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/in/mikeho



Posted on Techdirt - 29 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Plenty Of Spaceships... Sorta

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The number of ways to get a person into space is pretty limited at the moment. Only Russia and China have operational launch systems that can escape the Earth's gravity (with people as passengers). There are a bunch more spaceships in development, though, so if you really want to get into space without a Soyuz or Shenzhou, you'll have to be patient. There have been a few recent accidents, but it looks like engineers have figured out some of the problems.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 28 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Asteroids Are Not Just An 80s Video Game

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Dwarf planets and other rocky space objects have been in the news recently, thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft flying by Pluto. Rocky space objects much closer to the Earth are getting some attention, too, especially after the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russia in 2013. No one saw that one coming, and a bigger rock would have done a lot more damage. Near-Earth space objects are literally all around us, so check out the links below if you have any instinct for self-preservation interest in naturally-occurring space rocks.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Out Of This World (And On To Others)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Astronomers only somewhat recently confirmed the existence of planets orbiting other stars like our own -- in 1995. Since then, we've found nearly 2,000 exoplanets, and we're honing in on more Earth-like planets that look like our own little world. Amateur astronomers have helped to identify a few exoplanets, and it looks like we'll be able to find more and more of them. "You and I probably won't be travelling to these planets - but our children's children's children could be."

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 24 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: So You Want To Grow Your Own Food?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Farming isn't a hobby. Gardening is a hobby. No one really expects to be able to grow enough food to feed hundreds of households from a garden, but maybe technology can help change that. Autonomous farming robots and other labor-saving devices might make farming a lot easier for a few people to be much more productive, but we're not quite at the point where anyone really needs to change farming techniques so drastically. However, if you think you'd want to become a post-modern farmer, check out a few of these links.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 23 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Gold Doesn't Grow On Trees...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The gold rush seems to be over -- for now. The price of gold hit a 5-year low recently, and the prices of other precious metals are also falling. (However, there are more industrial uses for metals like platinum and silver -- while gold is largely either worn as jewelry or just sits in vaults.) Perhaps gold hoarders see an opportunity here to double down on collecting more, but it's probably a better idea to diversify.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 22 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Artificial Intelligence Is Here To Help Us...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Computers are getting smarter all the time. Even though science fiction sometimes tends to paint artificial intelligence in an evil light, humans are building these intelligent machines -- and presumably, we'll have some control over how dangerous they'll ultimately become (but maybe not). People are building artificial brains without really knowing how brains work, but that's how we're learning. Maybe we should be breeding hyper-intelligent parrots, instead?

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 21 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Manned Space Exploration Is Coming Back

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Apollo 11 Moon landing was a pretty big deal in 1969 (and it still is). It's been just 46 years since a human being first set foot on the moon, and it's a bit disappointing that we haven't been back more recently. Fortunately, there are some folks still working on manned space exploration (phew, SpaceX..), so people won't be limited to just visiting the ISS or Tiangong 1. If you're a space enthusiast, check out a few of these links on manned spaceflight stuff.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 20 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Joe Life Versus The Volcano

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Volcanoes are not exactly predictable, so the best way to avoid getting killed by one is probably to just live far, far away. But Nature doesn't worry about death and destruction, so all kinds of life seems to thrive around active volcanoes, even where no one would expect life to be able to survive at all.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: July Is National Hot Dog Month

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

In 1972, a guy could eat just 14 hot dogs at the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest and win. The highest number of hot dogs consumed since then is a nauseating impressive 69 hot dogs, but if you can eat more than 60 or so, you can still compete with the best of them. If you like hot dogs, but maybe don't want to eat more than a couple at a time, check out a few of these links.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

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Posted on Techdirt - 16 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: It's 11:57pm... Do You Know Where Your Nuclear Bombs Are?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Doomsday Clock says it's 3 minutes to midnight -- the same time it was in 1949. Sure, plenty of people are saying we're not building new nuclear bombs, and we have some pieces of paper that say some countries (ahem, Iran) aren't going to build new nukes. But... tick tock. Are we really any safer from nuclear self-annihilation?

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Posted on Techdirt - 15 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: When He's Underwater Does He Get Wet? Nobody Knows. Particle Man.

