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 - 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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Posted on Techdirt - 18 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Nature Recycles All The Time, So Should We...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Plastics are everywhere. It's hard to imagine all the modern conveniences that exist because of the existence of plastic and polymers, and it would be difficult to continue living a modern lifestyle without plastics. Maybe we're starting to try not to use plastic bags to carry groceries home in some places, but the bad environmental reputation of plastic might have some solutions. Plastics could be made to be easier to recycle. Also, we could replace some of the more problematic plastics with more environmentally-friendly materials.

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Posted on Techdirt - 15 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Thanks For The Free Energy, Sun

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The world economy still largely depends on fossil fuels for energy, and nuclear energy isn't exactly popular after decades of use. Until we figure out nuclear fusion, if we want to reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons, we're going to need to ramp up renewable energy sources from solar and wind. Solar energy capacity seems to be growing robustly, but apparently, there are still some bugs to work out.

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Posted on Techdirt - 14 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Sometimes extending a person's life requires an organ transplant, but it's not exactly easy to find a replacement organ -- especially when donors don't have spares. Medicine is getting better at growing some replacements, so maybe someday patients won't need to rely on other people dying to get a heart, liver, pancreas, etc.

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

DailyDirt: Everyone Has Blindspots

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A few years ago, there were some video demonstrations about perception and how when you're focused on looking for one thing, you can completely miss seeing obvious other things (like a gorilla or other monkey business). People tend to rely on vision a lot (unless you're Daredevil), but it's not always the most reliable sense.

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

DailyDirt: Personal Flying Machines

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It wasn't that long ago that people were highly skeptical of the entire concept of human flight. A few crazy people dressed up in bird-inspired outfits with wings and tried to jump from various heights in order to fly or glide -- and they were generally met with mockery. Nowadays, we know just how hard it is to achieve human-powered flight, but it has been achieved -- in several different ways. The Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize was awarded in 2013, and the Kremer Prize was won back in 1977. If you're not willing to work up a sweat, check out some of these aircraft.

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

DailyDirt: Looking Forward To More Space Exploration

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We've seen space travel getting cheaper over time, but it's still pretty expensive to get a person into low earth orbit. Some billionaires are optimistic that space travel will be accessible to more than just astronauts and other billionaires, and we're seeing some progress. Reusable rockets and more affordable space stations could lead to some pretty cool space-based vacations -- if you remember to bring your SPF infinity sunblock.

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Posted on Techdirt - 8 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: That's No Moon, And It's Not A Space Station, Either

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Earth's moon is the most well-known planetary satellite because we see it almost every night. But the Earth has a few more natural satellites that aren't technically moons. There are a bunch of near-Earth objects (NEOs) that are in resonance with the Earth around the Sun. Several quasi-satellites and trojans dance around our planet in space -- and these objects could be potential landing sites for probes someday (or for asteroid mining operations). They're just not moons (or dwarf moons or whatever you want to nickname them), but maybe they'll be space stations.

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Posted on Techdirt - 7 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Actually Getting People Into Space...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are only a handful of vehicles that have launched people into space (or even just provided shelter) for space-faring people. A few more ships and space stations would be nice to see, and there are a few in various stages development (unfunded proposals, ahem). If you're interested in people (not just robots) exploring outer space, here are just a few links on some of the ships that might transport more folks to at least the edge of space.

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

DailyDirt: Who Cares About Moore's Law Anymore?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The end of Moore's law is basically here already, but it's not such a surprise. It's maybe more surprising that it's lasted so long. What are we going to do now that our computers aren't getting exponentially better? Try completely different ways of making computers, of course. Quantum computers are making some significant advances, even though they're not ready to compete with regular silicon processors just yet. Here are just a few new quantum milestones that could lead to some re-thinking of encryption schemes and programming courses.

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

DailyDirt: What Will The Robot Economy Look Like?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Algorithms have already quietly crept into nearly every part of our lives, helping us to search the internet and connect with friends and to find matching personalities for dates. Soon, we'll have cars that drive us -- and some old Yakov Smirnoff jokes won't make any sense. But how will people adapt to a 'robot economy' where everything is done by robots -- and we can't even play games without knowing that the computers are just letting us win?

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

DailyDirt: You Know The First Guy To Run A Marathon Died Immediately After, Right?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Everything in moderation... including exercise. Exercise is undoubtedly good for you if you compare it to a sedentary lifestyle, but running marathons every day isn't going to do you any favors. But where is the optimal sweet spot for exercise? It's not the same for everyone, but it looks like most Americans aren't doing enough. Fortunately, the right amount probably isn't as much as you'd think.

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11 Comments | Leave a Comment..

Posted on Techdirt - 1 April 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: There's So Much We Don't Know About Life...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Biology defies simple categorization -- even though some think of the field of biology as glorified taxidermy. We even have a difficult time defining what life is. (Are viruses alive?) Fundamental questions about how life began and how life even continues are still elusive. We've just started to scratch the surface of collecting data that might help us understand more about ourselves and the ecosystem we live in. Here are just a few links on genomes and biodiversity that lead to more questions than answers.

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