Links for February 17th

King Tut Was Disabled, Malarial, and Inbred, DNA Shows

King Tut may be seen as the golden boy of ancient Egypt today, but during his reign, Tutankhamun wasn’t exactly a strapping sun god.

Instead, a new DNA study says, King Tut was a frail pharaoh, beset by malaria and a bone disorder—and possibly compromised by his newly discovered incestuous origins.

The report is the first DNA study ever conducted with ancient Egyptian royal mummies. It apparently solves several mysteries surrounding King Tut, including how he died and who his parents were.

“He was not a very strong pharaoh. He was not riding the chariots,” said study team member Carsten Pusch, a geneticist at Germany’s University of Tübingen. “Picture instead a frail, weak boy who had a bit of a club foot and who needed a cane to walk.”

How to compete with iPad

Dear Potential iPad Competitors,

We’ve all seen the media furore about the iPad, and we know that this day has been coming for a long time. There’s something natural and seductive about the idea of a tablet computer. Something to do with the form factor, portability, implied intuitiveness and non-computery quality of the thing. It’s straight out of Star Trek, and a lot of people want one in their lives.

I’m a little worried about you, though. Your usual tactic is to simply copy the industrial design of the most successful product, reduce the price, then adopt a pump and dump strategy until your next quarterly financials. That’s fine in itself; that’s how business works. I just think you’re misinterpreting both why people are excited about the iPad (even if they don’t realise it), and what exactly you need to copy. I think you might be on a dead-end track without even realising it.

Bragg in banker bonuses protest

Musician Billy Bragg has taken his protest against excessive bonuses for RBS bosses to Edinburgh, the home of the bank.

He is calling on Chancellor Alistair Darling to cap bonuses for chiefs at the bailed-out bank to £25,000.

The campaign currently has 30,000 online supporters.

Bragg is refusing to pay tax on his earnings until the limit is imposed. He delivered a speech at RBS’ former headquarters in St Andrew’s Square.

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation.

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