Michael J. Radwin

Tales of a software engineer who keeps kosher and hates the web.


A letter to Yael Goldie Radwin on the day of her Simchat Bat

Dear Little One,

Welcome to the world, to the community, and to our immediate family. We are overwhelmed with the joy of seeing you, of holding you, of loving the you that you are and the you that you will become.

You have made such a graceful entrance into our lives, sharing with us with the sweetness of your face and surprising us with your vibrant auburn red hair. We have spent many hours this week looking at you, thinking of both what we know of you and what we hope for you, and choose for you the name Yael Goldie.

In the womb, you were so active. We would watch and feel you kicking, and wonder who was in there! When you were born with the shock of red hair, we recognized the biological imperative of your feistiness. We have chosen for you a biblical name of one of the most feisty women in our tradition. Yael the Kinnite woman heroically defended the Jewish people by pinning a tent pin through the head of an enemy general, Sisera. She was a brave military heroine, resourceful enough to be both seductress and warrior as she broke through the rules in zealous protection of her people.

The name Yael has three other meanings. First, and most famously, a Yael is a mountain goat, or ibex. This desert animal certainly is no match for your beauty, but is sure-footed and steady on rough desert terrain. Secondly, Yael can also mean to ascend, or go up. The letters of “Yael” are from a similar root of “aliyah,” moving towards Torah, Jerusalem, or God. We hope that you find your own aspirations of height, and move towards them with the sure-footedness of your namesake.

There is yet one more possible meaning of Yael, perhaps one of the foremost considerations when picking your name. While Yael in Hebrew is spelled yod-ayin-lamed, the syllables suggest a different spelling of: “Yah”- “el”– two names for God. The name said out loud is in itself an affirmation of God. It also shares something in common with both of your parents– the names Michael and Ariella both use “el” to refer to God. We hope that you will find meaning, as we do, in a name that carries within it the name of God.

Your middle name is Goldie, which we know is an unusual name for a little girl born in 2008. Your namesake, Goldie Kassel was born 110 years ago, and yet you are the first little girl to be born in the family since she passed away in 2001. Your grandmother will speak to you more about her own grandmother, but we just wanted to reflect the very gentle way that Goldie Offenbach was, in her own way, an incredibly fesity woman. She possessed about her an incredible zest for life, and she found her own feistiness giggling her way through life. We hope for you the same infectious fun.

For your Hebrew middle name, rather than choose a translation of “Goldie,” we choose the name Gila, which means joy. It seems a rather fitting tribute to your great-great-grandmother, and also a fitting name for you, named just a few days into the month of Adar, a month of rejoicing.

And it is indeed a month for our family to rejoice in the addition of you.

You enter our immediate family as a second child. Your older brother Noam has been awaiting your arrival so eagerly, rehearsing over and over the narrative of how you would be born, where you would sleep, and the love you would bring. Eleven days into your life, he is eager to hold you, to give you hugs and kisses goodnight, and to always account for your whereabouts. Enjoy it the best you can. Enjoy the close relationship you have with him, even though it is occasionally perilous these days. Nonetheless, we hope that as you grow, you continue to hold onto that closeness and share your life with him.

You are also blessed to have a large extended family which is eager to love you. Today you have celebrating with you aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-aunts and uncles and great-grandparents who have come together to witness the miracle of you, to welcome you and bring you much love.

As we write this letter to you, we also want to take a moment to reflect to you our hopes and prayers for what we hope will be a wonderful life in front of you. We know that we will have many more opportunities to speak to you, but today we are struck by the family, the community, and the world, and how you may change the places where you tread.

We ask you to be a good citizen in the world around you. Be mindful of other people, and strive towards righteousness. Take care of the planet. Take care of yourself– of your body and of your emotional state. Make good friends, and keep them forever. Do acts of justice and kindness. Study hard, learn things, and use the knowledge to make the world a better place. Share your wisdom with the greater community, become a sage, be a person that others admire. Thrive.

We know that these are tall orders for a little person just 11 days old, but we hope that you will have a long healthy life to carry them out. Never stop trying.

Who you are will leave an imprint on the people around you and the world at large. You will leave a unique mark on the world simply by being the best version of yourself that you can be, by finding your calling, and pursuing it. As your parents, we pledge to support the paths you choose in whatever ways we can.

We are so happy to welcome you to our family. Welcome, welcome, Brucha ha-ba-ah, Yael Goldie.


Ema and Abba

It’s a girl!


Originally uploaded by mradwin

Baby Girl Radwin was born January 31, 2008 at 2:40am. She weighed in at 8 lbs, 8 oz and is 19 1/2″ long. Mom and baby are doing great, Noam is a proud big brother, and Abba is on cloud nine.

I want a DadGear Cargo Baby Gear Jacket

Costco DadGear Cargo Baby Gear Jacket

Changing Pad, Diaper, Wipes and Bottle Pockets


Plus Shipping & Handling


Fatherhood hasn’t changed my general consumerist lust for new things. It has merely shifted it to a whole new class of products I didn’t know I needed until now.

The concept behind the DadGear style is simple – a masculine look combined with high quality materials and thoughtful design. The goal for DadGear products is not just neutral or unfeminine, but style that reflects who we are – guys. Guys who take pride in caring for their kids.

Oh, and I want an iPhone, too.

Software Engineer, Java – Click Fraud Prevention

Want to build something that hunts down the bad guys and puts ’em out of business? Got experience building complex systems in Java? Fraudwall Technologies has the job for you.

