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

By SAM KIM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Investigators have traced a coordinated cyberattack that paralyzed tens of thousands of computers at six South Korean banks and media companies to a Chinese Internet Protocol address, but it was still unclear who orchestrated the attack, authorities in Seoul said Thursday.

The discovery did not erase suspicions that North Korea was to blame. An IP address can provide an important clue as to the location of an Internet-connected computer but can easily be manipulated by hackers operating anywhere in the world. The investigation into Wednesday's attack could take weeks.

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Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that his team, Bezos Expeditions, successfully recovered some of the remains of the F-1 engines that powered the Saturn V rocket, the workhorse of the Apollo lunar missions in the 1960s and 1970s.

"We found so much. We've seen an underwater wonderland -- an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program," Bezos wrote on his website Wednesday.

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By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After recovering from a computer problem, the Mars rover Curiosity is sidelined again, further delaying the restart of science experiments.

The latest complication occurred over the weekend when the six-wheel rover entered safe mode after experiencing a software file error.

Curiosity remained in contact with ground controllers, but it can't zap rocks, snap pictures or roam around until the problem is fixed. Rover team members had expected to resume activities Monday, but they now have to wait a bit longer -- perhaps until the end of the week.

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By JOE McDONALD

BEIJING (AP) -- Suntech, one of the world's biggest solar panel manufacturers, said Monday it has defaulted on a $541 million bond payment in the latest sign of the financial squeeze on the struggling global solar industry.

Suntech Power Holdings Ltd.'s announcement was a severe setback for a company lauded by China's Communist government as a leader of efforts to make the country a center of the renewable energy industry. Its founder, Shi Zhengrong, became one of the industry's most prominent entrepreneurs and a billionaire, only to see most of his fortune evaporate as the company's share price plummeted.

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By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) -- Boeing said Friday it sees commercial flights of its grounded 787 jets resuming "within weeks" even though it has not pinpointed the cause of battery overheating.

Boeing Co. Chief Project Engineer Michael Sinnett outlined a fix centered on a new design for the lithium-ion battery system that has layers of safeguards to prevent overheating and measures to contain malfunctions.

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By FRANK JORDANS and JOHN HEILPRIN

GENEVA (AP) -- Scientists working at the world's biggest atom smasher near Geneva have announced they are confident that the new subatomic particle discovered last summer is a version of the long-sought Higgs boson. The particle bears key attributes of the so-called "God particle" that was theorized nearly a half-century ago as fundamental to the creation of the universe. It took thousands of scientists from around the world to hunt the particle in the atom-smasher operated by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

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By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- NASA scientists say tests on a Mars rock show the planet could have supported primitive life.

The analysis was done by the rover Curiosity, which drilled into the rock, crushed it and tested a tiny sample. The rover was the first spacecraft sent to Mars that could collect a sample from deep inside a rock.

At a briefing at NASA's Washington headquarters on Tuesday, NASA scientist said the rock contains clay minerals that formed in a watery environment -- an environment that may be favorable for microscopic organisms.

Curiosity had already found a hint of the site's watery past -- an ancient streambed that the six-wheel rover crossed to get to the flat bedrock.

The rover made a dramatic landing near the Mars equator last August for a two-year mission.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

By RICHARD LARDNER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Defense Department is establishing a series of cyber teams charged with carrying out offensive operations to combat the threat of an electronic assault on the United States that could cause major damage and disruption to the country's vital infrastructure, a senior military official said Tuesday.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the top officer at U.S. Cyber Command, warned during testimony that the threat of an electronic assault against the nation's electric grid and other essential systems is real and more aggressive steps need to be taken by the federal government and the private sector in order to improve digital defenses.

Alexander told the Senate Armed Services Committee that foreign leaders are deterred from launching electronic attacks on the United States because they know such a strike could be traced to its source and would generate a robust response.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google will pay a $7 million fine to settle a multistate investigation into the Internet search leader's interception of emails, passwords and other sensitive information sent several years ago over unprotected wireless networks throughout the world.

The agreement announced Tuesday covers 38 states and the District of Columbia.

It closes an inquiry opened in 2010 shortly after Google revealed that company cars taking street-level photos for its online mapping service also had been grabbing personal data transmitted over Wi-Fi networks that had been set up in homes and businesses without requiring a password to gain access.

It's the largest penalty that Google Inc. has paid so far in the U.S. for the snooping. News of the penalty leaked out last week.

Google isn't acknowledging any wrongdoing in the settlement.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET MOSCOW (AP) -- A new form of microbial life has been found in water samples taken from a giant freshwater lake hidden under kilometers of Antarctic ice, Russian scientists said Monday.

Sergei Bulat and Valery Lukin said in a statement that the "unidentified and unclassified" bacterium has no relation to any of the existing bacterial types. They acknowledged, however, that extensive research of the microbe that was sealed under the ice for millions of years will be necessary to prove the find and determine the bacterium's characteristics.

New samples of water retrieved from Lake Vostok earlier this year are expected to be delivered to St. Petersburg in May aboard a Russian ship.

The Russian team reached the surface of the subglacial lake in February 2012 after more than two decades of drilling, a major achievement hailed by scientists around the world.

They touched the lake water Sunday at a depth of 12,366 feet (3,769 meters), about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) east of the South Pole in the central part of the continent.

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