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Conspiracies And Probability

Hemos posted more than 12 years ago | from the roll-the-dice-enough-times dept.

Science 506

guttentag writes "Sunday's New York Times Magazine is running a feature that looks at the rumored conspiracy that allegedly killed nearly a dozen bioterror and germ warfare researchers during a four month period following the U.S. anthrax scare. "What are the odds," people ask, despite the fact that a "one-in-a-million miracle" will statistically occur 280 times a day in the U.S. These strange things happen all the time, but we hype them because they provide the spice in literature and the comfort of comprehension."

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506 comments

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I could see that happening. (-1, Flamebait)

PFAK (524350) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048464)

I could easily see that happpen, espically in the states. I mean, I wouldn't put it past them.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048466)

I have posted first you all die now!! :)

Isn't this a repost? (1)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048467)

This happened a long time ago and I think Salon covered it. Maybe I read it on another website.

Re:Isn't this a repost? (1)

H310iSe (249662) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048583)

who cares - this article is what I've been looking for for years (well, not looking too hard, obviously) - i wrote a thesis on how pattern recognition is hard-wired into human's brains, how we're biologically inclined to see and interpret coicidences, but at the time I was working w/ sociologits' work, I never looking into the people listed in the article. I LOVE SLASHDOT (sometimes).

BTW - "The fact that so many suspected cancer clusters have turned out to be statistically insupportable does not mean the energy we spent looking for them has been wasted,'...'You're never going to find the real ones if you don't look at all the ones that don't turn out to be real ones.'
I wonder how they determine if the coincidence is a coincidence. That is, just because the thing that looks like a cancer cluster actually turns out to statistically be a non-cluster, isn't there a chance that a real cluster might also happen to be identical to a non-cluster?

mmm, the coincidence of coincidence - catchy title, no?

Re:Isn't this a repost? (4, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048692)

"Isn't this a repost?"

What are the odds of that happening on Slashdot?

i have a combination whistle and flashlight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048470)

linux is sucks, lol

Re:i have a combination whistle and flashlight (-1, Offtopic)

PFAK (524350) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048483)

Hmm. Nice grammer. You dont have to put down Linux, because then that makes other OSes look bad that are bashing it. I mean, im not a fan of Linux -- but I don't go bashing it. I'd rather have an open source operating system over Windows, but I'd rather have FreeBSD. But in any case, Linux would be better then Windows.

Re:i have a combination whistle and flashlight (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048492)

eat a dick

Conspiracy (4, Insightful)

vmac (176029) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048474)

We have Bush as our President. Let's figure out that conspiracy first.

Stop Living In The Past (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048498)

You dirty hippy, you should thank God that Bush won, because if Gore was president the country probably would have collapsed. Why don't you just kill yourself? You filthy socialists should all move to Europe, so we can bomb the hell out of you and the eurotrash over there and pass the savings onto the taxpayers.

Re:Stop Living In The Past (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048515)

I love you and want to have your baby.

Re:Stop Living In The Past (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048524)

You can not handle my large unit. It will injure you permanently.

Wow, this is almost three years past being topical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048503)

Wow, this is almost three years past being topical. Good work, shit head.

Re:Conspiracy (2)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048507)

Doesn't take much figuring out...

Re:Conspiracy (3, Funny)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048531)

We'd all be saying the same thing if Gore was in office.

It's kinda like arguing over which movie is better, Dante's Peak or Volcano.

Re:Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048569)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

MODERATORS ON CRACK! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048578)

Seriously, if something was similarly slanted with a conservative bias, there is no way it would be "+4 Insightful". This is groupthink at its worst.

Re:MODERATORS ON CRACK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048750)

Uh huh... everyone agrees with you = solid support for sensible policies. Everyone disagrees with you = GROUPTHINK!

Re:Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048593)

Jedi Mind Trick:
"There is no conspiracy here... These are not the clues you're looking for...
The President was elected through an exceptional triumph of Democratic process, rising in the face of extraordinary circumstances...

Re:Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048614)

You are the same guy that posts the Jew conspiracy stuff too, aren't you?

Re:Conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048663)

i voted for GW Bush, because Gore would be like having another 4 years of Clinton, Bush is not perfict but still better than the other alternatives...

Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048480)

Hemos posted the same story back in May: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/05/0 5/0043203&mode=thread&tid=134 [slashdot.org]

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (4, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048554)

No. It's the same topic, but not the same story. The May story referenced globeandmail.com, which was perpetuating the rumor. The NYTimes Magazine story debunks the rumor by pointing out the facts and explaining why everyone gets irrationally excited about these things.

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048556)

except it's not the same story at all... similar subject, different story.

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (1)

SlugLord (130081) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048624)

Hey, what are the odds of that happening?

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (1)

kyras (472503) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048629)

Vonnegut should write a book about this:

Hemos had become unstuck in time.

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048680)

As long as he dies at the end.


So it goes.

Re:Hemos... stuck in a time loop? (2)

Hemos (2) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048754)

This is a different story, but same topic.

Id love to ead all about it... (0, Offtopic)

Scrab (573004) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048486)

but do I really have to register myself with the NY Times?

Re:Id love to ead all about it... (1)

qubit64 (233602) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048634)

nope, use the random registration generator. (search for it on google im too lazy to find it right now)

You're one in a million! (3, Funny)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048489)

Which means there are about 6000 people exactly like you.

Re:You're one in a million! (2)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048655)

Which means there are about 6000 people exactly like you.

