Dean Putney

Software developer and GIF archivist in San Francisco. Follow me on Twitter.

Scanning your negatives will bring your memories into the digital age: here's how

Your old film photos need an upgrade. Enjoy Dean Putney's guide on how to get the best quality from your boxes of negatives as painlessly as possible.Read the rest

You're gonna love this 15 minute video on how to cut a wheel of cheese

The combination of a huge wheel of cheese, lots of specialized knives, and this cheese expert's unusual manner of speaking makes this a really entertaining watch. If you want to skip straight to the action, the cheese is "broken" about 7 minutes in.

"We have already explained to the cheese where he must broken." "This is the only way to cut such a cheese."

How to break open a Parmesan cheese with Carlo Guffanti

Video proof of Verizon throttling Netflix

In this infuriating video, Colin Nederkoorn records his computer streaming Netflix's test video over his Verizon FiOS connection. Then, via a VPN on the same home network, he receives a nearly ten-times faster stream.

Get out of town. Forcing your internet traffic through a VPN should slow your connection, not speed it up. But here, something (presumably Verizon) is preventing Colin from getting normal speeds without hiding his traffic usage from his provider. So much so that he's installing a router to run all his traffic at home through the VPN.

Read Colin's full post on his test, then go swear vengeance on something. [Video Link, via Waxy]

Tomorrow in SF: Robot Film Festival at Bot & Dolly!

Hold onto your bots: tomorrow is the fourth annual Robot Film Festival in San Francisco! Join the crowd of robotics researchers and enthusiasts in an all-day marathon of robot-related films, followed by the Botskers award ceremony hosted by Veronica Belmont.

Above, Moonbot In the Hood, my personal favorite film from last year's Robot Film Festival and winner of the "Most Uncanny" award. "Malt liquor!"

Robot Film Festival on July 19th in San Francisco

Come to the Robot Film Festival this Saturday in San Francisco!

Last year's Robot Film Festival, co-sponsored by Boing Boing!

My favorite San Francisco event of the year is coming up this weekend. Here's why you can't miss the fourth annual Robot Film Festival:

  • It's held in Bot & Dolly's studios, the robotic cinematography company that did the special effects for Gravity and was recently acquired by Google. David wrote a profile about them for Business Week, it's an incredible place.
  • People bring their own robots, and it's a total blast. Bot & Dolly demonstrates their massive robotic arms throughout the festival. See the above video for some of the robots crawling and skating around last year.
  • Dirty Robot Brew Works will be serving up their special brewed-by-robots beers!
  • And of course, the films! Lots of creative and brilliant robot-starring and robot-related movies were shown last year, and I can't wait to see what comes up this year.

Get tickets for the fourth annual Robot Film Festival on July 19th here!

Making cocaine in Colombia

This segment from the documentary "The Cocaine Route" shows the picking, mashing and eventual reduction of coca leaves into a raw form of cocaine powder. The head of the production outfit, Pablo, grinds up the leaves with a weed whacker, mixes in some cement and dissolves everything in petrol. It's a pretty interesting watch!

[Video link]

Watch these guys hand dig a well lickety-split

Digging a well is a TON of hard work, but the four men in this video make it look easy and even kind of fun. In one day they dig four meters down, break up a bunch of rocks at the bottom, haul it all out and brick up a really nice well. Their coordination and determination is mesmerizing.

Hand digging a well in Mexico

3D printed three-sided die


Shapeways has a great model of a three-sided die available for printing. Neat design, I didn't know you could make such a thing!

Surreal oil paintings of a world taken over by giant bugs and flying sharks

Otter City 1

Caleb Brown's oil paintings bring us into a bizarre end-of-days scenario where super sharks, massive insects and towering otters take over humanity from every angle. They're beautiful, meticulously-crafted photorealistic representations of an unbelievable surreal world. I found Caleb's work through Reddit's Art section, where it regularly tops the charts. You can easily get lost in each painting. What makes them so captivating?

Read the rest

SlideRider instantly turns your stairs into an indoor slide


Quirky is helping inventor Trisha Cleveland develop the dreams of everyone with a second floor into a foldable and practical product. The foam pieces fold up into a nice little chest when not in use, and velcro helps set it up easily. (via Incredible Things)

Free early 1900s barn in Maine


If you can disassemble and remove this fifty-foot-long, century-old barn from some dude's property, it's yours. Probably a great source of beautiful old wood, as well as a substantial pain in the butt.

The Pope says he'll baptize space aliens if they ask him to

In his weekly homily on Monday, the Pope explored the idea that extraterrestrial beings might want to join the Catholic church and determines that they should be accepted with open arms.

From the Vatican:

"That was unthinkable. If – for example - tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here... Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them... And one says, 'But I want to be baptized!' What would happen?"
"When the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, 'No, Lord, it is not prudent! No, lets do it this way'... and Peter in that first diocese - the first diocese was Antioch - makes this decision: ‘Who am I to admit impediments?' A nice word for bishops, for priests and for Christians. Who are we to close doors? In the early Church, even today, there is the ministry of the ostiary [usher]. And what did the ostiary do? He opened the door, received the people, allowed them to pass. But it was never the ministry of the closed door, never."

Pope at Mass: The Holy Spirit makes the unthinkable possible

Nothing can stop your furious computing with this portable folding table


Chiptune musician Danimal Cannon carries this portable folding table on tour for his concert setup. Looks like it'd be perfect for road warriors of all types!

Maker of WordPress raises $160m because they can


Photo illustration: Xeni Jardin

Automattic, the company that makes WordPress, announced today that they have raised $160 million– more than ten times their total investment in their decade-old company. This is their first capital injection in six years, somewhat of a surprise for a company that only recently stated it was healthy and making profit. The purpose of raising this money is to accelerate growth, a pretty common reason to pile money on yourself.

Two things are interesting about this: First, that Automattic can raise this kind of money at this stage in the game, and second that they might actually have to. With companies like Tumblr and Facebook focused on blogging-related activities and supplied with nearly endless war chests, it's nice to see that open-source WordPress can still have a fighting chance. How they'll manage that absurd amount of money has yet to be seen.

New Funding for Automattic on Matt Mullenweg's blog

Dig this awesome Peter Pan pop-up book

Recently, I spent a weekend out of town with some friends. We rented a geodesic dome vacation house in the woods. One exciting part of renting someone else's house is exploring some of the things they leave out for their renters--like their book collections. This house was throughly outfitted for children to visit, set up with loads of toys, tree houses, playgrounds, and children's books. Peter Pan: A Pop-up Adaptation by Robert Sabuda was far and away the best book there.

Read the rest