Archive for the ‘Law & Technology’ Category

MacDonald v. State affirms employees must exhaust Administrative Remedies before Suing

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

In MacDonald v. State of California [No. C069646. Third Dist. Aug. 27, 2013] as just published, a Judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff’s claim for retaliatory discharge was affirmed. The appeals court held an employee must exhaust the administrative remedy set forth in Labor Code section 98.7 before filing suit in superior court for retaliatory discharge in violation of sections 1102.5 and 6310. Labor Code Section 1102.5 is a whistle-blower statute, the purpose of which is to encourage workplace whistle-blowers to report unlawful acts without fearing retaliation. Though this whistle-blower statute does not itself have an administrative remedy, Labor Code Section 98.7 does reference one and the appeals court held that must be exhausted first, and prior to, filing a lawsuit for retaliatory termination.

– All Rights Reserved © 2013 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. and The Mau Law Firm


Tech Review – Nexus One

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

As a further technology entry, this is a brief review of the HTC Nexus One which replaced my Blackberry 9700 smart-phone previously reviewed.

The Nexus One was released in early 2010, but I did not start using it until the end of 2010 through early 2011.  Since new smart phones are almost released every other month, this review is long overdue!  However, I have dived into the Android world full force, and am now quite familiar with the platform.  The following are the top 4 pluses and minuses of the Nexus One compared to my former Blackberry.

1.         Screen Size – at about 3.7 inches, the Amoled screen is a good viewing size.  Colors are bright.  Video looks like it should, and pinch to zoom works well.

2.         Browser – the stock Android browser is no frills but generally fast.  It is far better than the BB 9700 browser in every day use.  A bigger plus, is that you have many more choices of alternative browsers on the Android platform.  Currently I like Opera Mobile and Firefox, but have used Dolphin, Skyfire, xScope, Boat, Miren, and others.  It is getting closer to a desktop browser experience, but not there yet.

3.         Customization – you can adapt the Nexus One as you like it.  Custom launchers and themes abound, and for the adventurous, custom roms are available after root.

4.         App Store – the Google App Store (now called Google Play) and secondary ones such as Amazon App Store, have several hundreds of thousands of Apps.  If you can think of it, an App probably exists or is in the works for your use.

1.         Battery life – the bright Amoled screen looks great, but a larger screen equals faster battery consumption.  Haptic feedback is nice, but also consumes power.  Compared to the BB 9700, this smartphone consumes battery about twice as fast.  One day’s charge is about the max, and get used to charging nightly.
2.         Outlook Sync – Android syncs in the cloud to Gmail.  Great concept, but it is just not designed for business out of the box.  Outlook’s calendar can natively sync to Gmail, though not easily and has some bugs.  Outlook’s contacts cannot natively sync to Gmail, though there is a work around.  Here, Blackberry has the edge.

3. Memory –  this is a real issue with the Nexus One.  It only has 512mb of total storage, which after the OS, leaves only 190mb of total storage.  Paltry at best.  Yes you can move apps to the microSD card, but that is a work around and still uses some internal memory.

4. OS – Latest official software is Gingerbread.  While the Nexus line is the first to get official Android OS upgrades (+), Google only releases upgrades every 6-12 months (-), and because of its age this model will not see the latest, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Overall, the Nexus One was a solid Android smart phone.  Actually when released, it was one of the best with its first generation 1ghz Snapdragon processor.  Now, it is barely competitive anymore, but still rather functional with some tweaks.  For me, it has since been replaced so stay tuned for more tech reviews for the working professional.

All Rights Reserved © 2012 by Michael L. Mau, Esq. & The Mau Law Firm


Tech Review – Blackberry 9700

January 28, 2011 6 comments

This is the first technology blog entry on this site, as I have previously focused just on California law. But as an attorney, keeping current with technology can maximize efficiency. First review, is of my Blackberry 9700 smart-phone. This is a brief review of the pros and cons of this device.

The 9700 was obtained fairly quickly after its release in early 2010. One year later, it is still a capable device. This was an upgrade from a Blackberry Pearl Flip and before that a Blackberry Pearl, so I do know the platform well. The 9700 is quick and responsive, and has received regular software updates since it was put into use in early 2010. It’s current replacement model is the 9780 which has pre-installed the new Blackberry OS 6. However, I have already installed and am using a leaked version of OS 6 which has the latest upgrades for the device. The following are the top 4 pluses and minuses of the 9700.

1. Email – nobody does mobile email better; it is instant push technology; easy to set up and keeps you in contact.
2. Keyboard – the blackberry keyboard is the gold standard for cell phone devices, and I have tried many others.
3. Battery life – in full every day use of calls, texts, email and web access, it lasts a couple of days of regular use.
4. Outlook Sync – works out of the box, period. This means seamless contact, calendar, memo and task management.
1. Browser – the Blackberry browser has always been second tier; it is just not that fast or usable (though the new web kit browser in OS 6 is a vast improvement over the OS 5 version).
2. Screen Size – at about 2.4 inches, the screen size is small compared to other popular devices.
3. App Store – while it contains a wide variety of good apps, the number of apps pales in comparison to Apple or Android devices.
4. OS – Blackberry has somewhat been playing catch-up as far as a user friendly operating systems, including as above, the browser. OS 6 is a marked upgrade, but they need to push this further and faster.

Overall, the 9700 is a good smart-phone. If you are a Blackberry user, it is frankly one of the best by RIM. I still have and use mine, but have lately been exploring Android…but that will be a future topic!

All Rights Reserved © 2011 by Michael L. Mau, Esq.

The Mau Law Firm