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The field of modern particle physics seems like an exclusive club. Fundamental particles are literally everywhere, but it's not quite practical to observe a Higgs Boson in your kitchen. Sure, you could build your own cloud chamber and see some cosmic rays, but making your own TeV particle collider takes a bit more expertise. Maybe experimental evidence for theoretical physics is highly overrated anyway.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

7 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 14 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: No More Teachers' Dirty Looks...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

School is out for most American kids right now, but that doesn't mean parents and teachers aren't still thinking about how schools could improve and how to get kids to learn better. There are plenty of problems that seem insurmountable in the US education system, but there could be some solutions that try to tackle them in limited trials. If these trials succeed, they might be expanded to more schools -- and hopefully, over time, all schools can get better and learn from each other.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

16 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 13 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Connecting Brains To Other Stuff

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If artificial intelligence doesn't seem to be making as much progress as we'd like, there are some other ways to try to create more intelligent beings on demand. If we can't breed smarter animals, perhaps we can make some animal cyborgs to do our bidding. We'll need some better brain interfaces, and it looks like plenty of folks are already working on them.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

5 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 10 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Life Finds A Way...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are more common than many people think. Diabetics nowadays who rely on insulin shots aren't getting their medicine from pigs/cows or other mammals -- and haven't been for decades. Modern sources of insulin come from vats of genetically engineered bacteria. So what about GMOs and GMO-produced products in our food supply? Most Americans have definitely eaten some GMO food, but is there any end to GMO experimentation in the wild now?

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

4 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 9 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: It's Not Just A Good Idea... It's Moore's Law

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Computers are such an important part of our daily lives now that it's difficult to imagine how we could get along without them sometimes. Obviously, people do. But growing accustom to supercomputer capabilities available at our fingertips all the time is much more than a luxury. We expect computers to get better and better at an astonishing (exponential) rate, but will we notice if/when that rate slows down? Here are just a few links on keeping up -- or possibly exceeding -- the performance expectations that Moore's Law has instilled in us.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

7 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 8 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: It *IS* Rocket Science, Actually...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Getting stuff into space is difficult. There are a bunch of different rockets that have been used over the last few decades, but the odds of a launch failure isn't quite zero yet. A few companies are making cheaper launch systems, but a perfect track record is hard to maintain over more than a handful of launches. Perhaps that's why sentient robots in the movies never think about leaving the Earth behind.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

5 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 7 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Dropping Off Kids At The Pool...?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The US has hundreds of thousands of swimming pools -- roughly 309,000 public pools and 10.4 million residential pools. It's a nice way to cool down on a hot summer day, but it's also kinda gross if you think about sharing germs with all the people swimming in the pool. At least there's no danger of getting attacked by sharks in a pool, but if you're paranoid about pool safety, check out a few of these links. (And perhaps try to stick with pools that use salt water chlorination.)

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

4 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 6 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Terminators From The Future Are Already Here..?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Maybe you've seen some ads featuring a former California governor fighting a younger, computer-generated version of himself lately. The Terminator franchise is almost guaranteed to be rebooted every few years, just as the real life technology that could create strong artificial intelligence is getting closer and closer. Hopefully, a $10 million donation from Elon Musk to the Future of Life Institute will help delay Judgment Day, but progress in artificial intelligence can't be bargained with, it can't feel pain or mercy, and it will stop at absolutely nothing....

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

22 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 2 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Bring Out Your Dead...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Disposing of dead bodies is usually not a funny topic for anyone -- except for maybe Monty Python. But until we figure out how to cheat death, we're going to need to deal with corpses. Burying the dead six feet under might not be practical in some places, and not everyone is keen on cremation. Here are just a few other options.

Hopefully, you won't need to actually employ any of these options any time soon.

10 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 1 July 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Playing Super Mario By Rote... Is Fun?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Video games that are entertaining need to be simple enough for people to understand, but at the same time, hard enough to be a little challenging and not too easy to beat. Games like Flappy Bird demonstrate this sweet spot for gameplay, and some classic games like Super Mario are still widely enjoyed even decades after their initial releases. Computers can play games like these, too, but they can't enjoy them like we do. Check out a few of these links on creative ways to continue playing Super Mario.

After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

18 Comments | Leave a Comment..

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