Well, if there are 6000 others out there just like me, then they are all on /. and should be modding up every one of my posts. Or at least I should see 6000 replies saying "Yeah, exactly what I was thinking!". Since this doesn't happen, I gotta conclude that I'm not one in a million but closer to one in a billion.

Re:You're one in a million! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048675)

I would like to congratulate you on your use of proper grammar. That is rare on Slashdot these days.

Zionism, ZOG, j e w s (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048496)

The only real conspiracy.

What are the odds? (5, Interesting)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048500)

You could find the odds exactly if you knew several figures:

What is the number of bio-whatnot researchers in the group?
What are the odds of one dying in a given time period?
And this is the hardest: How many comparable groups are there in society? For example, politicians dying would be noticed. Baseball players dying would be noticed. And how big are these groups?

If you answer these simple questions, you can answer the main topic.

Re:What are the odds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048529)

You also need to add something about how many bio-whatevers of the caliber who were killed there are and include something about the chances of non-natural deaths...

NYT registration (-1)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048501)

name=cypherpunk
pwd=cypherpunks

one-in-a-million miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048506)

If a woman gets pregnant after sitting on a soiled toilet seat, is a "miracle" really the proper term?

Re:one-in-a-million miracle (2)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048557)

If she was impregnated by feces smeared on the seat, then yes, even by my atheist standards, it's a miracle.

It also probably means that the baby will grow up to be a lawyer.

Re:one-in-a-million miracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048684)

And before they reach adulthood, they will probably be a Slashdot moderator.

On my way home today.... (3, Insightful)

Rothfuss (47480) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048510)

I noticed a car with the license plate JAA 768 next to another car with the license plate XPA 117.

It was amazing.

I mean, do you have any idea how staggeringly improbable it was for me to see those two license plates next to each other?

Re:On my way home today.... (1)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048544)

In June I went on a road trip from through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, and back to Washington... I saw two cars with my license plate number. How about the probability of that? :)

Re:On my way home today.... (2)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048547)

Well, I don't understand the JAA 768 or XPA 117 references, but I can tell you of a similar coincidence:

I went to Thomas Alva Edison elementary school. The license plate one of my my teacher's cars was "TAE - 072". (Not sure about the 072 part...) Weird that a teacher's license plate has the same acronym of the school he worked for!

Of course, TAE could have lots of meanings to differnt people though, couldn't it? TAE could have been the initials of his cousin for all we knew. Still, though, it was an interesting conincidence.

Re:On my way home today.... (1)

ActiveSX (301342) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048561)

Anonvmous Coward, meet Sarcasm. Sarcasm, Anonvmous Coward. I hope you two get along.

Re:On my way home today.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048571)

I went to Thomas Alva Edison elementary school. The license plate one of my my teacher's cars was "TAE - 072".
I just got off the phone with your elementary school teacher. He said the initials on his plate stand for Timothy Alva Edison, so it's just a coincidence. Nothing to worry about.

Re:On my way home today.... (0, Offtopic)

chill (34294) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048727)

NewTek is releasing a LightWave render engine for Linux. It is official, now.

A full port would be a nice add on.

Re:On my way home today.... (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048752)

Oh yeah, well I got marked as "troll" on two different messages at the exact same *second* today. What is the chance of that?

It must be a sign that I am "special".

I need to get to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048513)

Once in a million things happen atleast 1000 times, and once in a billion things happen atleast once!

Re:I need to get to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048642)

They also kill your children.

Re:I need to get to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048808)

Only the ones born second. Simple solution: Only have one.

PHEW! (4, Funny)

papasui (567265) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048517)

And all time time I was afraid that the FBI was monitoring my Inter-.........

well, what can i say (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048523)

million-to-one chances happen 9 times out of ten

NYTimes registration generator (2)

jon787 (512497) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048528)

http://www.majcher.com/nytview.html

Re:NYTimes registration generator (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048610)

ooh, I was unemployed a few seconds ago, now I seem to be a female teacher who lives in Spain and earns between $100,000 and $149,999 a year.

Want to earn $55,000 a month? (-1, Troll)

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3rd level-10 members from those 100
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4th level-10 members from those 1,000
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AVAILABLE REPORTS

Order Each REPORT by NUMBER and NAME Notes:

ALWAYS SEND $5 CASH (U.S. CURRENCY) FOR EACH
REPORT. CHECKS NOT ACCEPTED.
ALWAYS SEND YOUR ORDER VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL.

Make sure the cash is concealed by wrapping it in at least two sheets of paper.

On one of those sheets of paper, include:
(a) the number & name of the report you are ordering,
(b) your e-mail address, and your name & postal address.

## PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR THESE REPORTS NOW:

REPORT # 1 ?The Insider?s Guide to Advertising for Free on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT FROM: # 1 FROM:
J D Hartley
2223 Astor St., Gra #3
Orange Park, FL 32073

REPORT # 2 ?The Insider?s Guide to Sending Bulk E-mail on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT # 2 FROM:
Nitro Marketing
29250 Hwy. HH
Sedalia, MO 65301

REPORT # 3 ?The Secrets to Multilevel Marketing on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT # 3 FROM:
J Bradford
P.O. Box 366
Cole Camp, MO 65235

REPORT # 4 ?How to become a Millionaire utilizing the Power of Multilevel Marketing and the Internet?
ORDER REPORT # 4 FROM:
Darren Douglas
4000 Hyde Park Ave. Apt. # 83
Columbia, MO 65201

About 50,000 new people get online every month!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

TREAT THIS AS YOUR BUSINESS! Be prompt, professional, and follow the directions accurately. Send for the four reports IMMEDIATELY so you will have them when the orders start coming in because: When you receive a $5 order, you MUST send out the requested product/report. ALWAYS PROVIDE SAME-DAY SERVICE ON THE ORDERS YOU RECEIVE.
Be patient and persistent with this program. If you follow the instructions exactly, your results WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! ABOVE ALL, HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AND KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED!

