Michael J. Radwin

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


Frequent Flyer

I got the following error message while trying to change an itinerary on the Southwest website:

What happened?
This trip requires 35664 award coupons, but you only have 1 in the reservation.
What you need to do:
Go back to the previous page and modify your selection.
Reference Number: 300067 Occurred:  12/21/04 10:40:38

Books I should read

Here are a handful of books hanging out in my Amazon shopping cart waiting to be purchased:

Chanukah starts tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get one of them. 🙂

Stickin’ it to da man

I voted early, but I didn’t use one of those creepy touchscreen voting machines. I got a paper ballot instead.

Yes, I know that California isn’t using the Diebold machines (my county is using AVC Edge). But I still think we need a better electronic voting system. I am biased towards David Chaum’s Votegrity system, probably because I think using blinded signatures is a slick technique for an e-voting system.

If you want to learn more about David Chaum’s scheme but don’t have a PhD in math, check out “Tilting at the Ballot Box” from the September issue of Business 2.0 (local mirror).

Until we get a real electronic voting system, I’m going to stick to the paper ballots.


mcdonalds-wifi.gif Ariella and I are at McCafe on El Camino Real in Palo Alto. She’s preparing materials for a lecture she’s giving this week, and I’m writing annual performance reviews for my team. If you buy a coffee drink (I got an Americano for $1.45) you get a free hour of wireless internet access. 802.11b/g network is provided by WayPort.

According to the Bandwidth Place’s Speed Test, I’m getting 316 kilobits/second. Not bad.

I am pleasantly surprised to report that the coffee is pretty good, too. And their baristas don’t seem to have the same angst that I expereience so frequently at Starbucks. And they even bring the coffee directly to your table!

I’m not thrilled about giving my business to McDonald’s (they have a bad track record for being vegetarian-friendly) but I just can’t complain about this place. Their Chipotle mexican fast food chain is also quite good.