Dropbox for Linux runs just fine as a user-mode program.
Besides, Dropbox does much nastier stuff than look at your files; it bloody hooks into your shell (Finder/Explorer) and manipulates the icons. It could decide to replace an .exe icon with the icon for a Word Document, for example.
Thought they just used icon overlays, much like all other status-icon shell extensions such as version control (TortoiseSVN). Not exactly some low level windows hack, it's a plugin system in Explorer. I probably have five or six such icon overlay extensions on my machine.
I think the idea is, you create a dedicated "sandbox" account, install apps in it that you don't trust that want access to calendar, contacts, text messages, etc., and then don't put any real data of those kinds in the account. So, they still have permission to see those things, but they don't see anything when they look.
Note, I have not looked deeply, so maybe it doesn't work like I said. I would not expect multitasking to be very seamless with this method. Also, I know there are some permissions that have "cross-user" abilities, so maybe there is still a way to accidentally allow an app to access your real data.
If the OP finds that knowing how to use IRC correlates well with the kind of people that the OP wants to hire, then I think it is reasonable to OP to test for basic IRC skills in their hiring process. For example, maybe IRC is the preferred communication medium during an emergency at OP's company, because it is more reliable than email or Skype when a data center goes down.
But as a general practice, I don't see why this would be more beneficial than presenting a candidate with a rotary telephone and telling them to make a phone call with it.
> presenting a candidate with a rotary telephone and telling them to make a phone call with it.
I felt terribly old the other day, as one of my younger co-workers overhead a conversation where rotary telephones were mentioned and turned around to ask us "what is a rotary telephone?"
Then again, I don't think my 6 year old son has actually seen a wired telephone yet (we do have a land line, but it's wireless too) before, so I'm sure said co-worker will get the pleasure of feeling old soon enough.
I'm sad that I feel the only way to get a handle on my photos is to put them in Facebook or Flickr. For example, there was the OpenPhoto kickstarter, but even though the code is open source, their hosted service (since renamed to Trovebox) is shutting down next month.
There's also Origami, where the team and product were split in an acquihire/aquire under eFamily.com.