YOUR SUCCESS GUIDELINES

Follow these guidelines to guarantee your success: If you don?t receive 20 orders for REPORT # 1 within two weeks, continue advertising or sending e-mails until you do. Then, a couple of weeks later you should receive at least 100 orders for REPORT # 2. If you don?t, continue advertising or sending e-mails until you do. Once you have received 100 or more orders for REPORT # 2, YOU CAN RELAX, because the system is already working for you, and the cash will continue to roll in!

THIS IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:
Every time your name is moved down on the list, you are placed in front of a DIFFERENT report. You can KEEP TRACK of your PROGRESS by watching which report people are ordering from you. If you want to generate more income, send another batch of e-mails or continue placing ads and start the whole process again! There is no limit to the income you will generate from this business! Before you make your decision as to whether or not you participate in this program. Please answer one question. DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
If the answer is yes, please look at the following facts about this program:
1. You are selling a product which does not Cost anything to PRODUCE, SHIP OR ADVERTISE.
2. All of your customers pay you in CASH!
3. E-mail is without question the most powerful method of distributing information on earth. This program combines the distribution power of e-mail together with the revenue generating power of multi-level marketing.
4. Your only expense-other than your initial $20 investment-is your time!
5. Virtually all of the income you generate from this program is PURE PROFIT!
6. This program will change your LIFE FOREVER.

ACT NOW! Take your first step toward achieving financial independence. Order the reports and follow the program outlined above-SUCCESS will be your reward.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

PLEASE NOTE: If you need help with starting a business, registering a business name, learning how income tax is handled, etc., contact your local office of the Small Business Administration (a Federal Agency)1-800-827-5722 for free help and answers to questions.
Also, the Internal Revenue Service offers free help via telephone and free seminars about business tax requirements. Your earnings are highly dependant on your activities and advertising. The information contained on this site and in the report constitutes no guarantees neither stated nor implied. In the event that it is determined that this site or report constitutes a guarantee of any kind, that guarantee is now void. The earnings amounts listed on this site and in the report are estimates only. If you have any questions of the legality of this program, contact the Office of Associate Director for Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission, and Bureau of Consumer Protection in Washington, DC.

ONE TIME MAILING, NO NEED TO REMOVE

This message is sent in compliance of the proposed bill:SECTION 301. Per Section 301, Paragraph (a)(2)(C) of S. 1618, further transmissions to you by the sender of this email may be stopped at no cost to you by sending a reply to this email address with the word remove in the subject line. This message is not intended for residents in the State of Washington, screening of addresses has been done to the best of our technical ability.
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Monkeys and typewriters... (2, Insightful)

blackcoot (124938) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048540)

... is what this reminds me of. Math says that anything that can happen will happen given enough time --- much the same as some number n monkeys typing at n typewriters will eventually produce the Library of Congress. Of course, we're talking about very large values of n and incredibly long amounts of time...

Re:Monkeys and typewriters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048581)

Math says that anything that can happen will happen given enough time.

Umm... no.

Re:Monkeys and typewriters... (5, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048587)

Yes, but take those very same monkeys, take away their typewriters. Given only 5 months, these monkeys can and will write the legislation for the USA for the given year.

And if they do a poor job, you can always vote for another monkey next November.

Or said another way, given very large numbers of N, and incredible lengths of time, Congress might actually write something worth reading....

Re:Monkeys and typewriters... (2)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048617)

How do you think we got Windows ME?

Re:Monkeys and typewriters... (1)

SlugLord (130081) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048720)

Funny that you should mention monkeys with typewriters...

George Kingsley Zipf realized that lots of things follow an inverse power law (with the power very cloze to 1 in most cases) when plotted as frequency versus frequency rank. The most common example is the english language. If you take all the words in a large well known text and count the occurrances and then plot the frequencies on say a dot plot from highest to lowest, you'll find that it traces an inverse curve pretty closely. Many people look at this and see some divine intervention (since Zipf's law also occurs often naturally), but eventually someone explains to them that monkeys with typewriters would produce the same "word" length frequency distribution purely by probability.

I guess that's a long-winded way of saying that people like to look for patterns and try to interpret them (which is, by the way, probably a Good Thing(TM) because it allows things like "reading") and that sometimes there really isn't anything to interpret.

Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (3, Insightful)

David Wong (199703) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048573)

Why is it so much more comfortable for us to see massive orchestrated conspiracy where there is really nothing but 1) random chance or 2) stupidity.

As in, a lone crazy man slips through some very sloppy secret service security and puts a bullet in the president, 30 years later we're still speculating about secret mafia/cuban/communist/military-instrustrial complex theories. We actually bend the facts to make it fit. Visit the Book Depository in Dallas; if you look out that window down into the street, Oswald's shot looks rather easy to make. It's right there.

Why can't we just accept that? If there's a crime to be investigated, investigate it. Fine. But twenty years from now some conspiracy nut will still be speculating about who or what killed those scientists. Probably the same guy who did Vince Foster and Ron Brown...

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048613)

A reply from the article:
We are discomforted by the idea of a random universe. Like Mel Gibson's character Graham Hess in M. Night Shyamalan's new movie "Signs," we want to feel that our lives are governed by a grand plan.

