FunnyJunk, The Oatmeal, Charles Carreon, and a Lesson in Civil Behavior

In case you haven’t already heard about this, here’s the upshot:

In 2011, The Oatmeal posted a blog post complaining about his material being blatantly ripped off by FunnyJunk users. The most painful part is that while he can request the material be removed, due to the state of copyright law, it’s a huge pain in the ass and just not practical. So he posted his blog post, vented to the Internet and then FunnyJunk responded by stirring up it’s users and also taking down the specific links mentioned in The Oatmeal’s blog post.

Fast forward to a few days ago, when Charles Carreon sent a letter to The Oatmeal threatening a lawsuit for defamation of FunnyJunk. The Oatmeal did exactly what anyone who knows him expects – he posted it to his site and tore the whole thing apart for the blatant bullying hypocrisy it was. He also had a lawyer with excellent lawyering skills send a real legal response back to Carreon that differed in tone but not conclusion. But to put icing on the cake, The Oatmeal started a fundraiser for charity and instead of paying the $20,000 demanded by Carreon & FunnyJunk, he plans on giving all the money to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

Carreon, having stirred the dark legions of the internet into a wrathful fury by picking on The Oatmeal, did what any rational person would do – he apologized and let the matter drop.

Haha, just kidding! Carreon apparently took this exposure of his bullying and hypocrisy as a personal affront, and not only sued The Oatmeal but doubled down by suing The National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society as well.

That’s right, Carreon decided, in arguably the biggest legal douche-bag maneuver this decade, to sue two charities because The Oatmeal wouldn’t cave to some craven bullshit legal threats.

I really don’t know what’s wrong with this ass-hat that he thinks this is appropriate behavior, but it’s hopefully only a matter of time until he gets his ass handed to him in court. In the mean time, you can read a humorous legal analysis of the situation over on Popehat.com (whenever his site comes back up) and LoweringTheBar.com (post1, post2, post3) (and donate to the charity fundraiser on Indiegogo here).

Migrating from Amazon Web Services to Linode

Well, I’m not sure what you did with your Friday night, but I’ve spent the last few hours migrating websites from my Amazon Web Services instance to a virtual server at Linode. I’ve experimented with AWS for just over a year now, but the simple fact is that running multiple sites in a micro instance was just not a good idea. My micro instance would hit CPU throttling after less than a minute of CPU use, and then would be cut back to 2% CPU usage. I knew this limitation going in to AWS, but it finally became too big a hassle.

Cindy and I run a total of seven sites. None of them are particularly high traffic, and I’m sure we would be fine in a small instance at AWS. Unfortunately, a small instance is a lot more money. A Linode node is about the same price, but the customer service at Linode is what really pushed me over the edge.

I run a Tor relay on Linode that I’ve secured fairly heavily. The few times I’ve noticed another Linode customer scanning my system or had some other technical issue, the Linode support staff have been extremely responsive. But best of all, not only are they timely, you actually talk to someone who knows what the fuck is going on. As much as I admire automation, I have to admit it’s very comforting to know that if I email Linode tonight, I’ll have an actual technical person replying to me by the morning (and they’re likely to have already fixed the issue).

Now, in the grand scheme of things, Linode is not really competing against AWS. AWS is all about automated provisioning and large scale rapid development. Linode doesn’t have anywhere near the provisioning and deployment features AWS has. But that’s ok. I’m not trying to rapidly scale up to handle millions of customers, I’m just trying to run a few blogs.

Another migration that I’m part way through is moving our systems into CloudFlare for security and acceleration. Unfortunately, getting self-signed SSL certificates and WordPress to play well with the free version of CloudFlare is proving to be tricky. Once I get the wrinkles ironed out, that’ll be another blog post.

If you’re looking for a server host, and want to support Cindy’s & my websites, use our Linode referal link!