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 - 12 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Misplaced Hearts...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you haven't planned a romantic Valentine's Day yet, you still have a bit of time left. But if you're not at all interested in this pink and red commercial holiday, then just think about the discounted chocolates you can snag on the 15th. Don't just sit home alone, though, check out these links and appreciate that, in the grand scheme of things, almost anything that's possible has a chance of happening -- and try to stay romantic somehow.

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

DailyDirt: Open The Door, HAL Siri Computer

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Artificially intelligent assistants are everywhere in science fiction, and they're slowly creeping into reality. However, most of the time, these things are limited to answering simple questions like "what's the weather?" or "who won the Super Bowl?" And even then, simple questions don't always return the desired simple answer. Still, we must press on because technology will only get better. Here are just a few more digital assistants that are going to be fighting for your attention someday.

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 - 10 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Watch Out! Here Comes The Spider-Man...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Comic book superheroes have all kinds of incredible abilities. There are a few wall-crawling heroes, but the wall-climbing ability of a "Gecko Man" hasn't really captured as many fans as Spider-Man has. A bite from a radioactive spider might not be the most realistic way to obtain the power to climb walls with ease, but science also suggests that there needs to be a bit more than "spider" or "gecko" power for a person to crawl up a wall. Look on the wall! It's Velcro Man? Vacuum-Assisted Man?

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 - 9 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Making A Road Trip Across The US...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The Cannonball Run plot of racing across the US has inspired some drivers to set illegal records -- though the concept was started in 1933 by Edwin "Cannonball" Baker who drove from NYC to LA in 53 hours (and popularized in the 70s as a protest against highway speed limits). We've previously mentioned Alex Roy making the trip in about 32 hours, but more recently, Ed Bolian and a couple other drivers/passengers did it in just 28 hours and 50 minutes. If you've always wanted to drive across country in some insane way, check out some of the records that other people have set.

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 - 8 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Watched Pots Do Boil

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

People often joke about how bad they are at cooking that they can't even boil water, but the process of boiling water is actually so ubiquitous and important that figuring out how to do it more efficiently is a significant challenge. We've mentioned some materials and designs that can help speed up the boiling process before, so here are a couple more cool ways to vaporize liquids.

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 - 5 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: If People Were Meant To Fly In Space...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

When the Soviets launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, the US launched a satellite and put together its own space agency less than a year later. In the past week, NASA has commemorated the loss of its astronauts in the Challenger and Columbia disasters, as well as the men who died in Apollo 1. There's a new generation of kids who have only seen SpaceX and Soyuz take stuff into low earth orbit (plus maybe a successful Orion test) -- and a few other private companies reaching the edge of space. Robots have been doing an excellent job of exploring mars and other destinations in our solar system, but we shouldn't forget about manned space exploration entirely.

After you've finished checking out those links, if you want to support NASA unconditionally, print out this form and send your money... into space.

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

DailyDirt: Harnessing A Lot Of Energy Ain't Easy

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

We've mentioned some advances in fusion energy research not too long ago, and it looks like Germany is ready to take a few more baby steps towards figuring out how to control insanely hot plasma. Still, we're a long way from plentiful fusion-generated electricity (not counting solar), but if we want to stop burning fossil fuels, we're going to need to do some more research.

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 - 3 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Who Doesn't Like Cheap Oil?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

For a pretty good stretch, the price of a barrel of oil was about $90-$100, but now the price is around $35 or so. That's a good bargain for some consumers, but on the other hand, thousands of oil workers aren't working and plenty of companies that bet on oil prices staying high are going out of business. The simplified explanation is that the current oil supply exceeds the demand for it -- and it takes some time/politics for oil production to adapt. Oil prices might start to go back up significantly in 2017, but in the meantime, there are about 68 oil projects around the world worth about $380 billion that are on hold for a while.

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

DailyDirt: Nature Vs. CRISPR

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The reality of designer babies seems to be more and more likely -- especially now that gene editing tools like CRISPR are becoming more refined and widespread in labs around the world. Legitimate concerns over a modern form of eugenics are being raised, and the ethical debates are getting less theoretical as the science pushes the boundaries of what can be done. People might be able to activate or delete genes without fully understanding the results, and the advances that can eliminate genetic disorders could also eliminate certain minorities or traits that are not necessarily disabilities.