The need is especially strong in an age when paranoia runs rampant. "Coincidence feels like a loss of control perhaps," says John Allen Paulos, a professor of mathematics at Temple University and the author of "Innumeracy," the improbable best seller about how Americans don't understand numbers. Finding a reason or a pattern where none actually exists "makes it less frightening," he says, because events get placed in the realm of the logical. "Believing in fate, or even conspiracy, can sometimes be more comforting than facing the fact that sometimes things just happen."

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (1)

qubit64 (233602) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048695)

Maybe this explains the appeal of religion?

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (1, Flamebait)

T3kno (51315) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048781)

Actually to me that is an argument for religion. Religionists are not the ones that are constantly twisting things too support a half baked theory or moralistic system. If you look at it, the fundamental belief system of christianity has been pretty much the same for the last 2000 years. Science and politics are the ones that has been all over the place.

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (2, Funny)

Valar (167606) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048615)

Everyone knows that John Dillinger shot JFK, on behalf of the JAMs.

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048777)

But we kicked out the JAMs...

Re:Conspiracies, nuts, and JFK (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048834)

1) Because one bullet was supposed to have gone thru three people, all at different angles.

2) Because the gov't has a bad habit of covering up anything that might potentially embarrass them. Then, they cover up (lie) about the rest just for good measure.

3) Because evidence "disappeared" -- like frames from Zapruder's film. Odds are some buffoon bureaucrats simply lost stuff, but it doesn't look good.

on the other hand (2)

lingqi (577227) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048594)

the fact that a "one-in-a-million miracle" will statistically occur 280 times a day in the U.S.

It is quite plausible to argue that the chance of at least one conspiracy theories being true is also quite high. I mean... It just boils down to which ones, right?

Some of this crap *has* came true, btw. the US government has denied any base in "area 51" for about as long as it existed. until more photos showed up. and russia shot down an U-2, and F117 was unveild to be designed there, etc. the only difference is that by this day and age, "area 51" is no longer considered a conspiracy.

so... the truth is still out there. just have to believe in the right one (or two) and filter out the other million or so...

Re:on the other hand (1)

cosmicrecursion (592316) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048679)

pfft.. come on.. the real conspiracy with area 51 now days is... wtf are the other 50 areas?

it's elementary (1, Insightful)

WilyKit (68796) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048602)

What are the odds that nearly a dozen biochemists would die in one way or another over a period of five months, and that an article would appear in the New York Times proclaiming that it wasn't a conspiracy?

John Allen Paulos (2)

rde (17364) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048606)

He's quoted in the article, and it's worth reading his stuff. His home page is here [temple.edu] , and there's an archive of his ABC Who's Counting columns here. [go.com] .

Go read 'em.

Required reading (3, Interesting)

snicker (7648) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048612)

Stanislaw Lem's "The Chain of Chance" deals with just about this very sort of thing, actually. Emergent properties of large populations, more, though.

More than one possible "miracle" (1)

Coward, Anonymous (55185) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048619)

a "one-in-a-million miracle" will statistically occur 280 times a day in the U.S.

This means that there is just a single one-in-a-million miracle that humans can observe, but it is likely that there are many and each of them will occur roughly 280 times a day in a population of 280 million. (this assumes that a one-in-a-million miracle is something which the odds of happening to a specific person on a specific day is 1/1,000,000 and which can be observed by other humans (having an abnormally high number of neutrinos pass through your body in a specific nanosecond would be something that is unlikely but wouldn't be miracle worthy))

Don't you all know... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048625)

...that the media is part of the conspiracies?

Seriously, once we are all aware that these random conjunctions of events happen frequently we will be more likely to ignore/dismiss/deny the seemingly coincidental events that the conspiracies trigger?

Proof that happenstance can cause suspicious events is not proof that all suspicious events are caused by happenstance.

Just Because (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048626)

its crazy sounding and artbellish does not make it a non fact. i had read about FEMA sights that had been desingned to be concentration camps for undesirables during times of martial law crackdown, complete with railroad tracks so that people could be railed directly in, and i packed up and traveled cross country and found four of these myself. they were even gaurded by uniformed govt agents that were militaristic, but no of common military. i have seen area 51 myself. i have lived in a town that had a fellow living there that had been experimented on by the govt. there are without a doubt things going on that are highly conspiritorical in nature, and to automaticaly chuckle at the possibilities of this is the reason these things are able to happen in the first place. the conpiritors know that most by far will think it is ludicris and also simply not care, as long as it doesnt affect them personaly. i wasnt going to bring this up, but shit on it. i know someone personaly who was once a govt assasin and was stationed in a very remote cold ass location for easy dispatchment all around the world. if you could have a good conversation with him youd wet your pants and cry for mommy.

SPAM CLASSICS. ONLY ON SLASHDOT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048627)

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In less than one week, I was starting to receive orders for REPORT # 1 By January 13; I had received 26 orders for REPORT # 1. Your goal is to ?RECEIVE at least 20 ORDERS FOR REPORT # 1 WITHIN 2 WEEKS. IF YOU DON?T, SEND OUT MORE PROGRAMS UNTIL YOU DO!?
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A PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS PROGRAM:

By the time you have read the enclosed program and reports, you should have concluded that such a program, and one that is legal, could not have been created by an amateur.
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INSTRUCTIONS:

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2. IMPORTANT DO NOT alter the names of the people who are listed next to each report, or their sequence on the list, in any way other than is instructed below in steps ?a? through ?f? or you will lose out on the majority of your profits. Once you understand the way this works, you?ll also see how it doesn?t work if you change it. Remember, this method has been tested, and if you alter it, it will not work.

a. Look below for the listing of available reports.
b. After you?ve ordered the four reports, take this advertisement and remove the name and address under REPORT # 4. This person has made it through the cycle and is no doubt counting their $50,000!
c. Move the name and address under REPORT # 3 down to REPORT # 4.
d. Move the name and address under REPORT # 2 down to REPORT # 3.
e. Move the name and address under REPORT # 1 down to REPORT # 2.
f. Insert your name/address in the REPORT # 1 position. Please make sure you COPY ALL INFORMATION, every name and address, ACCURATELY!
3. Take this entire letter, including the modified list of names, and save it to your computer. Make NO changes to the instruction portion of this letter. Your cost to participate in this is practically nothing (surely you can afford $20). You obviously already have an Internet connection and e-mail is FREE!

