July 12, 2012

Flaw in Facebook’s iOS App

by Cordelia

I love that I can get Facebook on my iPhone. It makes it really easy to stay up to date with my friends and family. There is however a huge flaw with the program. It seems the company that is so keen on having us all share everything with everyone else neglected to add the share button to the app. That’s right! You can’t share posts on your wall. My friends post some really great stuff but in order to share it I have to copy and paste or download the picture and then post it on my own. How did Facebook mess up something that’s so fundamental in their platform?? I’m hoping they fix it but I’m not going to hold my breath.

May 7, 2012

Facebook Like Button Becomes Constitutional Issue

by Cordelia

I just finished reading this article: http://mashable.com/2012/05/07/facebook-like-fired/

I don’t like this decision, not one little bit. There’s no jury, it’s just the district court judge. The district court judge has to decide the case based solely on the law. The law in question, from what I gather based on this article, is freedom of speech, whether the employees right to freedom of speech was violated, and if subsequently employment laws were violated because of that violation. Since the judge has to decide based solely on the law, he needs to define freedom of speech in the context of a Facebook like button. Here’s where I don’t like his decision, and I would appeal this sucker all the way to the Supreme Court┬áif necessary: Saying you like or don’t like something is ABSOLUTELY covered by constitution! If it wasn’t, anyone who opposed an incumbent President would probably be shot in the streets, and we’d be living in Cuba. Saying that you like your boss’ opponent in a public election should not be grounds for termination. I like Billy Joel, does that mean I should be fired because I clicked a button?

BUT

This case doesn’t get a jury, it gets a judge. In my opinion, the judge is dead wrong. How can you interpret clicking a like button as anything but expressing one’s constitutionally given right of free speech? You can’t. It’s just a button and therefore no statements of opinion were given? Clicking the like button is the same as typing I like so and so on your Facebook page, or in a newspaper or a magazine or anything else. As the law professor in the article stated, you’re conveying your opinion to others. When you click that button, everyone you have friended on Facebook sees that “like” aka opinion, and its added to a list of your likes on your page. The flaw in Facebook might be the missing “dislike” button, which I personally think would be useful and fix the missing balance – you can publicly like a company, but the only way to publicly dislike the company is to type it out on your Facebook page. However, in either case, you’re expressing an opinion and in Virginia, employees are protected from termination for asserting their right of free speech.

If I worked in Virginia and I liked a competing company on Facebook, that is not reason enough to fire me. If I then added their employees to my personal page, its odd, but it’s not a reason to fire me. If I started talking about sensitive, private, and otherwise protected work details on Facebook, THEN you have a reason to fire me. I’m breaching my work contract, I’m clearly unethical, and I deserve to be fired. The like itself, however, isn’t reason enough to terminate an employee, and it certainly should be protected by the constitution, which is why if I were this Sheriff’s Department employee, I’d fight it all the way to the Supreme Court.

Legal Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author. They do not represent the opinions of her employer, or constitute legal advice in any way.

October 28, 2011

Review: Destined (Spoiler Alert)

by Cordelia

Destined
Destined by P.C. Cast
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a much better book than I had anticipated. The last book, Awakened, was good, but not great. It was pretty much setup for this book. I love this series, and this book as renewed that love, full force. It made me laugh out loud more times than I can count, and it made me cry, which I don’t like, but its an excellent sign of a well written story. The main theme of this book seems to be the loss of a parent. Whether they are deceased or not good at being a parent, or absent from your life entirely. Sadly, I have experience with both absent and inattentive parents, so I was able to, uncomfortably to say the least, relate to a lot of that in this book, even if I wasn’t willing to admit that until I sat down to write this review.

This books starts off where Awakened ended, with Zoey realizing that her mother has died and Nyx has accepted her into the Otherworld. We follow the characters through various levels of grief, love, comfort, solitude, anger, desperation and loss. Thanatos has arrived from the High Council with the hope of exposing Neferet for what she really is, Zoey, the Nerd Herd, Stevie Rae and the Red Fledglings (They sound like a lounge act), Rephaim, Darius and Stark all sign up to help her, but they do begin to hold tings back, and fill Thanatos in on a need-to-know basis. We meet a new fledgling, Shaylin, who is the first fledgling to be marked Red, and who was blind prior to her marking and now can not only see, but has “True Sight,” meaning she can see the truth about people through seeing their auras. We know she sees purple around Zoey, red and black around stark, pea green around Erik, and Neferet looks like “dead fish eyes,” and scared her. Thanatos is also apparently quite lovely in this version of sight.

