errata of statistics
I've always been a fan of attrition.org's statistics errata
page. why? well, because it brings up a complaint I've had for years and years. the fact is, media companies and corporate research groups bullshit their way through statistics, and in many cases causing FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). and when I say 'bullshit', I mean pick numbers out of their asses, or use a generalized number. for example:Phishing Scams Dupe 70% of Targets
the article above references a study, the following line caught my attention specifically:
Of those receiving the phony e-mails, most thought they might be from legitimate companies. Seven in 10, or 70 percent, were fooled by the e-mails, said the report.
ignore the heap of text after that, and you get to:
The researchers conducted in-home interviews with more than 350 Internet users nationwide. The researchers also reviewed the e-mails received by those households.
350 internet users. the article would be a bit more remotely respectable if it had been titled "Phishing Scams Dupe 70% (out of 350 random Americans) of Targets". It is very dangerous to just simply generalize a percentage from a very minimal number of individuals, in comparison to hundreds of millions of Internet users.