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Comic for March 19, 2019

Dilbert - March 20, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Don’t believe the hype: We may never know the identity of Jack the Ripper

Ars Technica - 1 hour 22 min ago

Enlarge / Fictional Victorian physician John Stephenson (David Warner) is Jack the Ripper in the 1979 film Time After Time. A new scientific paper claiming to have identified the real Ripper might as well be speculative fiction, say geneticists. (credit: YouTube/Warner Bros.)

A new DNA analysis of stains on a silk shawl that may have belonged to one of Jack the Ripper's victims concluded that the killer was a Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski, according to a paper published last week in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. But other scientists are already calling into question the paper's bombshell conclusions—and they're not exactly mincing words.

Finally putting to rest the identity of one of history's most notorious killers would indeed be very big news, especially for true-crime buffs who have followed the Ripper saga for years (so-called "Ripperologists"). The problem is, we've been here many times before. This is just the latest claim to have "proof" of Jack the Ripper's true identity, and while it has all the trappings of solid science, the analysis doesn't hold up under closer scrutiny. Several geneticists have already spoken out on Twitter and to Science magazine to point out, as Kristina Killgrove writes at Forbes, that "the research is neither new nor scientifically accurate."

On August 31, 1888, police discovered the body of Mary Ann Nichols in Bucks Row in London's Whitechapel district. Her throat had been cut and her abdomen ripped open. Over the next few months, a serial killer who came to be known as Jack the Ripper would use the same method to kill four women: Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, and Mary Jane Kelly. And then, as abruptly as they began, the murders stopped. (These are the "canonical five." Other murders sometimes attributed to the Ripper are inconclusive.)

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Musk defense “borders on the ridiculous,” SEC tells court

Ars Technica - 1 hour 35 min ago

Enlarge (credit: VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The Securities and Exchange Commission heaped scorn on Elon Musk and his legal arguments in a Monday legal filing. The agency is asking New York federal Judge Alison Nathan to hold Musk in contempt for tweeting a projection of 2019 vehicle output without first getting the tweet approved by Tesla's lawyers.

Musk has been battling the SEC since last August, when he tweeted that he had "funding secured" to take Tesla private. That turned out to be untrue, and it's illegal to publish inaccurate information that has the potential to move markets. Under the terms of a September deal, Musk paid a $20 million fine and gave up his role as the chairman of Tesla's board (Tesla paid an additional $20 million).

Musk also promised to have Tesla lawyers review future tweets that could contain information that is "material"—that is, significant enough to affect the price of Tesla's stock.

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Dealmaster: Grab another year of PlayStation Plus for $45

Ars Technica - 1 hour 55 min ago

Enlarge (credit: TechBargains)

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a deal on Sony's PlayStation Plus, as digital codes for a 12-month membership are currently going for $45 at Amazon, GameStop, and other retailers. That's $15 off the subscription's standard going rate.

The value here is pretty straightforward: PlayStation Plus is required to play multiplayer games online with a PlayStation 4. It still gets you access to a couple free games each month, 100GB of cloud storage for game saves, and various discounts in Sony's PlayStation Store, too.

This deal isn't the absolute best we've seen—these 12-month codes were going for $40 around Black Friday last year, and every now and then we'll see some promo code bring it down as well. But this is the cheapest it's been at major retailers since the holidays, so if you need to top-up soon—or if you just want to tack on another year of service in advance and don't want to wait a few months—this might be a good time to take advantage.

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