There are two primary methods of building your downline:

METHOD # 1: SENDING BULK E-MAIL

Let?s say that you decide to start small, just to see how it goes, and we?ll assume you and all those involved send out only 2,000 programs each. Let?s also assume that the mailing receives a 0.5% response. Using a good list the response could be much better. Also, many people will send out hundreds of thousands of programs instead of 2,000. But continuing with this example, you send out only 2,000 programs. With a 0.5% response, that is only 10 orders for REPORT # 1. Those 10 people respond by sending out 2,000 programs each for a total of 20,000. Out of those 0.5%, 100 people respond and order REPORT # 2. Those 100 mail out 2,000 programs each for a total of 200,000. The 0.5% response to that are 1,000 orders for REPORT # 3. Those 1,000 send out 2,000 programs each for a 2,000,000 total. The 0.5% response to that are 10,000 orders for REPORT # 4. That?s 10,000 $5 bills for you. CASH! Your total income in this example is $50 + $500 + $5,000 + $50,000 for a total of $55,550! REMEMBER FRIEND, THIS IS ASSUMING 1,990 OUT OF THE 2,000 PEOPLE YOU MAIL TO WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AND TRASH THIS PROGRAM! DARE TO THINK FOR A MOMENT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF EVERYONE, OR HALF SENT OUT 100,000 PROGRAMS INSTEAD OF 2,000. Believe me, many people will do just that, and more! By the way, your cost to participate in this is practically nothing. You obviously already have an Internet connection and e-mail is FREE!

REPORT # 2 will show you the best methods for bulk e-mailing; tell you where to obtain free bulk e-mail software and where to obtain e-mail lists.

METHOD # 2 - PLACING FREE ADS ON THE INTERNET

Advertising on the Internet is very, very inexpensive, and there are HUNDREDS of FREE places to advertise. Let?s say you decide to start small just to see how well it works. Assume your goal is to get ONLY 10 people to participate on your first level. (Placing a lot of FREE ads on the Internet will EASILY get a larger response.) Also assume that everyone else in YOUR ORGANIZATION gets ONLY 10 downline members. Follow this example to achieve the STAGGERING results below:

1st level-your 10 members with
$5.$50
2nd level-10 members from those 10
($5 x 100)$500

3rd level-10 members from those 100
($5 x 1,000).$5,000

4th level-10 members from those 1,000
($5 x 10,000).$50,000

THIS TOTALS ---$55,550

Remember friends, this assumes that the people who participate only recruit 10 people each.
Think for a moment what would happen if they got 20 people to participate! Most people get 100?s of participants!

THINK ABOUT IT! For every $5.00 you receive, all you must do is e-mail them the report they ordered. THAT?S IT! ALWAYS PROVIDE SAME-DAY SERVICE ON ALL ORDERS! This will guarantee that the e-mail THEY send out with YOUR name and address on it will be prompt because they can?t advertise until they receive the report!

AVAILABLE REPORTS

Order Each REPORT by NUMBER and NAME Notes:

ALWAYS SEND $5 CASH (U.S. CURRENCY) FOR EACH
REPORT. CHECKS NOT ACCEPTED.
ALWAYS SEND YOUR ORDER VIA FIRST CLASS MAIL.

Make sure the cash is concealed by wrapping it in at least two sheets of paper.

On one of those sheets of paper, include:
(a) the number & name of the report you are ordering,
(b) your e-mail address, and your name & postal address.

## PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR THESE REPORTS NOW:

REPORT # 1 ?The Insider?s Guide to Advertising for Free on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT FROM: # 1 FROM:
J D Hartley
2223 Astor St., Gra #3
Orange Park, FL 32073

REPORT # 2 ?The Insider?s Guide to Sending Bulk E-mail on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT # 2 FROM:
Nitro Marketing
29250 Hwy. HH
Sedalia, MO 65301

REPORT # 3 ?The Secrets to Multilevel Marketing on the Internet?
ORDER REPORT # 3 FROM:
J Bradford
P.O. Box 366
Cole Camp, MO 65235

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Pointless (3, Interesting)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048635)

Wild speculation on black helicopter type stuff only distracts from real things that warrant concern of their own.

Google for "operation northwoods" and you will discover that the military, in the 1960s, as a matter of public record, were laying plans to attack American citizens in order to stir up support for a war on Cuba.

That's not speculation, that is public record, learned through researching and the Freedom Of Information Act. They didn't actually carry out any of these plans, or blow up John Glenn's orbital space flight, because saner heads, including McNamara, refused to even consider allowing the military to make attacks on the country's own citizens for PR reasons.

The plans were still being seriously put forth.

How are you going to explain to people that this was reality, public record, proven, and that the anthrax/researcher killings you're talking about are not proven to that level of confidence? You will only make people less willing to believe the proven and important facts about the military making plans to target US civilians.

