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 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: 3, 2, 1... Liftoff

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Re-usable spacecraft sound like a good idea -- if they actually saved any costs and refurbishing them was economical. There are only a few examples of re-usable space vehicles so far, and NASA retired its space shuttle program in 2011, narrowing the field a bit. SpaceX seems to be getting closer to demonstrating a re-usable rocket system, but it still needs to re-launch one of its rockets (and it currently only has one rocket for such an attempt).

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Posted on Techdirt - 23 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: I'd Like To Be... Under The Sea

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are plenty of smart animals in the world. Dogs, cats and pet birds are the ones we're usually familiar with, but there are also dolphins, elephants... and octopuses. Generally, animals with 8 legs are fascinating because that's just a lot of legs. If you haven't been to an aquarium recently, check out some of these links on our friend the octopus.

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Posted on Techdirt - 20 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Feeding A Growing Population...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Modern farming is evolving yet again as technology makes growing crops more efficient with increasingly clever tricks. Maybe it's not such a good idea to mess with plant DNA to insert interspecies genes, but maybe there's no reason for increasing crop yields or produce quality, anyway. Biologists are messing around with gene expression pathways instead, so they don't need to change the DNA present -- just when or how the genes are (or aren't) activated. And better fertilizers could be on the way, too. Check out a few of these farming developments.

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: All Alone In The Universe With Nowhere To Go...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

People have been looking up into the sky for centuries, wondering what's out there and if we're alone on this world. Astronomers, more recently, have been looking into deep space with some relatively high-tech equipment -- finding some strangely inexplicable phenomena (that could be alien megastructures?!) and still wondering if we're alone in the universe. We may never know for sure if intelligent life exists anywhere else, but it doesn't hurt to look, does it?

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Posted on Techdirt - 13 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Not The Food You're Looking For...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Eating meat has been a part of the human diet for quite some time, and there's evidence that cooking meat allowed our ancient ancestors to spend less time chewing and more time doing other productive tasks. But now, we're eating a lot more calories and hardly chewing at all -- and soon we'll have robots doing all the hard work for us. With all our new free time, maybe we can spend it making sure we're eating the right things (without necessarily eating a trendy paleo diet).

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Posted on Techdirt - 12 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Faster Than A Locomotive...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The hyperloop idea that Elon Musk announced to the public is making some baby steps towards becoming a reality. Okay, so no one is talking about how any kind of new train system still needs to get land use rights and political approval, but the technology is inching its way towards becoming more than just an idea on paper.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Studying Our Ancient Ancestors

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Genetic testing is becoming more and more common now. The costs have come down dramatically in a very short time, but our methods of interpreting the results could still stand to mature a bit. DNA is everywhere, and some of the most interesting DNA is from ancient remains that have been preserved naturally in glaciers or by mummifying techniques practiced by ancient Egyptians. We may never get a clear picture of prehistoric people, but some DNA evidence could help clear up a few mysteries (or start some strange protests?).

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Posted on Techdirt - 10 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: What Kind Of Blood Do You Have?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Artificial human blood could make medicine a whole lot easier -- with no more blood drives or inefficient blood matching and possible harmful immune responses to blood transfusions. But until we perfect a way to grow human blood instead of siphoning it out of other people's veins, we're stuck with a somewhat tricky supply chain of a vital fluid. Researchers and vampires are very interested in the field of blood, and if you're not too queasy, check out these links.

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Posted on Techdirt - 9 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Creepy (But Useful?) Robots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Robot locomotion is a fascinating field of study, and it's mesmerizing to watch robots walk around like zombies, even if these robots aren't entirely practical or useful just yet. Presumably, these robots will someday cross the uncanny valley and move more reliably and smoothly. Until then, however, biomimicry for robots seems wide open to a variety of human-like or insect-like or worm-like combinations. (Watch out for centaur-like robot patents!)

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Posted on Techdirt - 6 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Jellyfish As Pets?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you're not a dog or cat person, maybe you prefer fish or some other pet that doesn't require too much attention. If vertebrates -- or even invertebrates -- are too evolved for your liking, some folks have come up with a few jellyfish aquariums that might suit your tastes. You still need to take care of these creatures, and they're not immortal (unless your name is Shin Kubota), unfortunately.

