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 - 5 March 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Science With (And Without) Verification

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The scientific method has undoubtedly advanced the growth of knowledge, but with the enormous amount of data that can be collected now, it can be difficult to turn all that information into reliable and understandable facts. On the other hand, science is also pushing the boundaries of what can possibly be measured -- but can we still call it science if we're proposing unknowable multiverses and spatial dimensions that can never be explored? Almost anyone can publish their crazy ideas -- and sometimes those sketchy papers submitted to arxiv.org lead to successful work proving an infinite number of twin primes. Do the crackpots outnumber the "real" scientists? Does it matter?

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 March 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Messing With Mice Brains

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The genes that make humans distinct from other animals are being narrowed down. We have a lot in common with other mammals and especially other primates, but relatively tiny differences in a set of genes could explain how human language and intelligence evolved and developed. Understanding the complexity of human intelligence and genetics will likely take decades or longer -- and we may never fully understand every aspect of consciousness. However, we're making some progress and creating some smarter mice along the way. Check out a few of these experiments.

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

DailyDirt: Computers Are Learning How To Play More Video Games, But They'll Never Appreciate A Good Game?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Researchers can program computers to play all kinds of games and even beat the best humans at them. So far, we're not worried about AI that can beat us at chess or Jeopardy, but maybe we'll be more worried when a computer can program another computer to play chess at a grandmaster level. Luckily, there's at least one billionaire willing to chip in a few million bucks to try to keep Terminators from destroying humanity.

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

DailyDirt: Curious Carbon Configurations

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Carbon gets a lot of negative publicity because it's associated with carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, but the element itself is critical to life and has numerous fascinating properties. Carbon comes in a variety of allotropes, and we're discovering other carbon-based structures all the time. Here are just a few more examples.

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Posted on Techdirt - 27 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Big Bones Are A Myth, But Obesity Has Legit Causes

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Some people are naturally skinny and able to eat almost anything they want without gaining weight. Obviously, there are also plenty of folks who need to watch their diets very carefully and exercise regularly to prevent unhealthy weight gain. The causes for obesity are not well understood, and while many observers like to say it's obvious that people need to expend more calories than they consume, the challenge of doing so isn't as simple as it sounds for many. There aren't any miracle diets or drugs, but as we study obesity and understand it more, there could be more palatable treatments someday.

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Posted on Techdirt - 26 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Keeping Information For A Really, Really, Really Long Time

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The problem of storing digital data usually involves transferring data from an older format to a newer one -- with the hopes that the newer one won't be replaced as quickly as the older format it just replaced. Maybe some archivists out there like to go through this periodic technology shift and verify that the data we've stored is still readable, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a "store it and forget it" format?

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Hatching Some Intelligent Creatures

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There's no guarantee that life will evolve any kind of intelligence. However, given the numerous examples of smart animals in nature, while we're worried about hyper-intelligent robots rising up, we'll miss the genius bird/lizard/ape revolution. Or maybe we'll just be left behind by space-faring dolphins. In any case, check out a few of these curiously smart animals.

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Posted on Techdirt - 24 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Drugs Are Baaaad, mmKay?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If we really wanted to tackle drug problems, we might want to try alternatives to alcohol that might have antidotes. However, we've tried to outlaw alcohol before, and it didn't turn out too well. Marijuana is beginning to become slightly less illegal (not on the federal level), and some studies show it's not nearly as harmful a drug as some folks believe it is. Put down your bongs, stop giggling at that cartoon you've been watching all day, and check out some of these links on the effects of marijuana.

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

DailyDirt: The Right Stuff From The Original Space Race

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

It's surprising how poorly documented some of the Apollo missions are now -- with lost original footage of the first lunar landing (eventually restored from other recordings). Now we're entering a new phase of space that's more privatized, so it's even more likely that commercial space programs will not be preserved for the benefit of all. Maybe someday all of NASA's tweets will be safely stored on magnetic tape, and SpaceX's first reusable rocket landing video will be preserved in HD. Or maybe we'll have to check on Elon Musk's closet after he dies to look for Martian souvenirs.

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

DailyDirt: Sriracha In Everything

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The hot sauce that has gotten insanely popular over the past few years is getting into everything. Several fast food chains -- Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Taco Bell, Subway, Jack In The Box, Panda Express, Wendy's -- have added Sriracha to their menu in some way. There's no trademark on Sriracha, so there's no legal friction to using the name/product. Maybe some products aren't using the real sauce, but it's still free advertising for the authentic Sriracha. (And do you really want to risk alienating the rabid fans of Sriracha just to save a few bucks using a knock-off hot sauce?)

