Michael Ho’s Techdirt Profile

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About Michael HoTechdirt Insider

Mike oversees the research department at Floor64. He has held various research roles at companies including BFGoodrich, Raychem and Nano-Tex. Before joining Floor64, Mike coordinated product development as a project leader at Nano-Tex. He earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and completed work towards a PhD at Stanford University. He continues to pursue his technical and scientific interests in a wide variety of fields.

http://www.linkedin.com/mikeho



Posted on Techdirt - 18 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Believable Dieting

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Maybe you're not eating meat today or perhaps planning to avoid various foods that aren't kosher for Passover. (Or you're blissfully eating whatever you want...) People follow a lot of eating guidelines based on all sorts of issues -- religious, ethical or other. There are all kinds of diets: to lose weight, to prevent high blood pressure, to save animals' lives, to kill fruits. Whatever diet suits your fancy, you might want to check out some of these stories on dietary restrictions and food beliefs.

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: How Old Can People Get?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Some biblical characters lived for hundreds of years. (eg. Methuselah lived to be 969.) However, people living now don't quite get that old. Aging is a mysterious process that is slowly killing everyone, and there are more than a few projects working on ways to avoid death. Immortality could be a blessing or a curse, and maybe someday we'll find out which it is.

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Posted on Techdirt - 16 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Modern Dating

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Trying to find a date using statistics and computers isn't exactly a new idea. (Punch cards were used in some of the earliest versions of computer dating.) As technology has improved, you might expect that dating has gotten better as well, but some modifications of the Drake equation show just how unlikely the odds are. Here are a few more data points in the realm of romantic relationships.

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Posted on Techdirt - 15 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Aircraft That Stay In The Sky For Days (Or Longer)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Most folks don't really like flying for more than a few hours at a time, so it's not really a problem for a lot of people that most planes aren't even capable of flights lasting longer than day. (Zeppelins can fly for weeks at a time, but those ships haven't been flying regularly for a while.) Autonomous drones have been making some really long flights recently, and there may be more uses for aircraft that can stay up in the air for long periods of time. Here are just a few examples.

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Posted on Techdirt - 14 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Algorithms + Cameras = Awesome

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Digital cameras are almost everywhere, and they're getting smaller and smarter. Whole new categories of cameras are being developed that don't need lenses or don't need large sensors. Instead, algorithms are being used to manipulate digitized light rays to create impressive images without traditional camera components. Here are just a few examples.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Eating Actual Dirt

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

People eat a lot of weird things: bugs, fungus, all kinds of fermented stuff. However, the craving for dirt is a real phenomenon, and people do actually eat various kinds of dirt. There's some evidence that our ancient ancestors -- 2 million years ago -- (aka homo habilis) ate dirt. Dirt is even sold for eating in the USA right now. If you'd like to learn more about eating dirt, here you go.

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Posted on Techdirt - 10 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Time Flies When You're...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are a lot of myths and aphorisms about the passage of time. A watched kettle never boils. Time flies when you're having fun. However, these observations could lead to some important discoveries about human psychology and how our brains perceive and remember various events in our lives. Does "proportionality theory" really explain why 8yo kids and 80yo senior citizens judge time differently? Here are just a few links on the topic of time.

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Posted on Techdirt - 9 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Mystery Men With No Memories

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Every so often, there are intriguing stories of a man who speaks multiple languages, waking up with complete memory loss, and carrying no paperwork or identification on them. Sometimes these men are well-dressed when they're found. Sometimes they've been mugged or beaten, but not always. Doctors can't tell if these men are faking amnesia. Police can't figure out identities from fingerprints if they have no criminal records. Here are just a few examples of these mysterious men called John Doe.

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Posted on Techdirt - 8 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Judging The Quality of Science

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Scientific Method is often taught as a linear process that proceeds from hypothesis to theory. In practice, science -- like any other human endeavor -- can be much more haphazard. Science isn't perfect, but it has some built in processes for error correction to help weed out mistakes and outright fraud. There are some well-known issues with the traditional peer review mechanism, but science is adapting and coming up with new ways to improve its results and conclusions. Here are just a few links on judging the quality of science.

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Posted on Techdirt - 7 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Computers Are Editing Our Double-Plus-Ungood Content

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

More and more digital media is being edited and prioritized in datacenters by intangible algorithms. As usual, this can be good and bad, depending on how the technology is used. On the one hand, algorithms can do laborious tasks that humans don't want to do. But at the same time, algorithms might introduce all kinds of errors or inadvertent biases on a scale that no group of humans could ever accomplish without automation. Here are just a few links on bots tinkering with online content.