And I think that is too high a price to pay. This is the time where people need to learn to listen, not be confused by wild stories.

Choose your stories carefully, and talk about them carefully. It's like traditional investigative journalism- you don't charge madly ahead or you get discredited and lose everything you worked for.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048805)

The reactionary sceptics always drive me nuts. Of course they're right in a way - there's plenty of loonie-bin stuff out there, particularly on the net. What sticks in the craw, however, is the knee-jerk reaction to any suggestion that there might be more to an issue than what Dan Rather told them this evening: "Hah! Grassy knoll! Grassy knoll!"

Of course we all know that there never, in the history of the world, has the truth been in any way different from that stated Officially on CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN (oh, and the NYT). Conspiracies don't happen, everyone in power operates in total transparency and within the exact same moral framework as you or I (except of course for the Designated Bad Guys in tonights news narrative). In fact, there's really no such thing as any powerfull interests in the world. Ferreting out the truth in not necessary, because if there was anything to be found out, it already would have been. Now be quiet, Friends is on.

Re: Operation Northwood (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048817)

ABC News story [go.com] obtained by googling for "Operation Northwood":
[In the early 1960s,] America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
That's original. Remember the Maine? [si.edu]

umm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048641)

..those 280 miracles/day are probably 279 the diff lotteries around the country..and another 1 being some1 waking up from a near death coma or something, over a dozen ppl in such a small field of study in a short time is kinda off..

Disturbing (1)

SlugLord (130081) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048660)

From the article... For instance, although the numbers 9/11 (9 plus 1 plus 1) equal 11, and American Airlines Flight 11 was the first to hit the twin towers, and there were 92 people on board (9 plus 2), and Sept. 11 is the 254th day of the year (2 plus 5 plus 4), and there are 11 letters each in ''Afghanistan,'' ''New York City'' and ''the Pentagon'' (and while we're counting, in George W. Bush) ... Good God! George W Bush is an Al Qaida terrorist!

Re:Disturbing (1)

barista (587936) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048797)

The terrorists have already won...or did they??

Amazing Gullibility (5, Interesting)

death00 (551487) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048673)

I am always amazed by the gullibility of the general populice. How can people honestly believe that a modern government could harbour ANY kind of conspiracy given that they can't even keep the affair of a President with an intern secret?? If there really were aliens on earth, UFOs circling the solar system, etc., you'd be guaranteed that somebody, somewhere who wasn't hushed up by "the government" would have reported it on the 'net. Conspiracy theories are just another method for selling media to the masses.

Re:Amazing Gullibility (1)

cosmicrecursion (592316) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048724)

You actually think the little intern affair wasnt meant to hit the news rooms? Hahahahahahahah If your getting in the main news, its because they want you to get it. got it? =)

Microsoft Promtotes 'Death to Jews'? (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048674)

Anybody remember the urban legend running around that Microsoft had previous knowledge of September 11th? If not, check out this site:

http://198.64.129.160/rumors/wingding.htm

The short explanation is that if you take the letters NYC and put them into the 'Webdings' font, you'll get an icon of an eye, a heart, and a building. It looks a little like "I love New York". Then, if you change the font to Windings, you get a Skull/Crossbones, a Jewish star, and a Thumb's up.

This sparked a heated controversy accusing Microsoft programmers of hiding anti-Jewish messages in software. They used lines like 'The odds of that occuring are trillions to one, it had to have been intentional.'

Well I'll tell you guys what I think: To imply that anybody left a message like that in a font is absurd. What really happened was that somebody was presented with some icons, and they extracted a meaningful message from them. That's it! The 'Death to Jews' icons that show up in Wingdings are only interesting because "NYC" calls them up. The link between 'NYC' and 'death of Jews' didn't become meaningful until 9-11. Before 9-11, it took a lot of creativity to try to paint MS in a bad light with that 'message'.

Now, one could could measure the probability of NYC creating a message that implies death to Jews and realistically say it's astronomically improbable. However, one cannot use that to establish guilt. The simple fact of the matter is that anybody can pull symbollic meaning out of any combination of letters. Common sense and evidence must factor in to questions like these. Did somebody at MS intentionally hide anti Jewish messages in a font? To convince me of that, I'd have to talk to the programmer.

I remember somebody used the 'odds of safely going to the moon and back' to prove that the moon landing was a hoax. If memory serves, it was well over 1 in 1000. Frankly, common sense says that the odds weren't anywhere near as bleak as he had measured. Nasa had a pretty good idea what was involved and built a vehicle to withstand those conditions. The only real/i odds they had to face were uncertainty. "What are the odds of something happening to cause greater forces than we had anticipated?"

Nasa maniuplated the odds in their favor, and they succeeded. End of story.

In any case, I find probability to be a relatively useless topic when attempting to establish possibilities of achievement or in judging guilt. It's one thing to measure them in Las Vegas, it's another to measure them when trying to predict anything nature has control over.

280? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048699)

"What are the odds," people ask, despite the fact that a "one-in-a-million miracle" will statistically occur 280 times a day in the U.S.

Probability that this "280" number is just a big fat guess: 0.999999999999

(And it depends on how one defines "miracle".)

Re:280? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048759)

Probability that this "280" number is just a big fat guess

Hey stupid! It is just an example based on 280 million people in the US. RTFA, troll!

Re:280? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048795)

(* Hey stupid! It is just an example based on 280 million people in the US. RTFA, troll! *)

Oh. Right. My bad. Now where is the fricken UNDO button?

