The $15 Minimum Wage Will Be Used Against You, Not For You

If you think that the $15 minimum wage will force employers to pay *you* more, please think again…

As an increase in the minimum wage provides many more options for the employer to choose from, such as:

1) Firing you (and making others do more).
2) Automating your job.
3) Replacing you with someone that is worth a $15/hour pay – with respect to skill-set/qualifications, performance/efficiency, drive/ambition, etc… A person that will provide more value and less liability to the business.

Which will it be? Lets explore the 3rd option.

If you are a minimum wage employer, at a $8/hour rate you have access to only the lower segment of the employee market. Which is mostly the people who are willing to work at $8/hour… The young, the gainfully-unemployable, those that don’t have any other options, and those that have the performance, skill-set, drive, and ambition of a $8/hour employee.

In this situation, the segment of the employee market who’s performance and abilities are worth $15/hour are out of your reach. Such as the millions of people with experience, and/or college degrees, that stay unemployed because they cannot or are not willing to work for $8/hour. And such as all the other people that currently make, and are worth, the $15/hour the free marketplace pays them for their service.

So the question becomes – why would an employer keep the $8/hour workers and pay them $15/hour, when that employer can fire every single one of them, and replace them with (a smaller number of) $15/hour employees taken from the higher market segment, and in-turn gain a better value and ROI?

Now I know what you are thinking… I’m worth it, dammit! And that might be very true. But what about the other 50%-90% of the current minimum wage employees? The ones that are walking around holding up signs, that won’t accept that that they are not worth 2x as much (to the employer).

To put it simply, as a current $8/hour employee, can you really compete with the higher employee market segment for the same job?

This is what will happen:

1. About 25%-75% of you will lose your current job over the next years.
2. There will be a number of new hires from the higher segments of the employee market – none of which will be $8/hour employees.
3. Overall, there will be a net loss of jobs. And there will be more competition for the same job (and possibly less job security).
4. The businesses that are exempt from the minimum wage laws will gain a competitive advantage (by maintaining lower prices for consumers).
5. That advantage will cause issues for businesses that are not exempt from the minimum wage laws.
6. To fix the loss, those businesses will further reduce jobs by automating them.

Now this might help some, but it won’t help most.

This isn’t meant to be mean, I have no problems with an increase of the minimum wage, but it is clear that all the people demanding a $15/pay are firing themselves from their jobs.

Things I’ve Learned Buying an iPhone 6 Plus, Unlocked, Contract-Free, Pre-paid

Be very careful when buying a Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or some other “carrier branded” iPhone.

I did some research to make sure that when spending over $1000 on a phone, that investment would not come back to bite me with a lock-in (of carrier, network type, and plan).

What I’ve found is:

1. Only Verizon’s iPhone 6 has both CMDA and GSM radios enabled. Most of the other carriers only have the GSM radio enabled.

If you want an iPhone that can work with all the carrier networks, Verizon’s is the one you must get.

2. All Verizon 4G LTE capable phones (e.g., the iPhone 6) must come factory unlocked due to FCC requirements that were made on Verizon’s last LTE-band purchase. Most of the other carriers do not have such an agreement with or requirement from the FCC, and may sell you a factory locked iPhone.

If you want an iPhone that is not locked to a specific carrier from the start, Verizon’s is the one you should get.

3. Half of the carriers (Verizon, Sprint, and some others) will not activate a plan/service on an unlocked phone that was not purchased through them (by checking for its serial number in their database). In example, to activate Verizon plans/services for your iPhone, you’d need to use a Verizon branded iPhone. You can usually get around this by activating the plan/service on some other phone of the carrier, and then moving that SIM card from it and into your new another-carrier-branded phone.

4. The only way to purchase a full price iPhone 6 without a contract though Verizon Wireless’s online store is to purchase one with a somewhat hidden month-to-month post-paid $60 1GB plan.

Afterwards, when you receive the phone, this plan is never activated, or is canceled by you. You won’t get billed for it, and there is no cancellation fee (as it’s not a contract).

Update: Verizon Wireless is pulling some type of a scam here. The unwanted plan will be automatically activated “for your convenience” (and at the earliest possible moment), billed with the full set of non-refundable charges, fees, and taxes (on top of the $60), and out of the surprise $110 bill that you will get one to two weeks after receiving your iPhone, if you act quickly, they will refund $50 from it as credit for the remaining unused time… Surprising you with another bill coming in the mail for $60 that you can’t get out of (read my comment in the comments section).

On the “Customize Your Plan & Add Accessories” step, where they want you to select an option in the “The MORE Everything Plan”, click the “View Single Line Plans” link…



5. To get Verizon’s $45 / month pre-paid plan, with no overages (e.g., the minutes and data just stop), buy Verizon’s “4G LTE SIM Activation Kit“. It costs $49.95 and comes with the first month included. And if you select to auto-pay, they double the data from 500MB to 1GB.


