The title of that piece "We have broken the speed of light" is being criticized in a lot of circles as being sensationalism at its best. I have no idea which side is right since I'm not trained in quantum mechanics or particle physics, but it seems very unlikely that special relativity was broken here. The primary reason people question this is that they're working with nano-scale timeframes, something which cannot yet be done with the reliability and accuracy needed for this type of conclusion.
The other "real" explanation most commonly cited has been given by Dr. Aephraim Steinberg (there's a fellow Jew if I'ver heard of one). A quote from this article (eurekalert.org):
"Aephraim Steinberg, a quantum optics expert at the University of Toronto, Canada, doesn't dispute Nimtz and Stahlhofen's results. However, Einstein can rest easy, he says. The photons don't violate relativity: it's just a question of interpretation.
Steinberg explains Nimtz and Stahlhofen's observations by way of analogy with a 20-car bullet train departing Chicago for New York. The stopwatch starts when the centre of the train leaves the station, but the train leaves cars behind at each stop. So when the train arrives in New York, now comprising only two cars, its centre has moved ahead, although the train itself hasn't exceeded its reported speed.
"If you're standing at the two stations, looking at your watch, it seems to you these people have broken the speed limit," Steinberg says. "They've got there faster than they should have, but it just happens that the only ones you see arrive are in the front car. So they had that head start, but they were never travelling especially fast.""
Like I said, I've got no idea what's really going on here, but I'm certainly skeptical.
EDIT: Here's a blogpost (stupac2.blogspot.com) I just came across which references the above article and give a more eloquent explanation about why we shouldn't buy into the headline "we have broken the speed of light."
(edited by samoflange on 16.8.07 2043) Lloyd: When I met Mary, I got that old fashioned romantic feeling, where I'd do anything to bone her. Harry: That's a special feeling.
The fact that you saud New York Times is probably part of the problem because they're not exaclty known for accuracy in reporting. Right, they're only the single most respected news source in the entire world.