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 June 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Fountains Of Youth...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Lab mice aren't really a great model model for studying human health, but we use them anyway. And every so often, researchers stumble on drugs that seem to make lab mice live longer. Unfortunately, no one has found a reliable treatment for significantly extending a human lifespan just yet -- but if you want to raise old mice, there are plenty of things that'll work. Check out a few of these potential fountains of youth for mice.

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

DailyDirt: Racing Into Space Again...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

After the Cold War ended, the space race enthusiasm evaporated as the funding for ambitious projects to explore space dried up. Launching dozens of satellites into space to form communications networks was (and still is) a risky business -- with a lot of upfront costs and a lot of equipment that's nearly obsolete by the time it reaches orbit. But it's becoming a bit cheaper to get stuff into space, and maybe we're seeing a bit more of a commercial space race. Check out a few of these space-bound projects.

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

DailyDirt: Badminton Robots FTW

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We have computers that can beat us at games like chess and Go (and Jeopardy!), but we haven't seen too many robots that can beat humans at more physical sports like soccer or tennis. We've seen some air hockey robots that are nearly unbeatable, so it's really only a matter of time before robots learn how to play sports with a few more dimensions. Here are some badminton robots that are inching toward playing better than some of us.

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Posted on Techdirt - 24 June 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: More Robot Servants Will Be Nice...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Robots are getting better at performing complex tasks all the time. It won't be too long before they can drive cars and deliver packages (and replace about a quarter of a million human workers who drive for UPS/FedEx/USPS/etc). The technology isn't quite there yet, but it doesn't seem to be too far off in the future. However, we're nowhere near seeing a Rosie the Robot servant, predicted in the 1960s, but we're getting closer. Check out these marginally helpful robots for the home that could beat flying cars and pneumatic tube transportation to becoming a reality.

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

DailyDirt: Spaceplanes 2.0

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Space Shuttle was a cool idea, but it never accomplished the goal of providing a relatively low-cost route to space. The concept of reusable space ships is still attractive, but it really depends on how much it takes to refurbish them before they attempt another launch. A few different organizations are already testing some reusable space vehicles (and Boeing has its X-37B that's orbiting somewhere above us right now). Here are just a few more spaceplanes that might join the new reusable space race.

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Posted on Techdirt - 22 June 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Smarter Than The Average Bear Cat... Bird?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Animals aren't as dumb as you might think, and the more we study our pets -- the more we find that we may not just be anthropomorphizing our favorite animals. Some animals definitely have personalities, and some can exhibit some pretty complex cognitive skills. If we can understand more and more animal brains, maybe we'll be able to figure out our own brains, too, someday. Here are just a few things to remember about cats, fish and birds.

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

DailyDirt: Crazy Cars That No One Drives

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We're on the verge of a transportation revolution with autonomous cars and electric vehicles about to become mainstream means of mobility. Various concept cars make the future of transportation look more bubble-shaped or like spandex, so the roads are really going to look a bit crazy if we allow 40-year-old muscle cars to drive along with surviving K-cars and futuristic-looking Tron-like hypercars. Check out a few more crazy cars that aren't quite practical in the links below.

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

DailyDirt: Solving Mysteries Of The Universe...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The vast blackness of space might not look like much to the naked eye, but the origins of all life have come from distant stars. As Carl Sagan put it, we are all "star stuff" -- we're made of atoms that could have only been born in intense supernovas. It may appear futile to try to decipher what happened billions of years ago, but astronomers can literally look back in time and see the formation of the universe. Here are just a few cool things astronomers have discovered lately.

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

DailyDirt: Chickens Versus Eggs...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The American food chain can be fascinating, as well as disgusting. There are happy, free-range chickens. There are also apparently a lot of very unhappy, caged chickens. The treatment of farm animals seems to vary quite a bit, and the economics of the food industry doesn't always account for the well-being of animals. However, the situation may be slowly changing as more humane techniques are developed, but until science figures out how to grow tasty meat in a petri dish, we'll still have to kill animals if we're going to continue to eat them.

