The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
Let's say just for a moment that you were ready to cash out. Quit your job. Sell your house. Take you and yours out of the rat race with a few hundred of your friends and family and relocate onto arable land. What tools would you need to sustain a livable—maybe even comfortable—lifestyle? Open Source Ecology suggests you start with ~2.6 million dollars and these | fifty | machines (← watch this first), collectively referred to as the Global Village Construction Set.
Do You Want To Know RIGHT NOW How You Can Drive Around Using WATER as FUEL and Laugh At Rising Gas Costs, While Reducing Emissions and Preventing Global Warming?
Worried about the state of biodiversity? Why not make some of your own? Moore’s law is all over biotechnology right now. Can the hackers be far behind? MIT's Drew Endy doesn’t think so. Ready to get started? You might already have some of the tools that you will need. Plans for others are available on the web. All you need now are some parts.
RONJA is an optical networking device that can be built by nearly everyone, using readily available components and using only free software.
Discover the goodness that is Hack A Day -- DIY geekery of all sorts awaits you: vacuum forming • Infrared web cams and digital cams • robotic helicopter • Telemarketer Interception System • Jacob's Ladder • Dobsonian telescope [pdf] • prison tatoo gun • TIG welder • parallel and serial port sound • LCD projector • FM transmitter [tripod] • computer-controlled glider • jet-powered beer cooler • retro wooden laptop • White Trash hoverboard • refrigerator speaker cabinet • tornado machine [pdf] • fog machine • LED Pimp Bed • seismometer • persistence-of-vision game system • webcam telescope • racing game controllers • Segway • laser projectors • flamethrower • bagpipes and hours upon hours of time wasting others.
First came the O'Reilly hacks series. There there was Make magazine, which claims to be the first magazine devoted to digital projects, hardware hacks, and DIY inspiration. Now a niche publication for Lego geeks who want to know everything about wee plastic bricks.
How to build yourself a Glow Discharge Panel. No, really. Woah, that's freakin' cool. UFO stuff, I think to myself. Heh. Oh.. Oh holy crap!