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Posted on Techdirt - 19 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Plastic Is Everywhere, Run For Your Lives

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Plastic is a relatively new material in our environment, but many kinds of plastic don't decompose -- so it sticks around for a long, long time. But it's so useful -- and who wants to drag around metal or glass bottles? (Ahem, even if you did, many glass/metal bottles are lined with plastic anyway.) We could do a better job of recycling plastic and making sure plastic doesn't end up in the ocean, but we'll probably never get rid of plastic unless we run out of oil.

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Posted on Techdirt - 18 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Technology For Lawyers

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Every profession faces some disruption with technological improvements. Robots have slowly been taking over dangerous and labor-intensive jobs in manufacturing for decades, but advanced algorithms are starting to creep into careers that were previously safe from automation. Sure, translation software has provided some hilarious examples of how bad they are, but the first chess programs weren't so good, either. Lawyers could outlaw their robotic replacements, but they might have to act fast. Here are just a few links on technology getting into the field of law.

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

DailyDirt: Science With Lego

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

People do all sorts of creative stuff with Lego -- even though Lego hasn't always been cool about people using Lego or Lego-like bricks in various ways. But when Lego interconnecting block enthusiasts are allowed to do anything they want to do, sometimes science benefits. Here are just a few cool Lego-based science links for folks who aren't ready to put away their childhood toys.

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

DailyDirt: Eat This, Don't Eat That...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Fad diets and diet recommendations seem to change every few years. Whole eggs were bad for you, but now they should be considered as part of a balanced diet. What makes a diet balanced? More carbs? Less Fat? Maybe you should just walk every day to your nearest Subway and only eat sandwiches. Or maybe you can just track your calories and eat whatever you want. Or not.

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Posted on Techdirt - 12 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: NYC Subways Filled With Unknown Species

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

No one would want to lick a handrail on the New York City subway because it's just gross -- and who knows what kind of germs and stuff are living in the urban grime? Well, now we have a better idea. Thousands of samples have been analysed, and the results are published. A city-wide metagenomic profile of NYC could tell us demographic data and confirm census polls, and a map of the data is available online. Follow a few of the links below for a bit more info.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Keeping Your Memories

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you're only a couple decades old, you probably haven't experienced too many problems with your memory. But if you're more than a few decades old, you might have started to get "senior moments" as some call them -- where you forget why you went upstairs to your bedroom as soon as you get there, or you can't remember your ATM PIN, or the name of that guy is just on the tip of your tongue but you can't seem to recall it. These could be early signs of more serious memory loss, but the medical science is only just about to start really understanding how memory and aging works. Here are some links you might want to check out (and bookmark so you don't forget them).

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

DailyDirt: Celebrating Valentine's Day... Or Not

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Some folks say romance is dead, but maybe it's just in a deep meditative trance. In any case, it's almost that time of year again when chocolates and flowers and possibly awkward marriage proposals are being considered. For the romantic souls, this is an annual tradition that shouldn't be missed. For the more cynical, it's just another commercial holiday to boost sales of various pink-heart themed items.

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

DailyDirt: Sending Your Kid To School

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A couple decades ago, the choices for elementary schools were pretty simple and limited -- public or private school. It's a bit more complicated now with public schools, charter schools, magnet schools and various different kinds of private schools that may be religious or based on a particular philosophy or pedagogical technique. (There's also the choice of opting-out with homeschooling....) In the end, there's no certainty in any complex decision -- some schools might have higher test scores, but quantitative statistics aren't everything. Here are just a few links for parents looking at a choice between elementary schools.

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

DailyDirt: How To Cook Simple Stuff...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

There are all kinds of cooking shows and recipe books, providing a vast and endless library of ways to make any meal you can think of. With this flood of information, the simplest meals can seem daunting because there are so many different recipes and instructions. There really is no single correct way to do anything, but some instructions are easier to remember than others. Here are just a few examples.

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Posted on Techdirt - 5 February 2015 @ 5:00pm

DailyDirt: Old Languages, New Languages

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Learning a new language as an adult is notoriously difficult to do, but there are various benefits for being bilingual. However, as the world communicates more globally, people are choosing to speak more common languages, and some languages are being spoken less and less. There may be no way to translate certain expressions, and we may lose some linguistic quirks if we don't try to preserve spoken languages that have few remaining native speakers. Here are just a few links on language diversity to check out if you're bored with l337 speak.

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