Enough true conspiracies to worry about (3, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048702)

As I recently wrote [kuro5hin.org] over at kuo5hin, I've discovered that about a third of the conspiracies out there are true. But finding out which ones takes research -- which I enjoy doing. And recently I set up a PostNuke blog, UnderReported.com [underreported.com] to post what I find. I look for stories that can be backed up by the mainstream press and/or primary sources, such as government web sites.

As for this particular issue of the dead scientists, there's been no good evidence either way, and so it hasn't appeared at all in my blog.

Slashdot Conspiracy? What are the odds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048703)

...that within 24 hours, there'll be a dramatic story about Microsoft doing something wrong followed by a boring story about somebody switching to Linux in a vain attempt to make it appear more mass-market ready than it really is?

It's not very often that 1:1 odds prove there's a conspiracy.

Wrong again (2, Insightful)

MakinWaves (251435) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048704)

Three years ago I coulda told you about pedophile priests and get this now.....a church conspiracy to cover it up. Thank god I was full of shit.....oh wait.....

Don't feel bad though, I too was once a snot-nosed kid who thought he knew everything there was to know. Here's one for all you "sceptics" out there. I know y'all are real good at saying what something isn't. Check out the cattle mutilations in Argentina. Can any of your explain what it IS? Didn't think so...

Re:Wrong again (1)

kingkade (584184) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048788)

Yes, I killed them. I killed them all.

Re:Wrong again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048791)

The cattle? That is simple, Hemos went on vacation there and got horny. Apparently the rumors of his very large "member" were true, because those cattle really got screwed up :(

Re:Wrong again (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048794)

What you see with the cattle mutilations are seen in smaller animals when they are attacked by birds or insects. Its just no one has filmed this with a larger animal like a cow.

I recall from a math textbook... (2, Interesting)

Featureless (599963) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048755)

Specifically, in a probability textbook I saw a long time ago, the preface opened with a rivetingly complex proof, well beyond my ability to follow in detail both then and now. But I got the jist. The quick version is that, "mathematically speaking," something nearly impossible happens nearly every instant. A logical pun, so to speak.

And yet, am I really paranoid for suspecting that the Enron executive who committed suicide recently was murdered? Is that a hollywood-addled sense of the world, or is it simply realistic; it's not a difficult to accept fact that people have been killed over far, far smaller amounts of money. And the money is only the tip of the iceberg of conspiracies that was Enron.

Call it a coincidence that all of these scientists died in such rapid succession if you want. But I will do you one better. I won't say it's proof of a conspiracy, and I won't say it's a coincidence either.

That article was poorly researched. (0)

newestbob (589866) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048771)

For example, they failed to mention that the "Kennedy / Lincoln" coincidences were collected as a JOKE by Martin Gardner for his Dr. Matrix character to show how you can find coincidences anywhere.

It seems that the author of the article--what do women know about math anyway--didn't bother to research primary sources of her stories.

Maxim or Platitude? (2)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048813)

"Odds are, unlikely things will happen."

Biggest Coverup are RADIO ID Chips in your CAR!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4048818)

You want knowledge of REAL coverups? You want conspiracies of highes tlevel possible? TOP SECRET FACT:Most modern cars have tracking transponder!

A secret initiative exists to track all funnel-points on interstates and US borders for car tire ID transponders (RFid chips embedded in the tire).

Yup. My brother works on them.

Your tires have a passive coil with 64 to 128 bit serial number emitter in them! (AIAG B-11 ADC v3.0) . A particular frequency energizes it enough so that a receiver can read its little ROM. A ROM which in essence is your GUID for your TIRE. Multiple tires do not confuse the readers. Its almost identical to all "FastPass" "SpeedPass" technologies you see on gasoline keychain dongles and commuter windshield sticker-chips. The US gov has secretly started using these chips to track people.

Its kind of like FBI "Taggants" in fertilizer and "Taggants" in Gasoline and Bullets, and Blackpowder. But these car tire transponder Ids are meant to actively track and trace movement of your car.

I am not making this up. Melt down a high end Firestone, or Bridgestone tire and go through the bits near the rim (sometimes at base of tread) and you will locate the transmitter (similar to 'grain of rice' pet ids and Mobile SpeedPass, but not as high tech as the tollbooth based units). Sokymat LOGI 160, and Sokymat LOGI 120 transponder buttons are just SOME of the transponders found in modern high end car tires. The AIAG B-11 Tire tracking standard is now implemented for all 3rd party transponder manufactures [covered below].

It is for QA and to prevent fraud and "car theft", but the US Customs service uses it in Canada to detect people who swap license plates on cars when doing a transport of contraband on a mule vehicle that normally has not logged enough hours across the border. The customs service and FBI do not yet talk about this, and are starting using it soon.

Photos of chips before molded into tires:

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:TAQIKjBI01g C: www.sokymat.com/sp/applications/tireid.html

(slashdot ruins links, so you will have to remove the ASCII space it insertess usually into the url above to get to the shocking info and photos on the enbedded LOGI 160 chips that the us gov scans when you cross mexican and canadian borders.)

You never heard of it either because nobody moderates on slashdot anymore and this is probably +0 still. It has also never appeared in print before and is very secret.

Californias Fastpass is being upgraded to scan ALL responding car tires in future years upcoming. I-75 may get them next in rural funnel points in Ohio.

http://www.tadiran-telematics.com/products6.html

but the fact is... YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE A RADIO TRANSPONDER not counting your digital cell phone which is routinely silently pulsed in CA bay area each rush hour morning unless turned off (consult Wired Magazine Expose article). Those data point pulses are used by NSA on occasions.