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Posted on Techdirt - 16 June 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Flying Around Everywhere..?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The promise of flying cars and a future like the Jetsons obviously hasn't come to pass, but people are still working on it. Yes, drivers haven't even mastered safely navigating roads, and adding another dimension and the risk of falling out of the sky isn't going to help. Still, we shouldn't let these challenges prevent us from trying to create an awesome and boundless future of flying safely to work or school or a grocery store. Maybe we'll have groceries delivered by drones, instead of needing to shop for them in person, but traveling everyday by flying shouldn't just be for the birds.

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

DailyDirt: Moonshot 2.0

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's been a while since anyone has proposed and executed a plan as 'out there' as going to the moon in less than a decade. Sure, we have computers that can beat humans at Go, and we're on the cusp of using CRISPR for some amazing genetic modifications. However, we haven't really been serious about getting people off the planet -- and onto another planet -- for quite some time. Here are just a few moonshot-like projects for getting stuff into space, and perhaps making baby steps toward becoming a Type II civilization.

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

DailyDirt: Public Speaking Made Easy...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Talking in front of a big audience can be daunting, and there are a few organizations that try to help people get better at this skill (eg. Toastmasters, the Association of Speakers Clubs, POWERtalk, etc). But a great speech doesn't necessarily have to be delivered in front of a large, live audience, especially now that Youtube/Facebook can reach millions of people (sometimes unintentionally). Practice helps, but good video editing can be pretty important, too.

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

DailyDirt: Classic Cars 2.0

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Cars have changed a lot over the past hundred years, and sometimes new cars don't quite look so great. It'd be nice to see some classic cars get modern technology in them, but it ain't simple or inexpensive. Check out a few of these classic cars that might get a modern makeover.

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

DailyDirt: Big Data Isn't Necessarily Better

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The old -- Garbage In, Garbage Out -- GIGO principle originated during the early days of computing, but it may be even more applicable today. With the explosion of data available that can be collected, there's a temptation to assume that analyses and meta-analyses can make sense of all that data and produce incredible insights. However, we should probably have some skepticism before we jump into the deep end of data and expect miraculous results.

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

DailyDirt: Wolves In Sheepdog's Clothing?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Man's best friend, the dog, has a mysterious and complex relationship with people. Ancient humans presumably domesticated wolves or some other closely related species a long time ago -- perhaps multiple times on different continents. The story of dogs and wolves and people is far from over, getting ever more interesting as we learn more about ancient dog specimens and create more genetically-engineered dogs.

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

DailyDirt: Reusing Plastic Instead Of Throwing It All Away...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Disposable packaging adds up to a lot of trash. Sure, some of it gets recycled, but there's a significant amount that doesn't -- and ends up polluting the environment in mind-boggling ways. In the not-so-distant future, we might have more plastic in the ocean by weight than fish. But it doesn't have to be that way.

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

DailyDirt: Antibiotic Resistance Is (Not) Futile...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

With the news that a "superbug" resistant to an antibiotic of last resort was found in the US, there's a bit of concern that medicine could regress significantly in the face of uncontrollable bacteria. We've had antibiotic drugs for about 70 years now, and we've grown accustomed to the effectiveness of these drugs. Hopefully, we can stay ahead of drug-resistant microbes with new pharmaceuticals or phage therapy.

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

DailyDirt: Fingerprints And Watermarks On Everything?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Making copies of physical goods is becoming easier and easier all the time. Some folks want to make sure that all these physical items are authentic, devising fingerprinting or watermark technology to identify objects uniquely. Dollar bills, documents and all kinds of valuable things could be tracked with this kind of anti-counterfeiting tagging. Here are just a few other examples of making a mark on stuff that could be useful.

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

DailyDirt: Sugar, Yes, Please...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The number of calories you can ingest as soda or juice can be surprisingly high, if you're not accustomed to accounting for your caloric intake. There's a reason why so many diet soft drinks exist -- and why a few low-cal beers are on the market. Drinking fewer calories just seems like an easier path to consuming fewer calories.

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

DailyDirt: Strange Forms Of Life...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Nature has plenty of surprises left for us. Life exists in some extreme environments that you wouldn't think anything would survive, but somehow little creatures are still thriving in some of the coldest, darkest, most acidic, hottest and just unusual places. Life just needs to be able to feed on something -- light, sugar, electricity. Here are just a few bizarre discoveries in biology.

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