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 - 24 April 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Can't Trust Your Tastebuds

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Our senses can be fooled pretty easily. A blue dress can look like it's white. And if our eyes can be fooled so easily, our tastebuds don't really stand much of a chance. If someone tells you a bottle of wine is aged and expensive, it's not easy to disprove that assertion with a taste test. Here are just a few other ways to fool people's tastebuds.

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

DailyDirt: The Drones Are Coming

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We've talked about all kinds of drones before and about the FAA restrictions on using the more toy-like versions outdoors. Sometimes people do stupid stuff with drones -- and it really doesn't help to create an environment where people can enjoy drones responsibly. However, people will always do stupid things, and we can't let the jerks ruin it for the rest of us.

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

DailyDirt: Is It Time To Change Your Passwords (Again)?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Passwords are an everyday part of life now, but so are stories of millions of people having their login credentials stolen. It's easy to say that everyone should use better passwords, but how many people really want to remember to constantly change their passwords or get a 2-factor authentication call regularly just to check their emails? Sure, there are some systems that make it a bit easier to deal with 2-factor authentication, but the vast majority of users don't want to be bothered with the hassle at all. Here are just a few more security-related links to push you into re-thinking password laziness.

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

DailyDirt: To Seek Out New Life And New Civilizations...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The search for extraterrestrial life hasn't yielded much evidence that there's anyone else out there. We could be looking in the wrong places or not looking with the right instruments to detect faint signals -- or maybe we're actually alone. But as they say with the lottery, you can't win if you don't play, so we won't find any aliens if we don't continue looking. (Assuming that aliens aren't already on their way to come and get us.)

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

DailyDirt: No More Urban Legends Of Waking Up In A Bathtub Without Your Kidneys...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are plenty of ethical issues with organ transplants and how to handle the undersupply of donors. Hopefully, medical science is getting advanced enough to grow organs and eliminate the shortage of organs for patients who need them. Here are just a few stories about organs in modern medicine.

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

DailyDirt: Water, Water, Not Quite Everywhere...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

California hasn't seen much rain over the past few years, and this drought is really serious now. Culprits of high water usage are popping up in various news stories: almond growers, farmers in general, swimming pools, golf courses, fracking, green lawns, car washes, wineries, etc, etc... Multiple billion-dollar infrastructure plans are underway to try to distribute water more efficiently or make more water available to major cities and key locations. However, the environmental impact studies for some of these huge water projects aren't complete -- and the requirements for them are being relaxed. Will Californians regret spending billions on some giant water tunnels?

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

DailyDirt: College Tuition Is Expensive

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Paying for college has never exactly been easy, but it's been getting increasingly difficult over time. On top of that, it's getting more difficult to get into some of the more selective schools. CA Gov. Jerry Brown remarked that "normal" people can't get accepted to Berkeley anymore (hold the jokes on how normal the students at Berkeley have ever been, okay?). Proposals for free community college tuition (with fine print attached) might make higher education more accessible and certain colleges more socio-economically diverse, but what's going on with the costs of tuition?

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

DailyDirt: More Nature-Inspired Materials

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Lots of cool materials have been inspired by biological materials -- like velcro and surfaces with lotus leaf-like structures. Nature has had a headstart of a few hundred million years to create some useful materials, so it's a great (and open) source of inspiration for new human-made materials that might further improve upon the stuff we already have. Here are just a few more examples of biomimicry that could be everywhere in the near future.

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

DailyDirt: Problems With Peer Reviewed Publications

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Peer review isn't exactly a sexy topic, but it's an essential part of academic publishing -- and it may need to change a bit to keep up with the times. Peer review is typically a thankless chore that is distributed among academics working in a network of related fields, and sometimes personal politics can enter into the process if the subject matter is obscure enough. Misconduct in peer review doesn't usually get the same kind of coverage as various journalistic scandals (eg. Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, etc), but the damages done can be even more significant to society.

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

DailyDirt: Will This Problem Ever Go Away?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A common complaint for closed source software-as-a-service is that it can just go away almost any minute -- leaving users abandoned without any immediate backup solutions. There might be alternatives to switch to, but the alternatives are not exactly the same, and this is why people complained so much when [GeoCities, Google Reader, FormsCentral, etc.] shut down. Users get accustomed to certain features that may be unique. Some companies are better at handling service shutdowns than others, but in the end, it's still really annoying.

