Any any case, this case will shake up the legal situation and set things vibrating!
You can expect some tingling legal issues arousing in the near future that are sure to give us all satisfaction.
What I wonder after reading this sorry story is: was Holmes aware that she was selling snake oil all along, or did she start out with the genuinely belief that her company could make the technology work? I'm willing to believe the latter: they did try, but the longer their breakthrough failed to materialize, the more they had to shift their efforts towards keeping up appearances, or "controlling the narrative" as it's called.
Holmes new the technology cannot possibly work. According to the articles I have read on the topic (including the one in Vanity Fair) she was told so directly by her professors at Stanford when she approached them with the startup idea. Her chief scientist was telling her that the thing is not working. What did she do? She stuffed her board with people who new nothing about biology, chemistry or engineering. The job of her second in command at the company was exclusively to suppress information leaking out. So yes, she new what she was doing: scamming people out of their money.
The VF article also tells a disturbing story how friends and political connections of her father basically propped up the company, gave it legitimacy and suppressed inquiry through legal threats (David Boies) and by using their commanding position in the military (Gen. James Mattis).
Klug, who was described by friends as a kind and caring man, worked diligently to help Sarkar finish his dissertation and graduate, even though the quality of Sarkar’s work was not stellar, one source said. “Bill was extremely generous to this student, who was a subpar student,” the person said.
Passing code and data from one student to another is a normal and common practice that ensures continuity of the project, reproducibility of the research, etc. This guy is clearly nuts.
And also time to start thinking about what to do when most jobs are done by robots (owned by rich people or corporations) and almost everyone is unemployed.
Exactly that! There is no cost to labor that is low enough to make it competitive with modern day automation. Talking heads that say minimum wage rises are making companies to switch to automation, don't know what they are talking about (TFA shows that quite well). Sure strawberry picking may still be a human domain, but for how long? Even if human labor was free, it will be hard press to compete with the consistency and productivity that automation brings. So yes, it is time to think how a society will function when most people will not have jobs. What would happen to such society if labor is the only source of income and jobless people are being talked down?
In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982