Ripit writes: According to a Pew Research poll released on July 9, 2009, US scientists overwhelmingly identify themselves as Democrats. 55% of scientists say they are Democrats, compared to 35% of the general population. Only 6% of scientists say they are Republicans, compared to 23% of the general population. Surprisingly, scientists identified themselves as independents less often than the population as a whole, 32% to 34%, respectively.
Ripit writes: From The Wall Street Journal, Assistant US Attorney Erez Liebermann claims that "we have now moved into the realm of hacking as a financing mechanism for terrorism."
U.S. and Italian authorities said Friday they arrested a group of hackers and conspirators who allegedly stole from phone companies around the world. The illegal profits funded terrorist activities, Italian officials alleged.
The case shows that hacking is no longer the province of teenagers or even organized crime, said Erez Liebermann, the assistant U.S. attorney who is prosecuting the case. "With the connections outlined in the Italian and Philippines side, we have now moved into the realm of hacking as a financing mechanism for terrorism," he said in an interview. He credited cooperation between authorities in the U.S., Italy and the Philippines in bringing the case.
Ripit writes: Norm Coleman's campaign spokesman Cullen Sheehan suggested in an e-mail sent to supporters this morning that Wikileaks.org's publication of the campaign's donor database — including donors' credit card numbers and the three-digit security codes for those cards — is the work of politically motivated people who have "found a way to breach private and confidential information."
Ripit writes: Blockbuster Inc., the world's largest movie-rental chain, hired legal counsel to explore a possible bankruptcy filing, a person familiar with the situation said. Blockbuster fell as much as 86 percent before trading was halted.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP was asked to evaluate restructuring options for the company, which may include a "pre-packaged" or "pre-arranged bankruptcy," in which much of the restructuring work is completed out of court, the person said. A pre-packaged filing is more advanced than a pre-arranged bankruptcy as it includes agreements from creditors about the outcome of the company's reorganization.
"We've hired them for refinancing and capital raising initiatives," said Karen Raskopf, a Blockbuster spokeswoman. "We do not intend to file for bankruptcy."
Blockbuster is working with Kirkland and Ellis on refinancing, Raskopf said. The company previously announced plans to fund its own operations through the end of 2009 after two of its credit facilities expire this August, she said.
Blockbuster has also hired Rothschild Inc., an investment bank, to advise it on restructuring, a person familiar with the situation said.
Ripit writes: President Obama on Tuesday nominated Julius Genachowski as the nation's top telecommunications regulator, picking a campaign advisor who has divided his career between Washington, D.C., political jobs and working as an Internet executive.
Genachowski is likely to continue the Democratic push for more Net neutrality regulations, which are opposed by some conservatives and telecommunications providers. He was a top Obama technology advisor and aided in crafting a technology platform that supported Net neutrality rules.
Ripit writes: WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Monday approved Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s proposed $5 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition or consumers.
The transaction was approved without conditions, despite opposition from consumer groups and an intense lobbying campaign by the land-based radio industry.