6. Don’t buy any of the cases, chargers, or other extra devices from the carrier. Their prices are double Amazon’s. And the selection of iPhone cases and accessories on Amazon is much nicer.

7. I recommend you get the Space Grey iPhone 6 Plus if you are indecisive on the color scheme. While the “Gold” (Champagne) colored iPhone looks nice on the back, the white bezel on the front, around the black screen, does not have the same continuity with the black screen, breaking your thought process. In addition, that white color kind of reminds me of the floor of a school’s cafeteria.

I hope this saves you the 4 days I spent (a.k.a. wasted) trying to navigate through the minefield of rules, plan prices, and incompatibilities, the phone companies enjoy putting people through to get the most money out of them.

Strange TOR Traffic To Get IP

Is this evidence of another TOR and Firefox exploit to get your IP address, or something completely mundane?

I just checked the logs of a service that I provide that returns your IP address –

It was put up to be used under WampDeveloper Pro (to let the user know the server’s public IP address; usually the router’s IP) so as to not depend on any external services, and for anyone else that wanted to use it for whatever reason (no restrictions).

The logs had a large amount (relatively speaking to WampDeveloper’s use) of requests that started in May, different IPs, all with the same user-agent string (the string that identifies the make and build of the Browser you are using).
From doing a “resolveip” (attempts to turn the IP address into a potentially readable host name containing useful information) on some of the IPs, a lot of them are being reported as coming from –

  1. TOR exit nodes and routers
  2. Freedom and Privacy type hosting servers
  3. Some residential/home addresses (not WampDeveloper Pro related, it uses it’s own user-agent string)

Google returns no external results for query “”, except for the few times I mentioned it on HackerNews.

If these requests are coming from users of the Tor Bundle, the usage of appears to be under-the-radar, probably being used from within the Browser, like in a JS file that attempts to get your IP address (via a de-anonymized / local request).
The reason I say that (under-the-radar), is because the “reported” user-agent string of these requests is Chrome, not Firefox (Browser of the Tor Bundle). But the JS can set whatever user-agent string it wants, and those requests also don’t hit the favicon.ico URL (standard procedure for most browsers on first request to a website) – so it’s definitely not coming from the users going to (or being redirected to) the myip page, but rather coming from a script.
This is kind of really strange and unexpected, but hopefully is not related to all this –
Attackers wield Firefox exploit to uncloak anonymous Tor users
Tor security advisory: Old Tor Browser Bundles vulnerable
Torsploit takedown: analysis, reverse engineering, forensic

…But is rather just some other TOR based product/service using as part of a list of URLs it rotates through – a list of whats-my-ip services; or someone using this for their own needs.
The benefit of the above myip service is that it returns nothing but the IP, no HTML, no XML, etc. Just a few bytes of data via TCP/IP. Probably all within 1 packet.

Microsoft Responds to Horrified Developers on Future of Windows 8

A few weeks ago Microsoft released a preview video of Windows 8. Almost immediately developers all over the internet became enraged that Microsoft (with Windows 8) was leaving behind the platform and framework that they have been working with for a decade … all having hedged their bets on: win32 or .NET Framework + C# (language).

Except that Microsoft made no such moves. And no real developers were “horrified”, because a real developer knows that HTML is just a markup language and JavaScript is not a replacement for the CLR + .NET Framework.

At least that was what I thought!

Microsoft has now released a video demonstrating what Windows 8 is about.

The simple truth is that Windows 8 is a re-imagination of the desktop … geared towards the mass market which primarily uses their systems to browse the internet, post on facebook, check their email.

Windows 8 can run tailored apps where HTML and JavaScript widgets replace the traditional desktop window for the benefit of the user.

The underlining platform does not change. We simply get a new fancy UI option that uses a DLL shared with IE 10.

Apache Conference Videos and Slides

The ASF (Apache Software Foundation) organizes and hosts talks every year.

I’ve gathered links to keynotes from this year’s conference and videos from 2009 and 2008.

Start with the videos if you are mostly interested in the Apache Web Server. It seems to be a very small part of the 2010 slides.

ApacheCon US 2009 Videos: Hadoop Track, Apache HTTPD Track, Lucene Track.
ApacheCon US 2008 Videos: Apache HTTPD System Administration, Security, Administration.

2010 ApacheCon Slides and the schedule of the talks.

Google Toolbar Is a Resource Hog

I installed Google Toolbar in IE8 on Windows Vista.

It took up an entire cpu on a 4 core processor, ballooned IE load time from 1 second to 15 seconds, caused tabs to crash, and just made the entire system sluggish.

And that was after I turned all the toolbar’s options off.

It’s too high of a price to pay for seeing the PR of websites. Thanks, but no thanks Google. It’s now disabled.

Google Toolbar Performance