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Comment Typical Nonsense Slashdot Post (Score 2, Informative) 82

Does anybody at Slashdot ever actually check *anything* before they post?

"The deal fizzled out when federal antitrust regulators said it would challenge any deal made between the two companies.""

The link is about the deal between *GOOGLE* and Yahoo!. Google != Microsoft.

The deal between Yahoo! and Microsoft fizzled out because Yang did everything he could to prevent it, not because of antitrust concerns.

Comment Idiots who run Slashdot at it again (Score 4, Insightful) 216

I realize I'm expecting a lot, but couldn't a Slashdot summary be accurate, just once.

First, its Bruce IVINS. Not IVANS. The Russians had nothing to do with this.

Second, the linked article doesn't provide any new information at all regarding IVINS' alleged motivations. It just repeats what's been reported already. And those don't make a lot of sense (the claims that he was psychologically unstable make much more sense, if those are reliable).

Third, yes anthrax fingeprinting was crucial to this case. Yes they brute forced the DNA sequencing (duh!) but the main evidence against Ivins is a statistical fingerprint based on four specific mutations in the anthrax that the FBI claims was present in the anthrax mailed to Congress critters, etc. and the anthrax in a vial that only Ivins controlled. But as the linked article points out, without knowing more you can't really conclude much from that. For example, the similarities could occur in portions of the anthrax DNA that are hypervariable which would significantly reduce their value.

So, so far it looks like the FBI case is based largely on two facts: a) Ivins began working late nights in the weeks prior to the anthrax mailings -- he apparently claimed he had trouble at home and found solace in his work which the FBI apparently found absurd; b) a statistical similarity in certain unspecified mutations among the anthrax mailed out and the anthrax in a vial that only Ivins had access to.

The Science article also suggests that the FBI assumed that because the envelopes used to mail the anthrax were purchased in Maryland or Virginia that the anthrax *had* to be produced there, so they then used as a basis for their investigation that the anthrax *had* to come from USAMRIID . . . which is why they focused on Hatfill so intensely.

Maybe Ivins was the killer, but the Science article seems to raise more questions about how solid the FBI's case really is. Maybe future, more detailed information releases will bring this more into focus, but so far this doesn't appear to be the slam dunk that the FBI has so far made it seem.

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Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!