We’re looking for engineers at all experience levels who want to help build a massive data processing and modeling pipeline, using cutting-edge machine learning and network forensics. You’ll be writing code that will make real-time decisions to prevent click fraud, and there’s going to be a fire hose of data coming at you.

This particular job comes with as much responsibility as you can handle. You won’t just be writing code; you’ll be doing design, architecture, implementation, testing, support, and more. Passion, talent, and raw brains are more important than tons of industry experience.

Required experience:

* 3-5 years of software development in Java (top-notch C++ and C# engineers can apply, too)

* Superb understanding of data structures and algorithms

* Effective communication skills: you’ll have to be able to fluently communicate with modelers/analysts, business people, and other coders

* Experience with Unix/Linux, and relational databases such as MySQL or Oracle

* BS or MS in Computer Science or equivalent

Desirable experience:

* Machine learning, information retrieval, TCP/IP internals

* Java frameworks: Hibernate, Servlets, Jakarta Commons

* Proficiency with scripting languages such as Python or Perl

About the company:

Fraudwall Technologies provides advertising networks and advertisers with a pioneering solution for identifying click fraud. Fraudwall combines cutting edge science with the aggregation of data and characteristics from networks, search engines, and advertisers into one complete scalable solution.

Fraudwall values honesty and integrity in dealing with each other and with our partners and customers. We offer competitive salaries, 401K, stock options, and health, dental, and vision plans. And of course, we provide an opportunity to work with world-class fraudfighters, systems builders, and serial entrepreneurs.

All positions are for our office in Palo Alto, California.

Send your resume to michael.radwin@fraudwall.net

MySQL User Defined Functions for FNV (Fowler/Noll/Vo) Hash

Sometimes you only need a 32- or 64-bit hash function. One of my favorites at Yahoo and something we’re using at Fraudwall Technologies is the FNV (Fowler/Noll/Vo) Hash.

If you’d like to use FNV inside of MySQL, you might find our udf_fnv.c useful. For example:

mysql> select FNV1A_64('The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.');


| FNV1A_64('The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.') |


| 75c4d4d9092c6c5a                                         |


1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select FNV1A_32('The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.');


| FNV1A_32('The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.') |


| ecaf981a                                                 |


1 row in set (0.00 sec)


The functions behave similarly to the MySQL built-ins MD5() and SHA1() in the sense that they return hex strings. The module defines 32- and 64-bit versions of all three variants of the FNV hash: FNV-0, FNV-1, and FNV-1a. Enjoy.

Time It Right™: home automation based on the Jewish Calendar

Time It Right™: home automation based on the Jewish Calendar looks pretty slick:

Never set another Shabbos clock! Introducing Time It Right™- the ultimate in home automation. Time It Right™ is the only home automation system with a built in Jewish calendar. Time It Right™ is custom scheduled around YOUR Zemanim and lifestyle, controlling your home according to your specific needs . Unlike other home automation systems, Time It Right™ adjusts your schedule for Shabbos and Yom Tov week by week, with no action from you, making it the ideal system for the Jewish home, Shul, or institution.

I wonder if they use Danny’s hebcal for Unix app in their implementation.

php.ini hacks: –with-config-file-scan-dir and ini variable expansion

I whipped up a quick 3-minute presentation entitled php.ini hacks for today’s PHP Lightning Talks session at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. It demonstrates two features:

  1. The --with-config-file-scan-dir option to ./configure
  2. ini variable expansion (“open_basedir = ${open_basedir}:/tmp“)

Why? Because George and Laura asked me to, and this is all I could think of with 20 minutes notice. And because the ini variable expansion feature isn’t documented anywhere on the php.net website except for a passing reference in the PHP 5 ChangeLog:

Added possibility to access INI variables from within .ini file. (Andrei)

Tomorrow I’ll be giving a talk entitled Hacking Apache HTTP Server at Yahoo! It’s a repeat performance of the well-attended presentation I gave at ApacheCon 2005.

Kosher Gummi Bears from Amazon.com

B000FH15SY.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg I just got a 16-pack of Planet Harmony Organic Fruit Bears from Amazon.com’s new Grocery service for a mere 15 bucks. It arrived in two short days because it was elligible for Amazon Prime; Amazon.com is actually stocking inventory for grocery items and not just acting as a conduit for 3rd-party supermarkets like Gristedes.

Plus, these gummi bears have a hechsher from Rabbi Eli Frankel’s Kosher Certification Service.

Sweet. (pun intended)

JPod by Douglas Coupland

JPod, by Douglas Coupland Last night I finished reading JPod, Douglas Coupland’s “sequel” to Microserfs. Very entertaining and a quick read. I haven’t laughed out loud reading a book in months.

JPod has been described as “Microserfs for the Google generation”, but perhaps “Microserfs for the EA generation” would be more appropriate, given the setting of a bunch of coders working for a videogame company. I had assumed that jPod had something to do with Apple’s iPod (perhaps a “jPod = ++iPod;” joke of sorts), but you know what happens when you make an assumption. (You make an ass out of u and mption.) As we find out on page 47, the book is called jPod because the characters work in a part of the cubicle farm where each employee’s last name begins with the letter J.

The book was a little darker than Microserfs (murder, people smuggling, forced heroin addiction and slavery) but par for the course for Coupland. Still not as good as my favorite Coupland novel (the underappreciated Miss Wyoming) but it’s among his top best work.