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

DailyDirt: The Golden Arches Has Over A Billion Served... But The Rate Is Slowing

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's difficult to keep a good thing going without changing and adapting to the times. McDonald's is a national icon -- and it basically represents America to certain parts of the world. There's even a Big Mac Index to gauge currency exchange rates and global purchasing-power parity. McDonald's business has had some challenges in the last year, and the brand is the default whipping boy for activists. If you're still lovin' it, though, maybe you can get your favorite McBreakfast any time of the day now.

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

DailyDirt: Life's Little Problems In Space

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Space travel isn't easy. It's risky and involves quite a bit of preparation if the trip is going to last more than a few minutes or hours. But if humanity is really going to commit to space exploration, there are a few problems to solve. Life support systems are obviously going to need to protect our fragile bodies from radiation and the vacuum of space. On top of that, we also need to counteract the negative effects of microgravity on our health. Some people are thinking about these problems, but it's likely that we won't have solutions until at least 2030.

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

DailyDirt: Peer Reviewed Publications Are Everywhere

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Peer reviewed publications have been under some additional scrutiny lately, as some of the practices of peer review aren't quite as honest and reliable as they once might have been. Fortunately, there are some solutions that create alternatives to the peer review process that involve opening up the content for more reviewers to study, question and verify results. Having reliable information more widely available to the public sounds like it can't go wrong, but it's not easy to build a reputation on a small database of preprints. However, as more and more significant results come from unlikely people, the process of peer review will need to adapt and account for unexpected authors.

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

DailyDirt: Alternatives To The Turing Test

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Artificial intelligence research has made quite a few advances, but the goalposts are always moving back. Not too long ago, people thought that games like chess and poker were far too difficult for software to play as well as humans. There are still a few games that computers can't quite play as well as humans, but that list is getting smaller all the time. Software with "general intelligence" is still a bit beyond our reach, but the Singularity could happen any moment now.

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

DailyDirt: What Are We Going To Do With All This Genetic Information?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Genomic sequencing is becoming more readily available and cheaper by the minute. It's not quite as easy as it looks on TV (ie. we don't have a Star Trek tricorder just yet), but minuscule amounts of DNA are revealing a vast amount of information about our health and our ancestors. This treasure trove of data is literally lying around everywhere just waiting to be collected.

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Posted on Techdirt - 3 April 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Eating More Chocolate

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Plenty of folks like chocolate, so it makes some sense to try to make chocolate ever so slightly more healthy (as long as the taste isn't horribly affected). If you're going to binge on chocolate in the near future, you might want to check out a few of these links to help rationalize your chocolate consumption.

If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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

DailyDirt: Beyond Silicon For Computers

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Moore's Law has held up for a surprisingly long time, but we can see the horizon now where current semiconductor technology won't be able to keep up with the exponential improvement. It won't be the end of the (tech) world if computers stop getting faster and faster at the same rate, but the shift might change several large industries. There are a few technological alternatives that could provide alternatives to our current computational standards. Quantum computers have promised a significant advance -- if they can be built.

If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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

DailyDirt: Drifting Around In A Car For Fun

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

April Fool's day is fun for some people -- and annoying for others. John Oliver thinks pranks are terrible, and he's gotten some people to make a no-pranks pledge. But for folks who like to waste time and smirk at the discomfort at others, here are a couple videos to watch featuring cars and some crazy driving.

If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Posted on Techdirt - 31 March 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Higher Education, Not So High-Minded Anymore?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Going to college used to be a reliable education path to a well-paying career -- as well as a way to create a society of engaged and informed citizens. The workforce has changed a bit over the last few decades, and college degrees aren't necessarily the best indicators of employee performance anymore. Sure, everyone still needs an education, but being able to learn on your own and pick up skills years after you've been handed a diploma are far more important than where that diploma was printed. Considering that student loans are rarely ever forgiven, people might want to choose their institution of higher learning with a bit more deliberation.

If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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Posted on Techdirt - 30 March 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: GATTACA, Here We Come

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The time to debate the merits and risks of genetically engineering our children is nearly over-ripe. The technology to select physical traits for animals exists for breeding custom single-celled organisms, laboratory rats and desirable farm animals. It wouldn't be a technological feat to apply gene editing techniques to humans, but it certainly raises some serious ethical questions over whether such activities should be allowed or under what circumstances they would be permitted.

If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

37 Comments | Leave a Comment..

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