

Oppo Find X price in India is Rs. 59,990

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oppo Find X’s cameras are tucked into a hidden slider
  • It will be available in the country starting August 3
  • The smartphone comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage

The Oppo Find X is the Chinese company’s latest flagship in the Find series, and it was launched in India on Thursday. Oppo Find X’s most unique and interesting feature is a camera slider that allows its front face to be completely dominated by the screen. This marks the comeback of Oppo’s Find series, which has not been refreshed since the launch of the Oppo Find 7 and Find 7aback in 2014. The Oppo Find X is the most expensive model in Oppo’s India lineup. The Oppo Find X price in India is Rs. 59,990 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and there are no other configurations. A limited Automobili Lamborghini Edition was also announced at the event but is not coming to the Indian market as of now.

Key specifications of the Oppo Find X include a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and the unique camera slider that houses the selfie camera as well as the dual rear cameras. This smartphone, much like other offerings in Oppo’s lineup, runs ColorOS 5.1 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The phone will be available exclusively on Flipkart online, but also across Oppo’s offline stores. It is one of the most unique smartphones available right now, but can it compete with flagships such as the iPhone X (Review), Samsung Galaxy S9 (Review), Huawei P20 Pro (Review), and OnePlus 6 (Review)? We spent some time with the Oppo Find X and here are our first impressions.

 

We got access to a Chinese unit of the handset, as the Indian units are not yet available for testing. With a large 6.42-inch edge-to-edge AMOLED display, the Oppo Find X looks sleek. The 19.5:9 aspect ratio means that the resolution is 1080×2340 pixels, making this phone taller than usual. There is no notch, which gives the phone a seamless design. The Find X comes with iPhone X-like gestures. These include swiping up from the bottom (in the middle) to go to the home screen, swiping up and pausing to open the app switcher, and swiping up from a corner to go back.

At first glance, there is nothing of interest on the back of the Oppo Find X. There is no fingerprint sensor, which means you are stuck without any other biometric unlocking solution. You will have to use a passcode or pattern to unlock the phone quickly. The rear cameras are also hidden thanks to the camera slider. There is, however, an Oppo logo and “Find X – Designed by Oppo” branding. On the left of the smartphone are the volume control buttons, and the lock/ power key is on the right. The USB Type-C port and SIM card tray, which supports two Nano SIM cards, are on the bottom.

The design is one of the highlights of the Oppo Find X. It comes in Red and Blue colour options, both of which are extremely glossy and great to look at. It feels slippery in the hand, but the width is just right. This might not be the most power- and feature-packed phone on the planet, but it’s definitely one you’d love to show off.

oppo find x fi inline Oppo Find X

 

The camera slider is triggered when trying to unlock the phone using facial recognition, and also slides out when using the stock camera app or any third-party one. It does not snap out, and vibrates while it is sliding into place. It goes back in slowly and you might have to wait a couple of seconds before putting the phone back into your pocket. The front of the slider houses the 25-megapixel selfie camera and sensors for the O-Face 3D face recognition technology, which Oppo claims is similar to how Face ID works on the iPhone X. The rear of the slider sports the 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear camera combo. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our full review in which we will extensively test the performance of all the cameras on Oppo’s 2018 flagship.

At its core, the Oppo Find X is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, which is now the primary choice for premium flagships globally. The Oppo Find X has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, so performance shouldn’t be much of an issue. Initial impressions suggest that this phone is quite snappy, and we didn’t experience any lag in the few minutes that we got to spend with a sample unit at the launch event. We will soon be able to test the Indian version of this phone in real-world conditions to see how well it performs.

The Oppo Find X runs the heavily customised ColorOS 5.1 UI on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. As stated earlier, the unit we tested was the Chinese variant, and it did not have common Google apps including the Play Store. Instead, we found dozens of preloaded Chinese apps, including WeChat, Ctrip, Taobao, Alipay, 58Life, Weibo, Amap, and Baidu. We will have to wait till we receive the Indian unit for testing to comment on the preloaded apps and the amount of bloat in the software.

Let’s talk about some of the software features that this phone brings to the table. The first one is 3D Omoji, which makes use of the 3D facial recognition sensors on the handset. There are 5-6 animal characters but users can create their custom avatars as well. Initial impressions suggest that the AR-based emoji characters read face movement well but perform poorly when detecting lip movement. Interestingly, Oppo India’s website does not mention this feature, so it might not be supported on the Indian units.

Face recognition with the Oppo Find X is pleasant enough. Setting it up is extremely easy; it takes a few seconds to register your face and the phone gives you a choice of activating face recognition when you press the lock button or after you swipe up. Either way, it accurately reads the saved facial pattern. While the camera slider opens up pretty quickly, we would have liked it to be instantaneous. Additionally, there seems to be no way to manually push out the slider. Also, it’s worth noting that Oppo is not advertising any sort of waterproofing on the Find X, which sets it apart from other phones at this price level.

The Oppo Find X also features a large 3730mAh battery that should be enough to last through an entire day. If not, the Find X comes with Oppo’s VOOC charging technology, and the company claims that you can get two hours of battery life with just 5 minutes of charging. We will also test the phone’s battery performance in our full review, coming up soon.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for an extensive review of the Oppo Find X’s performance, battery, software, and cameras, and to find out whether or not this phone is worth the Rs. 59,990 price tag.


Are Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X revolutionary phones or overpriced prototypes? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Oppo Find X

Oppo Find X

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display6.42-inch
Processor2.5GHz octa-core
Front Camera25-megapixel
Resolution1080x2340 pixels
RAM8GB
OSAndroid 8.1
Storage256GB
Rear Camera16-megapixel
Battery Capacity3730mAh
Also See
  • Oppo RealMe 1 (Solar Red, 64GB, 4GB RAM) –
    Rs.10,990
  • Oppo F7 (Silver, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    *Includes Rs. 2,999 cashback
    Rs.16,991*
  • Oppo A3s (Red, 16GB)
    Rs.10,779

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]