Like to Tinker? NASA's looking for you points to a NY Times article on NASA contests that aim to reach out to the DIY set:

“Contracts belonged mostly to the Boeings of the world. Tinkerers and students were kept at the far edge of the periphery. But with budgets tightening and the obstacles to human space exploration looking more daunting, NASA is enlisting the expertise of outsiders. For example, the agency is offering 13 contests, which it calls Centennial Challenges, that anyone can enter. The prizes range from $200,000 to more than $5 million, for building gear as diverse as solar sails, lunar excavators and the tiny elevators.”

It’s wonderful to see increased mainstream recognition that innovation often comes from the edges. This is the root of our methodology of watching the alpha geeks to get ideas about emerging trends and technologies, and the exploration of the DIY ethic that we’re committed to with Make: magazine.