Dragon Lankford has had a hard time, and while Dragon’s Oath is alluded to, you can read this book without having read it, however it does give you a great insight into what’s going on with him. His departure at the end of the book, and his finding of his true self again, brings a nice closure to his story. I am happy to see him go, I wasn’t sure I could handle a few books of his brooding and hatred, even if justified. His ability to find mercy, and protect that which had killed his love, displayed the great power that forgiveness and mercy hold for all of us if we can reach out and embrace it.

Rephaim is a HUGE part of this book. We spend a lot of time with him and Stevie Rae. His desire to be a “normal boy” reminded me of Pinocchio a little too much at first, but it did get better. Rephaim loves Stevie Rae, his new friends, and being a human boy, even though he must pay the cost of becoming a raven at dawn and being that mindless creature until the sun sets. He returns to Stevie Rae at the depot each night in time to go to school. As we find out later, when he is the raven, he does manage to find his way to where his father and brothers are living on the ridge, though he cannot interact with them, and most likely does not even recognize them. He has no memory of this half of his day. Kalona spends a good deal of the book struggling with his parenting abilities and is the example of less than stellar parenting used most often in the book, even though we hear a good deal about Aphrodite’s hag of a mother, Zoey’s mother’s failings, Damien’s mother’s failings, Shaunee’s father’s abandonment of her, and so on. As I said earlier, it is a main theme of the book, but the whole daddy thing comes to a head with Kalona. I didn’t expect it. I expected that he *may* eventually turn back to Nyx, because she said he could ask for forgiveness when he was worthy of it, but given how long the whole Kalona thing has dragged on (I was really sick of him after he’d only been in 2 books), I expected it to take much longer. Throughout the book Kalona is constantly missing Rephaim. He is constantly comparing Nisroc to him, and angry with Nisroc for not being Rephaim. Shaunee’s generosity in offering Kalona a way to communicate with Rephaim, and his witnessing of Rephaim’s day, and the changes he has to endure because of Kalona’s misdeeds seem to finally catch up with him, and culminate in one of the more poinent moments in the book, quoted below.

“‘Help you, we will?’
Kalona’s anger exploded at the hissing, semi-human sound of his other son’s voice. He turned on Nisroc, raising his hand to cuff him into silence. The Raven Mockers who were clustered around scurried back, out of his reach. Nisroc cringed, but remained near and did not try to escape his father’s wrath.
Mid-swing, Kalona hesitated. He let his fist drop to his side. He starred at his silent son who crouched, waiting for the blow.
‘Why?’ Kalona allowed the desperation he was feeling to be heard in his voice. ‘Why would you want to help me?’
Nisroc raised his head. There was confusion in the red gaze. ‘You are Father.’
‘But I have not been a good father,’ Kalona heard himself say.
Nisroc’s gaze remained steady on his. ‘That mattersss not. Ssstill you are Father.'”

Rephaim felt the same way. He hoped his father would change, would come around, would take back shunning him. Shaunee feels the same way about her father, which allows the two to understand each other, and to become friends. Zoey unerstands because she had always wished her mother would one day wake up, leave her jerk of a husband and be her mother again. Damien also understands wanting your parents to be different. It is a common thread among them that ties the story and characters together in this book. In the end, Kalona comes through, saving his son, and starting to turn back toward Nyx by serving Thanatos as her Warrior and Sword Master of the Tulsa House of Night. He accepts Rephaim for who he is, instead of insisting he remain to be the subservient creature he had always been. Sadly, life does not always turn out like that, and its unlikely that it will turn out that way for the rest of their group and their parent issues.

Overall this is an excellent book, I was genuinely surprised, as I had expected it to be less than awesomesauce based on the last book, and the somewhat boring tone of Dragon’s Oath. I was very pleasantly surprised, and I’m looking forward to the next installment, which I hope reaches bookstores soon, because I’m as impatient as they come.

<3 Cordie

October 6, 2011

Review: The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

by Cordelia

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were a lot of companion books to some of my favorites series this year. One was horrible, one was good, this one is almost great. Its lacking in a few things I would have liked to see, mostly I was hoping that there would be a hidden completed copy of midnight sun in there! :) There is a TON of great information in this book though. I’d skip the interview, its long-winded and really all these questions have already been answered.