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Raw Eggs Are Healthy..?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Maybe you like Caesar salads or the supposed health benefits of drinking raw eggs (a la Rocky Balboa), and you already know about the risks of Salmonella. Well, there's some good news for you: you might be able to get some pasteurized eggs that are virtually indistinguishable from conventional raw eggs. While previous pasteurization methods made eggs a bit thicker in texture, food scientists have been working on fixing that. Here are just a few links on eating raw eggs, if that's your thing.

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Posted on Techdirt - 3 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Abandoned Space Vehicles

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The space race created a lot of ambitious plans and designs for spaceships that never actually made it into space. While we're entering a new era of a space race, which includes commercial ventures and fragile alliances with certain countries, it's fascinating to look back at some government-funded projects that could have been taken to the next step. Would anyone even consider nuclear-bomb propulsion systems today? Here are just a few plans to ship people to the moon or Mars (or farther!) that are just gathering dust.

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Posted on Techdirt - 2 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: You Say You Want A Revolution...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Really big, world-changing ideas are not that easy to come by... but they're even harder to implement. Still, it seems like a good first step is to devise ways to collect good ideas and then try to give funding/resources to help develop them into reality. Crowdsourcing this process is a somewhat recent trend (or fad) that gathers wisdom from a community, and there are more than a few projects that have adopted this method for collecting inspiring ideas. Here are just a couple more challenges that you might contribute to.

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Posted on Techdirt - 1 April 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Kill All The Mosquitoes

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Mosquitoes are a serious pest. They spread terrible diseases like malaria and dengue fever, and they're just generally annoying to people. So it's no surprise that quite a few methods have been developed to kill them off in significant numbers, if not entirely. There are actually thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes, and some of them are completely harmless to humans. But if we could target just the ones that spread diseases, we could prevent an enormous amount of death and suffering. Is it really safe to drive mosquitoes to extinction? Here are just a few ways we're trying to do it (regardless of whether we should).

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Posted on Techdirt - 31 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Dangerous Playgrounds Are Fun!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you have young kids, you might have noticed that public playgrounds are a bit different than the ones you played on as a kid. Rubberized surfaces have replaced gravel or asphalt, and simple teeter-totters (or see-saws) have been re-designed using viscoelastic materials to prevent dangerous accelerations. You might have noticed it's hard to find monkey bars on playgrounds. The reasons for these changes are obvious: safety and liability. However, are kids still having as much fun outdoors? Here are just a few links on playground equipment.

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Posted on Techdirt - 28 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: This Tastes Funny... Here Try It

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There's no accounting for taste -- unless of course you have to quantify it with sensory panels and professional tasters. It's not quite an exact science which is sorta why you can never get 4 out of 5 dentists to agree on anything, but researchers are still trying their best to learn about how we perceive different tastes. If you're a serious foodie or just curious, check out some of these links on flavors and how we sense them.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: The Risks Of Fossil Fuels

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Relatively cheap fossil fuels allow everyone to enjoy comfortable lifestyles. But every so often, there seem to be horrible stories of environmental damage caused by our continuing addiction to underground hydrocarbons. Pulling oil, coal and gas out of the ground is probably going to be the way we get most of our energy for the foreseeable future, so it's just a bit worrying that we haven't quite figured out how to really mitigate oil spills and other accidents. Fortunately, Mother Nature hasn't taken full revenge (yet?) on us.

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Posted on Techdirt - 26 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: The End Of The World As We Know It

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Predicting the end of the world has been a famously difficult calculation. Population growth trends have not proven to follow a continuously exponential path, so we've easily avoided previous calls of Malthusian catastrophe. However, it's still possible that we've only managed to postpone the sixth major extinction event, and our technological cleverness won't be able to save us next time. Here are just a few modern predictions of doom that could ruin some retirement plans.

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Making Robot Musicians

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Maybe the music industry isn't really worried about evil robots killing off music anymore, but as more and more technology gets into the field of music, there could be a new wave of neo-Luddite musicians. Software can compose music, and robots can play some musical instruments. What's left for humans to do? Check out some of these robot musicians, and you'll see why human musicians aren't that worried about losing their jobs to robots any time soon.

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Posted on Techdirt - 24 March 2014 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Lost At Sea

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Malaysian flight MH370 remains a mystery (for now?), but technology that could have answered a lot of questions actually exists -- it just wasn't aboard MH370. There are black boxes that can eject with parachutes and be more easily recovered. Various aircraft monitoring systems and engine monitoring systems can send maintenance signals to satellites, providing significant help to investigators if problems during a flight occur. Despite all these technological advances, it's still pretty easy to get lost in the oceans. Here are just a few links on finding things on the open sea.

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