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Comment While this is a very tacky response... (Score 1, Informative) 813

It's worth noting that calling, or even visiting in person, are the most effective ways to get a response from a public official. As stated in the article, public officials are deluged with email. Phone calls and visits are less common, therefore getting more attention than other ways of communicating. Something as serious as a request for an investigation is serious enough to warrant the time investment into a more personal method of communication.

Comment Inequality is already in my DNA (Score 1) 367

Inequality is already in my DNA, in the form of epigenetic changes caused by my ability to afford a certain lifestyle. I can afford to shop at the organic grocery store. I can afford a gym membership. I can afford time to meditate because I don't have 3 jobs. I can afford to relax when I want. Instead of punishing people who can achieve something, lets plan to help the ones who can't achieve what they need, for whatever reason. I'd rather have a conversation about how to make genetic fixes available to the poor too, instead of screaming that the rich ought to suffer with the rest of us. The rich will have this anyway. Someone, somewhere else, will perfect the technology, and people who can afford to travel will have it.

Comment I used to work for a startup that did this. (Score 1) 60

Ad networks are totally doing this. I don't have proof so I won't name names because I don't want to be sued for libel. The root of the problem is that the phone's permissions allow an app with microphone access to listen all the time whether or not the user is running the app in the foreground. Be suspicious of anything that needs microphone privileges, especially if it's something that has no reason to need to use the microphone. Looking at you, Twitter.

Comment If you really want an answer (Score 1) 71

I had an internship at a place that did research bringing things like this to market. The problem isn't just marketability. The problem is being able to reproduce something. There is a big gap between what one very smart person can do in their lab, and what a factory can produce. A technique that can't be mass produced can't help the masses. Profit is obviously a motive, and that's an entirely different discussion. That being said, a lot of really interesting research is lost because it can't be made into a product, and it's a big problem. Even if a charity wanted to give this away for free, it's not possible without being able to make this into a mass marketable product.

Comment What if you give the suits what they want? (Score 4, Interesting) 234

Post a job ad, with a caveat in the description that developers can't see the code they are supposed to work on. Report back when you don't get any results. Have some conversations with recruiters and candidates, and document the WTF reactions while you're at it. It may also be worth getting different quotes from the team you wanted to hire: one at a rate with reasonable accommodations that allow them to do their jobs, and another where they will have to deal with endless BS because management doesn't trust anyone. The truth of the matter is that someone really, really wants to target your company, they will. An employee could steal something. You could be hacked. A very determined assailant, given enough time and resources, will get to you. There are tradeoffs made to account for this possibility, while allowing enough latitude for people to do their jobs. It's the same with this group of contractors. If they really, really wanted to steal from you, then they could, and no amount of legal procedure would stop them. If they have built up a good reputation, then they probably won't do this. At the end of the day, this gets down to managing the fear level of your superiors, and it may mean letting something go undone until they come around to letting go a little bit.

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