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 - 1 February 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Making Spirits Bright

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There was a time when making your own alcohol wasn't a completely legit thing to do. Sure, now anyone can just go down to a corner store almost any time and pick up a chilled alcoholic beverage, but if you're a real do-it-yourself-er, you won't want to drink just anything that comes in a pretty bottle. Here are a few projects you might want to check out someday when you're not feeling like guzzling something made by Anheuser-Busch-Inbev-SABmiller.

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 - 29 January 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Winning Isn't Everything

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Not that long ago, we mentioned that progress towards an algorithm that could play the game of Go better than humans was on the horizon. It looks like our wetware shouldn't be too smug about being able to play Go now, but we can still have fun playing, right? And it'll still take a while before robots are any good at (non-contact) sports. Ping pong, FTW!

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 January 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Nature Doesn't Play By Our Rules...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Biology does whatever it can do, and it's usually pretty messy about it. Just when people think they've figured out a nice hierarchical system for classifying plants and animals and microscopic organisms, we find out that there's more going on and some things aren't as clear cut as we thought. We could divide up life into several kingdoms and/or three domains, but taxonomy isn't getting simpler with time. Life is a continuous spectrum that can't be separated easily, and classifications could become even more complicated in the future. If you thought a platypus was weird, check out a few of these creatures.

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

DailyDirt: Just Like Clockwork

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Current robotic developments are impressive, but about 200 years ago, mechanical watches and clockwork mechanisms were at the height of miniaturized, complex technology. Watch complications (the functions other than the time in hours and minutes) have continued to grow in complexity with thousands of parts and dozens of time-related functions, but these features can't quite compare to the millions of "apps" that are available now. Check out a few of these clockwork examples and stop complaining about needing to recharge your battery every night.

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Posted on Techdirt - 26 January 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow... (Ok, Stop!)

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Maybe this past weekend was a bit snowy for you if you live on the East Coast. Shoveling your driveway, and then shoveling it again, and then digging through the big mound of snow where the street meets your driveway -- fun times, for sure. If you were wondering if anyone had a robot snowblower, wonder no more.

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

DailyDirt: There's A Great Future In Plastics

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Plastics are incredibly useful materials. Unfortunately, being extremely durable also means plastics are annoyingly persistent in the environment as pollution. Less than 10% of plastic gets recycled, so the rest either ends up in landfills -- or floats into waterways to the ocean. We'll probably figure out some way to make use of landfill materials someday, but it'll be much harder to clean up the oceans if we continue at the rate we're going.

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 January 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you're young enough, you were only taught about the eight planets in our solar system -- and possibly that there was a mysterious 'Planet X' or planet Tyche beyond Neptune. More recently, there's a new ninth planet proposal from the same folks who re-named Pluto as a dwarf planet. Check out these links on Pluto and this new ninth planet that might redefine the outer edge of our solar system.

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 January 2016 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Those Who Can, Write Textbooks...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Textbooks are surprisingly expensive items. The classic example is an introductory math textbook: where the math hasn't changed significantly for over a hundred years, but the price of the newest edition seems to suggest that there should be a lot of new material added to the book. Sure, there's a used book market -- and even rental books nowadays -- but the trend of rising textbook prices has some students and faculty questioning some of the publishing industry's practices.

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

DailyDirt: Open Textbooks Starting To Save Students Real Money

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

One aspect of the open educational resources movement (OER) is open textbooks that are free to use -- content in the public domain or with copyright terms that require only attribution (or attribution and share-alike clauses). Open textbooks have taken some time to get written, reviewed and adopted -- but now that there are hundreds of these books available, students should be able to use them freely and benefit from (and even contribute to) these educational materials.

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

DailyDirt: What, Me Worry?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The price of oil is surprisingly low -- dipping below $30 a barrel recently. That's not a bad thing for consumers who like to drive and have warm homes in the winter and for the prices of a whole lot of other things. But let's not get too comfortable with hydrocarbon-based fuels for too long. There are a few concerning things about burning fossil fuels -- even if we're not worried about carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. However, the alternatives might not be that great, either.

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

DailyDirt: Stop! Don't Eat That...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Eating healthier is a common new year's resolution, and it might be good to start simple and stop consuming one unhealthy snack item. However, a completely healthy diet is a totally different task. There are countless fad diets that don't really work or aren't as healthy as they're supposed to be. On top of all that, we should also keep an eye out for the outbreaks of foodborne illnesses and food safety recommendations. Maybe people who drink all their calories aren't totally crazy....

If you've been thinking about learning how to code, take a look at our Daily Deals for a collection of online courses to help you program and/or master some professional skills.

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