ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #280 [Addendum Letter to Virus Survey] (1 message, 1596 bytes)
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To: [not phage]
Date: Fri 13:36:00 18/11/1988 EST
Subject: Addendum Letter to Virus Survey
References: [Thread Prev: 279] [Thread Next: 292] [Message Prev: 272] [Message Next: 273]
Gene; I hope you can post the following addendum to our survey in the same area(s) as you posted our survey. If possible, I would like to see it actually attached to the survey, but this is not absolutely necessary. Robert McKinnon ========================================================= ADDENDUM TO OUR VIRUS SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Due to time constraints, and our own oversight, our survey was posted with several weaknesses. We hope to correct some of these here, though some are beyond repair at this late date. 1. The use of the term "virus". Where we refer to virus in the survey, we were using it in the generic fashion used by many of the newspapers and TV news reporters in the past weeks. We were aware of their being a distinction between "worm" and "virus", but were not sufficiently informed to spot and correct our misuse of the term before the survey was put on-line. We are grateful to Eugene Spafford, and others, for providing us with authoritative definitions on these, and have taken steps to insure that we and others we can influence will use the terms properly. 2. Some of our questions contained essentially two questions or thoughts, though we treated them as one. This prompted several to not answer these questions, or to answer both thoughts separately. We regret the ambiguity and distortion that these questions cause, and we only hope that in our final report on the results we can make some clarifying statement that will make the responses we received worth the effort the respondents put into them. 3. Finally, and most importantly, we regret that the wording of our survey seemed to imply that the Cornell University student reported by the news (both TV and newspapers) as having initiated the recent "worm" was in fact the real and guilty person who did this. We did not intend to say we think this student is guilty. And we would like him, if he ever reads this, to know that we hope he can be cleared of the deed, if he is innocent. We do believe in the principle of "innocent until proven guilty", and we regret having implicated him in the careless wording of our survey. Please read in the word "allegedly" whereever appropriate in the survey, as we certainly wish we had included it. 4. One more thing, the survey and its contents are the sole creation of the four man team listed at the bottom of the survey. We four alone, and particularly myself, are the only ones who should be considered responsible for the flaws contained therein. Any statements in the survey, or implied meanings, should not be taken to be the opinion of the University of Utah, or any department, or employee of the University of Utah. We regret any annoyance our errors may have caused. Robert McKinnon, in behalf of the sponsors of the recently posted Virus Survey Questionnaire.
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