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”]

How blockchain helps move money internationally like you send emails

Navin Gupta, MD (South Asia and MENA region) at Ripple.

We want to move money around the world like information moves today. We should be able to send money the way we are able to send emails and WhatsApp messages. When I say money, I mean legal money which is fully authenticated, regulated and controlled,” Navin Gupta, managing director of South Asia and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region for Ripple, a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for payments, said at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit held in Bengaluru on 15 March. He was speaking on “Understanding Blockchain’s Impact on Payments”.

It is estimated that today the world sends more than $155 trillion across borders. Yet, the underlying infrastructure is dated and flawed. This is where Ripple with its blockchain technology connects banks, payment providers and digital asset exchanges to provide a seamless experience to send money globally. More than 200 institutions are using the blockchain technology built by Ripple to transact daily, Gupta claims. “In India, banks like Axis and Yes Bank are using our technology to process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world. We live in 40 corridors and 6 continents, besides having offices in 8 countries,” said Gupta.

Blockchain has advantages because it is open source, decentralized, reliable and trusted, Gupta said. The cost of transaction is consistent—there is no fee or timing loss and it is scalable. There are no physical assets and enterprises that leverage Ripple’s digital asset XRP (cryptocurrency used by the Ripple payment network) when sending payments on behalf of customers. Using XRP for liquidity when sending a cross-border payment helps financial institutions avoid the hassle of pre-funding accounts in destination currencies. It allows them to make faster, lower cost payments than they can through the traditional correspondent banking system. Banks can now help global companies send on-demand payments around the world without fail. There is an opportunity to “secure a greater share of cross-border payments volume”, said Gupta.

Ripple also helps bank customers send money to people in many emerging markets including Mexico, India, and Thailand to increase their share of “this large and growing market”. What’s next? “Ripple is moving beyond blockchain, and connecting networks so that we can move money across networks. Again this is open-source and lightweight so it becomes easy to transfer money across networks. So we are building the ecosystem for networks to connect with each other and in our view globalization will be completed when data, goods and money flow seamlessly. That’s the way we think of it as an internet of value when the whole world gets connected through payment systems,” Gupta said.

[“source=livemint”]

No, music isn’t helping you become creative

 
LONDON: Listening to background music “significantly impairs” people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity, say scientists who challenge the myth that music makes us more creative.

Psychologists from University of Gavle in Sweden, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University in the UK investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity.

For example, a participant was shown three words

(e.g. dress, dial, flower), with the requirement being to find a single associated word (in this case “Sun”) that can be combined to make a common word or phrase (ie sundress, sundial and sunflower).

Researchers used three experiments involving verbal tasks in either a quiet environment or while exposed to background music with unfamiliar lyrics, instrumental music without lyrics, or music with familiar lyrics.

“We found strong evidence of impaired performance when playing background music in comparison to quiet background conditions,” said Neil McLatchie of Lancaster University. Researchers suggest this may be because music disrupts verbal working memory.

The third experiment — exposure to music with familiar lyrics — impaired creativity regardless of whether the music boosted mood, induced a positive mood, was liked by the participants, or whether participants typically studied in the presence of music.

However, there was no significant difference in performance of the verbal tasks between the quiet and library noise conditions.

Researchers said this is because library noise is a “steady state” environment which is not as disruptive.

[“source=timesofindia.indiatimes.”]