The us FBI with NRO/NSA blessings, has requested us gov make this tire scanning information as secret as the information regarding all us inkjet printers sold in usa in the last 3 years using "yellow" GUID barcode under dark ink regions to serialize printouts to thwart counterfeiting of 20 dollar bills. (30 to 40 percent of ALL California counterfeiting is done using cheap Epson inkjet printers, most purchased with credit cards foolishly). Luckily court dockets divulge the existence of the Epson serial numbers on your printouts... but nobody except a handful of people know about this Tire scanning upgrade to big brother's arsenal.

YOU MUST BUY NEUTRALIZED OR FOREIGN TIRES!!!!! Soon such tires will become illegal to import or manufacture, just as Gasoline must have "Taggants" added or gasoline is illegal, as are non-self-aging 9 mm bullets.

It is currently VERY illegal to buy or disable the "911 help" GPS emitter in digital cell phones in the US or ship a modified phone across state borders, but it is still legal to turn off your cell phone in your car while travelling. As you should. And you should be wary of your tires now too. : http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:TAQIKjBI01gC: www.sokymat.com/sp/applications/tireid.html

Alternatively you could illegally build jamming devices at : 13.56 MHz, + 1,356 MHz +- many freqs (TI-RFid) and a few others. If microwave is ever employed you might not be able to effectively jam but your brain would possibly cook over time, as it now known as of this year that the three harmonic resonances of water are not the only chemical actions harming human tissue at gigaherz frequencies. Jammers would be illegal and violators easy to locate. Tire removal is the only option.

RFIDs have been covertly used and sold by TI for over ten years are in many many products... and now your tires are being read by the us gov as you drive at speeds of up to 100 Mph on primary US interstate corridors. (Actually 160 km/h).

Those same US interstate corridors have radiation detectors too, but a small layer of stacks of interlocked graphite blocks those from detecting stealthy deliveries. Graphite blocks are IDEAL for shipping "dirty bomb" components, I believe.

Anyway, regarding tire radio transmitters: the sokymat LOGI 160, and sokymat LOGI 120) are just SOME of the transponders found in modern tires. The earliest tire radio spy chips had only 64 bit serial numbers but they have rapidly evolved post Sept 11 bombings: LOGI 160 LOGI 120 has 224 bit R/W memory (sokymat.ch) to be marked using external hand help injectors with "salt" info when the fbi tags your parked car.

Basically the FBI "marks your car" without touching it physically, thus eliminating a "warrant" to put a locater on your vehicle. Just as the FBI can listen to you while you are at home by LEGALLY bouncing an infrared beam off your vibrating window pane and modulating the signal, the US Gov can LEGALLY inject (program) a saltable read-write sokymat LOGI eeprom tire chip (and other brands of tire transponders)

Using these chips to track people while they drive is actually the idea of the us gov, and current chips CANNOT BE DISABLED or removed. They hope ALL tires will have these chips in 5 years and hope people have a very hard time finding non-chipped tires. Removing the chips is near impossible without destroying the tire as the chips were designed with that DARPA design goal.

They are hardened against removal or heat damage or easy eye detection and can be almost ANYWHERE in the new "big brother" tires. In fact in current models they are integrated early and deep into the substrate of the tire as per US FBI request.

Our freedom of travel are going away in 2003, because now there is an international STANDARD for all tire transponder RFID chips and in 2004 nearly ALL USA cars will have them. Refer to AIAG B-11 ADC, (B-11 is coincidentally Post Sept 11 fastrack initiative by US Gov to speed up tire chip standardization to one read-back standard for highway usage).

The AIAG is "The Automotive Industry Action Group"

The non proprietary (non-sokymat controlled) standard is the AIAG B-11 standard is the "Tire Label and Radio Frequency Identification" standard

"ADC" stands for "Automatic Data Collection"

The "AIDCW" is the US gov manipulated "Automatic Identification Data Collection Work Group"

The standard was started and finished rapidly in less than a year as a direct consequence of the Sep 11 attacks by Saudi nationals.

I believe detection of the AIAG B-11 radio chips (RFIS serial number transponders) in the upgraded car tracking http://www.tadiran-telematics.com/products6.html is currently secret knowledge. Another reason to leave "finger print on Driver license" California, but Ohio gets it next, as will every other state eventually.

The AIAG is claiming the chips reduce car theft, assist in tracking defects, and assists error-proofing the tire assembly process. But the real secret is that these 5 cent devices are a us government backed initiative to track citizens travel without their consent or ability to disable the transponders in any way.

All tire manufacturers are forced to comply AIAG B-11 3.0 Radio Tire tracking standard by the 2004 model year.

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:-qJPsZjkMAM C: www.aiag.org/publications/b11.html

Viewing b11 synopsis is free, downloads from that are $10 and tracked by the FBI. Use the google cache to avoid leaving breadcrumbs.

And just as showerheads are now illegal to import into the USA from Canada or mexico, as are drums of industrial Freon, and standard size toilets are illegal to import for home use, soon car tires without radio transponders will be illegal to bring across state borders.

The US gov is getting away with this. You read it here first.

Learn and read.

A little condescending (2)

j_w_d (114171) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048819)

There was quite a little condescention in the mathematician's reply to the author, and there were problems with assumptions he suggested as well. You could almost suspect he was trying to redirect the reporter's attention, no, wait . . .

ah wrong! (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 12 years ago | (#4048827)

While yes its true that a one in a million event can occur 280 times per day..

a chain of one in a million events occuring in a very small time frame is more than coincidence..

its simple permutations and combinations math to show why this is so..

Someone forgot to error check again!
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