Briefs: Google Wants to Fix Your Eyes, Being a Nice Boss Is Overrated, Etc.

Up Next for Google: Fixing Your Eyesight

In news that will either thrill you or make you squirm with discomfort, Google has announced that it has patented a device to correct your vision. The catch? It involves injecting that device directly into your eyeball.

The device, Forbes reports, is designed to help the focusing of light onto the retina, resulting in the correction of poor vision. It will contain its own storage, radio and lens and will apparently be powered wirelessly from an energy harvesting antenna.

The Legal Profession Might Get More Diverse Thanks to Law School Applications Tanking

This is counterintuitive as all get out, and of course correlation does not imply causation, but that said:

There’s evidence to suggest that as law school applications fell in the last few years, the number of Latinos and Blacks rose by proportion.

In the words of NPR’s Kelly McEvers, law school applications numbers are down — “way down” — at about half of where they were a decade ago. […] Coincidentally, however, the numbers of black and Latino students applying to law school rose in proportion to the number of white and Asian application numbers that fell.

The legal profession is still 88% white, which is abysmal.

Being a Nice Boss Does Not Always Mean Your Employees Stick Around

It has generally been presumed that if you are a terrible person to work for, your employees will leave in droves, but if you are a reasonable human being, they will stick around. A new study published in the shows this is not necessarily true.

Conventional wisdom says that people don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses. Yet our research — and growing evidence from other leadership studies — finds that employees leave both good and bad bosses at almost comparable rates. […]

Good leadership doesn’t reduce employee turnover precisely because of good leadership. Supportive managers empower employees to take on challenging assignments with greater responsibilities, which sets employees up to be strong external job candidates. So employees quit for better opportunities elsewhere — better pay, more responsibility, and so on.

So go ahead, be a jerk. Actually, don’t, because those employees that leave on good terms can be a boon for their former company.

Former employees with good bosses are what we call “happy quitters.” When the consultant company asked them about their feelings toward their former employer, their responses were overwhelmingly positive. […] Good leadership, then, is an important tool for building goodwill with employees, which they are likely to retain as alumni, in turn becoming sources of valuable information, recommendations, and business opportunities later on.

Microsoft Has Its Own IFTTT Now

IFTTT, (If This Then That) if you are not familiar, is an amazing little tool that allows you to connect various apps and services. For example, you can connect your phone to Google drive to automatically create a call log. If you have done the cool connected home thing, you can use IFTTT to tell your automatic sprinkler system to hold off watering if it is going to rain that day.

Now Microsoft has its own version of IFTTT called Flow. Some things Microsoft suggests you can do with Flow? You can get a text message or a Slack message when your boss emails you. You can automatically save email attachments to a SharePoint library.

Unfortunately, Flow looks to have quite a few less available integrations/channels/apps than IFTTT does at present.

Your Client Might Be Forced to Provide a Fingerprint to Unlock Their Phone

What is more secure, if we define “secure” as “making sure law enforcement cannot get at the contents of your phone?” Because courts are still flailing around vis-a-vis the intersection of technology and privacy, answers vary wildly. Discouraging news out of California suggests that the fingerprint ID method of locking and unlocking a phone may not keep law enforcement out after all.

It isn’t clear why the feds made an unusual effort to access a smartphone that had been used by Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan […] [b]ut it required only about 45 minutes after she was sentenced in Van Nuys, California, on Feb. 25 for a federal magistrate judge 17 miles away to issue a warrant requiring her to provide the fingerprint needed to unlock the phone, reports the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.) Since she was already in custody, it was quickly obtained by the FBI. […]

“Unlike disclosing passcodes, you are not compelled to speak or say what’s ‘in your mind’ to law enforcement. ‘Put your finger here’ is not testimonial or self-incriminating,” Albert Gidari of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society told the newspaper.

LSAC Is Very Mad At Arizona Law Right Now

The University of Arizona College of Law recently made a decision to allow incoming applicants to take the GRE instead of the LSAT after conducting a study (in conjunction with the makers of the GRE) that found the GRE to be a perfectly adequate substitute. This has made the Law School Admission Council, which administers the LSAT and serves as law school application central for tons of schools, very unhappy. So unhappy that they might just boot Arizona Law out of the LSAC club.

Last month, LSAC’s general counsel notified Arizona Law that the school’s new policy may violate its bylaws, which require that “substantially all of” a law school’s applicants take the LSAT.

The letter said the group is considering expelling Arizona Law from its membership, which would effectively cut off the school’s access to a crucial student admissions pipeline.

Arizona Law, however, isn’t going to take this lying down.

Arizona Law disputes that it’s out of compliance. But the school is challenging LSAC’s policy more broadly.

“We believe that your proposed action unreasonably restrains competition in the law school admissions testing market,” wrote Arizona Law’s dean, Marc Miller, in a letter to LSAC on Friday.

This is shaping up to be a very interesting fight.

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