Why is it news for nerds? The same reason you found it fascinating.
Guy observes something odd related to his field of work.
Guy notices more oddities, all related.
Guy gets an itch to figure out what is going on, and scratches the itch.
Guy keeps on scratching until he's completely satisfied.
Seriously, what nerd hasn't done the same thing in their particular field of interest? Whether it's the grepping to find instances of an odd item in your logs, or statistical analysis to compare voting records by state to federal balance of payment figures, or figuring out how to make the pelvic actuators on your girl robot work properly, one thing all nerds have in common is sleuthing.
Nerdhood, to me, is defined by inquisitiveness and a strong dedication to finding answers and increasing our knowledge. So yes, it's news for nerds, since we can all relate to the author's search for truth.