Michael Ho's Techdirt Profile

Michael Ho

About Michael Ho

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.

Posted on Techdirt - 1 July 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Out With A Whimper

Our planet’s environment is in a delicate balance with the ecosystem that’s largely invisible. We have a thin ozone layer protecting everything from harmful UV rays. Plants seem to be doing a great job of supplying breathable oxygen. It’s a bit concerning when human activity throws off something in the atmosphere on a large scale, but we might be able to do something about it. The first step, though, is admitting that we have a problem.

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Posted on Techdirt - 30 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: The Second Most Abundant Element In The Universe…

Helium is a fascinating element that most people recognize as the stuff that you can inhale to make your voice sound funny. However, it has some really serious uses in MRI machines and rocket engines — and if we’re not careful, we could waste this precious material and not have any kind of replacement for it. Once we run out of helium on earth, there aren’t a lot of great options for obtaining more. It’s not like we can just swing by Jupiter and bring some back. Maybe we can recycle and conserve for a bit, and perhaps someday we’ll figure out fusion.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Posted on Techdirt - 29 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Fountains Of Youth…

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 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Racing Into Space Again…

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 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Badminton Robots FTW

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.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Posted on Techdirt - 24 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: More Robot Servants Will Be Nice…

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.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Posted on Techdirt - 23 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Spaceplanes 2.0

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.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Posted on Techdirt - 22 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Smarter Than The Average Bear Cat… Bird?

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.

After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Posted on Techdirt - 21 June 2016 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Crazy Cars That No One Drives

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 @ 05:00pm

DailyDirt: Solving Mysteries Of The Universe…

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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