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<3 Cordie

October 6, 2011

Review: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

by Cordelia

The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a lot better than the HoN Fledgling Handbook which was just an utter disappointment. I loved that there was a new short story involved, and that you really got an idea of where Sookie came from and the reasons Ms. Harris does certain things. Some of it I didn’t care for, like the reference of characters, I’m sure its useful if you’re writing some sort of paper on how Sookie impacted pop culture or something, but for the average reader who devours the books it’s really not needed. Especially all the minor characters, people who don’t even have whole names and barely appear in the books? Why bother with those? To be thorough I suppose, but really not my cup of tea. Also, the book recaps. I really didn’t need these, but someone who’s less familiar with the series, or writing some sort of paper, might find them helpful. Basically half the book is great, the other half is cliff notes with a vampiric twist.

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<3 Cordie

June 21, 2011

Where are the Book Reviews?

by Cordelia

I’ve been a little distracted, and busy, and sick and so on and I haven’t been reading at my usual pace. I am about half way through the newest Charlaine Harris Sookie book though. So, as soon as I finish that I’ll be sure and post my thoughts.

After that its on to the second book in the Kane Chronicles…and then I’ll be behind on the new H0N novella! See, you take a few weeks off of reading and the books just start piling up! Read everyday so this doesn’t happen to you!

<3 Cordie

April 6, 2011

Review: The Red Pyramid

by Cordelia

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, there are many reasons I love to read Rick Riordan books, even though, let’s face it, I’m entirely too old for them. All of those reasons are exemplified in this book. His character creation is impeccable. They are fully fleshed out people, with personalities from the get-go, and you can tell. There’s never any wondering if this person is going to seem more than one-dimensional, a problem I encounter with a lot of books, and as you all know, I constantly complain about it.

He weaves a great story from beginning to end, taking us through London, New York, Washington D.C., Egypt, Texas, and probably several places I have forgotten….France…we did go to France, oh and Memphis! How did I forget that lovely jaunt through Elvis’ house. Anyway…

Each place we’re taken is described in a wonderful way that let’s you feel like you’re there. The Egyptian myths are woven into every detail of the story, from clothes, to speech, to local, to objects, and beasts and gods, it’s all tied together very well. If you like an entertaining story, and sarcasm, this book is definitely for you. I can’t wait for book 2, which is due out next month.

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April 4, 2011

Amazon’s Cloud…No Thanks

by Cordelia

So, I went to Amazon.com the other day to look for a product I wanted, and I’m greeted by a very nice note from CEO Jeff Bezos telling me I can have 5 gigs of storage in this Amazon Cloud for free because I have an amazon account.

Oh goodie?

I had read about this already on one of my news pages, and I have to say I’m not impressed. I converted every single CD I had ever bought to mp3’s and its possible that I inadvertently sold my soul to Steve Jobs for a ridiculous number of iTunes downloads…so what good is 5 gigs of storage when i have 20 gigs of music alone?

I don’t want to pay for online storage. I have a web server, so really, I already have web storage available and I’ve already paid for it, but apparently this service can end up costing you around 1k a year, and that’s an awful lot of money just to store your stuff.

February 9, 2011

Review: Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly #2)

by Cordelia

Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly, #2)Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very good read. I liked this book a lot, and the series has grown on me so I’ll probably finish it. The characters are becoming very well-developed and the stories are getting better. I was able to guess who the murderer was fairly early on, but I couldn’t figure out how they were going to get to the same conclusion, and the twists and turns in the plot, the way suspicion was cast on other characters, had me doubting my guess all the way to the end.

You can tell this is an earlier series. It’s still not written quite as well as the Sookie books. There are sentences that could have been written to make better sense. Some words are out-of-place. She uses wretched incorrectly to describe Victor. He’s hardly wretched. Troubled maybe.

Resplendent was used entirely too often and I’ve now cataloged this in my head as “Manfred’s word.” I may never think of it any other way.

**Spoiler!** I do believe Harper discovered, much to her own shock and dismay, that she’s in love with Tolliver. I’m not certain, because she doesn’t say it outright, but that’s how it seems. This is something I suspected from the first book so it wasn’t all that shocking to me. Her response isn’t either, really. After all how do you explain that someone you refer to as your brother, even though he isn’t, is the man you’re in love with? Not easy.

The characters in the story were laid out much better this time as well. You get a better understanding of who they are and how they all fit into the family or the storyline this time than you did in the last book.

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February 6, 2011

Review: The Fledgling Handbook 101

by Cordelia

The Fledgling Handbook 101The Fledgling Handbook 101 by P.C. Cast
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really expected more out of this book. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I did. Some of it was good, but most of it is just altered human myths and legends and history and it’s not even altered in a way that I found convincing or compelling.

I’m very happy I only paid 3 bucks for this.

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