tinker on

dreaming up a web that works.

Category: Whiteboard

An Example App to Demonstrate Spring Security Twitter OAuth

by Santosh

This grails application will help you quickly walk through how the Spring Security Core and Spring Security Twitter OAuth plugins work. The application needs grails 2.4.0 and associated plugins. Total setup and go time should be less than an hour.

Clone it on github.com to get started.

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Behavioral Concepts that drive ventures: Existential freedom & Emotional investment

by Santosh

“We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard” -John F. Kennedy

What makes a venture enjoyable and challenging at the same time?

Memory Upgrade for Macbook Pros – late 2011

by Santosh

After an operating system upgrade to 10.9 – Mavericks, there was a notable slowdown in day to day performance of my Macbook. Running Chrome, Firefox, Skype, iTerm, MacVim, Excel and a few more applications together would quickly max out the 4GB of existing memory. If you’ve any experience with upgrading RAM on a PC, upgrading your Macbook’s memory is just as easy. Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve found to be helpful when performing my own upgrade.

Look up your Macbook Pro model here to determine the specific memory modules you’ll need. If you’re buying memory in India, try flipkart.com or a local hardware vendor. The vendor I purchased from sold me 2x4GB modules of DDR3-1333 for Rs. 2,400 each.

You’ll need a precision screwdriver set with a phillips 00 screwdriver head to open a Macbook. Simply follow the earlier Apple support article or this article on Corsair’s blog with helpful pictures of a Macbook Pro 17″ through each of the upgrade stages. Newer Macbooks may have the same layout as the older ones. I have a 13″ late 2011 model. If your model is similar, you shouldn’t have to remove the battery to replace the memory modules.

Keep the screws in the order that you remove them. Be careful, this is important. Each screw has a different length. I used slim, sticky post-its with numbers to keep track of the order in which each screw had been removed. On messing up the sequence, I found that the screw may or may not fit in the laptop chassis. So stop right there if you discover you need to apply greater than necessary force in getting the screw back in. Total time to finish replacing the modules was less than an hour.

Hope this spurs you to get an upgrade on your Macbook, especially if you’ve been putting it off. After the upgrade I no longer experience otherwise familiar moments where the machine pauses ungracefully. On the other hand the machine hasn’t yet max’d out the 8GB at its disposal.

About this Mac after the Upgrade

Always be a First-time Entrepreneur

by Santosh

Why? The history of the industry is filled with successful startups led by people who’ve never “done it before”. You’d think that being a second-time entrepreneur is actually better than being a novice. I’ve found things to be quite the opposite. A first-time entrepreneur is better capable of an effective response to out-of-process contingencies that occur in the real world. They let go off ideas that aren’t working, tend to talk less and are more generous at offering new solutions to old, relevant problems.

That’s who my money would back. And yet, a second-time entrepreneur needn’t forget that they can learn to be both.

Correlation or Causation?

by Santosh

Came across two apt examples of the use of data to demonstrate correlation and causation.

On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels“, WSJ.com

Orbitz has found that people who use Apple Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

Orbitz executives confirmed that the company is experimenting with showing different hotel offers to Mac and PC visitors, but said the company isn’t showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price.

Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.

Private Schooling Myth Debunked“, The Age

Children who attend private primary schools don’t perform any better in NAPLAN tests than their peers at public schools, new research shows. It was the children of a healthy birth weight, who grew up in higher socio-economic circumstances in homes filled with books and had mothers who didn’t work long hours who performed best at NAPLAN.

Children who weighed less than 2.5 kilograms at birth, achieved ”significantly lower” test scores, especially in grammar and numeracy, with the researchers suggesting low birthweight correlated with longer-term developmental delays.

Children whose parents had completed year 12 had higher test scores across all subjects. Students whose mothers worked long hours did worse in all tests except numeracy, yet the working hours of fathers had no impact on test results.

”One explanation for this may be that children of young ages typically spend more time with mothers than fathers,” the authors said.

Like the ideal product practitioner – we’re primarily interested in discovering causation over correlation. You’ll often find instances where two variables show correlation but aren’t linked causally. The latter article wants to say that low birthweight is not the reason behind lower scores on standardized tests. On the other hand, the kind of hours that parents spend with their children do have an impact on how children perform.

The first article on Mac users booking pricier hotels makes the distinction blurry. Is owning a Mac simply correlated to my taste in hotels? Is Orbitz right in assuming that Mac users are less conscious about price to value? Or is there more to it than meets the eye? How you translate this information into your product tells your users a lot about your brand and the difference you see between correlation and causation.