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Posted on Techdirt - 5 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Flying Faster Than The Speed Of Sound

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Supersonic flights haven't been available to the public since the Concorde (and the lesser known Tupolev Tu-144) stopped flying. The economic reality of flying faster than the speed of sound doesn't look too profitable, but maybe someday an airline will figure out a way to do it (and do it safely AND quietly). Or maybe we should just look forward to riding trains inside evacuated tubes.

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Really Flying Or Just Hovering?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Not too long ago, we mentioned some hoverboards that don't really hover at all. But there actually are several examples of hovering devices that can transport people short distances. None of these contraptions are particularly practical means of transportation, but maybe when Mr. Fusion generators can supply enough energy, we'll all be hovering/flying around everywhere.

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Posted on Techdirt - 3 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Keeping Mosquitoes Away...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Zika virus has highlighted how much some of us hate mosquitoes. These biting insects aren't just annoying. They also spread horrible diseases. Previously, we've mentioned some plans for destroying all mosquitoes, but that's probably not the most environmentally-friendly way to go about preventing the spread of mosquito-borne infections. Also, some people seem to attract more bites than others, but how well do mosquito repellents actually work, anyway?

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Posted on Techdirt - 2 May 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Do You See What I See?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Blindness or visual impairment affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. Thankfully, cataract surgery and other treatments have reduced the effects of some vision problems, but unfortunately, there are still a few forms of blindness that aren't very treatable. Until someone figures out how to transplant an entire eyeball (which some doctors are actually working on), here are a few other ways that might help restore some sight.

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Posted on Techdirt - 28 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Personal Mobility Devices

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Hoverboards of various designs have captured the imagination of kids for quite some time. Mobility devices like the Segway were supposed to revolutionize transportation and city planning, perhaps replacing cars with somewhat ridiculous 2-wheeled vehicles. Maybe someday self-balancing mobility devices won't be some kind of joke. We might have to wait until all the patents expire, though.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: A Mars Mission By 2018?!

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Space exploration is gradually becoming cheaper and more reliable. Reusable rockets haven't proven to be economical yet, but presumably, they will be. Robot missions that roll around on the surface of other worlds have been shown to be very effective, if a bit slow, and bigger and better robots are probably going to be sent to more and more objects in space. However, people are still dreaming of colonizing the moon or Mars -- and it looks like there has been some progress to be able to do so.

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: GMO, GMO, Wherefore Art Thou, GMO?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Genetically modifying animals and plants is a growing concern -- with some people totally against the idea. And there are now a variety of biotech tools that make defining GMOs a bit less clear-cut for the general public. Taking a gene from a sea animal and putting into a pig sounds extremely unnatural, but does simply removing a gene sound as bad? Or what if farmers used traditional breeding techniques to get to a particular genetic end goal that was discovered by less "natural" genetic experimentation?

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Posted on Techdirt - 21 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Old, Old Wine, Goes To My Head...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's actually pretty easy to fool tastebuds when it comes to aged wine -- a more expensive-looking bottle or just a good story is sometimes enough to make people think a wine tastes better than it does. No one trusts wine that comes out of a plastic spigot on a box, but if you tell people you've gone to extraordinary lengths to store wine for years, some folks are willing to cough up thousands of dollars for the chance to drink it. If you're a knowledgeable wine drinker with a lot of disposable income, check out a few of these aged wines.

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Posted on Techdirt - 20 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Another Golden Era Of Spaceflight Ahead..?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Successfully re-using a rocket seems to be on the cusp of being an economically practical technology. The traditional aerospace industry is going to see a bit more competition from cheaper rockets that can still launch satellites into high orbit. Private space companies are starting to catch up with NASA's experience, but the business is still tricky because there's always a chance a very expensive rocket will just explode on the launchpad.

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Posted on Techdirt - 19 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Sustainable Eating -- Yummy Or Gross?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Plenty of people like a big, rare steak every once in a while. It's probably not the healthiest meal, but everything in moderation, right? How about insect protein for "meatless Mondays" or seaweed salads before dinner? Everything in moderation, right? Here are just a few interesting ways to expand your palate and maybe eat in a more sustainable fashion -- if you can stomach it.

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