How Cutting-Edge Technology & Science Are Powering The Future TPM Idealab

By JOHN VOELCKER

Paul Scott may be one of the most dedicated electric-car advocates around.

He sells Nissan Leafs for a living, and helped found advocacy group Plug-In America.

A few weeks ago, he had a brilliant idea.

Scott used a significant chunk of his life savings for a ticket to a pricey Barack Obama fundraiser, being held this Friday in Santa Monica, California.

It would give him the chance to tell the president how important plug-in electric cars are to the country's energy future and national security, and to the planet's long-term ecological heatlh.

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By MICHAEL LIEDTKE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Microsoft is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales.

The tune up announced Tuesday won't be released to consumers and businesses until later this year. The changes, part of a software package given the codename "Blue," are a tacit acknowledgment of the shortcomings in Windows 8, a radical overhaul of Microsoft Corp.'s ubiquitous operating system.

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By ANNE FLAHERTY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pro-business legislation aimed at helping companies fend off sophisticated foreign hackers sailed through the House on Thursday despite a White House veto threat and an outcry from privacy advocates and civil liberties groups that say it leaves Americans vulnerable to spying by the military.

The House vote, 288-127, puts the spotlight on the Senate, which hasn't taken up the issue and is consumed with other high-profile issues such as gun control and immigration. The lack of enthusiasm in the Senate and objections by the White House mean that the legislation is in limbo despite an aggressive push by lobbyists representing nearly every corner of industry.

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By PETER SVENSSON

NEW YORK (AP) -- Facebook Home, the new application that takes over the front screen of a smartphone, is a bit of a corporate home invasion. Facebook is essentially moving into Google's turf, taking advantage of software the search giant and competitor created.

Facebook Home will operate on phones running Google Inc.'s Android software and present Facebook status updates, messages and other content on the home screen, rather than making the user fire up Facebook's app. The software will be available for users to download on April 12 and will come preloaded on a new phone from HTC Corp., sold by AT&T Inc. in the U.S.

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GENEVA (AP) -- A $2 billion cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station has found the first significant hint of dark matter, the mysterious substance that is believed to hold the cosmos together but has never been directly observed, scientists say.

The first results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which was sent into space two years ago, show evidence of a new physics phenomena that could be the strange and unknown matter, an international team at the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva announced Wednesday.

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LONDON (AP) -- One of Britain's youngest Internet entrepreneurs has hit the jackpot after selling his top-selling mobile application Summly to search giant Yahoo.

Seventeen-year-old Nick d'Aloisio, who dreamed up the idea for the content-shortening program when he was studying for his exams, said he was surprised by the deal. As with its other recent acquisitions, Yahoo didn't disclose how much it is paying for Summly, although British newspapers suggested the deal's value at several million dollars.

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