Tag Archives: The Oatmeal

Net Neutrality is still at risk.

13 Jan

(I have blathered on before in this space about Net Neutrality, but I know that in the past three months I’ve gained a number of new readers (Hello, new readers!), so this one is for you.)

On February 26th, the Federal Communications Commission is voting on whether or not grant the internet Title II protections, like other utilities.

There are some noises that perhaps the commission is leaning towards reclassifying the net as a Title II utility, which would ensure equal access across the breadth and width of the United States. Like water or power, as long as you pay your bill, you get your service–at the same rate and with the same speed as everyone else, no matter who the provider or the customer.

Unfortunately, Tom Wheeler seems inclined to grant preferential treatment to powerful, influential, big money companies–such as Comcast and AT&T–and the FCC originally voted to change how the internet is viewed, which would allow those same companies to change all users premiums in order to have access to certain corners of the net.

Needless to say, this would also allow corporations and/or political parties to hide, and effectively hide, some uncomfortable voices and points of view, simply by making them too slow to load.

Make no mistake that this is a political game backed by powerful corporations.

The game has gotten a tad more interesting lately, though, with Google coming out in favor of the Title II decision. It would, after all, grant them access to the infrastructure needed to roll out Google Fiber faster and cheaper.

Some interesting stuff below the cut.

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Babysitting demanding, fickle strangers.

10 Jun

As some of you may know, I work in hospitality. It’s a food franchise and while I don’t ask people whether they’d like fries with that, I do spend an awful lot of my time apologizing to customers for things that are utterly out of my control.

Today Yesterday was already not going well¹ when a customer raised his voice at me, as I was trying to explain that he could use some of his rewards on what he was ordering, because we dare charge him for (item). “It’s a disgrace!” he ranted and stalked off, mid-order. He came back a minute later, started to bark at me some more, so I had to raise my voice to ask whether or not he wanted to use his (fucking) rewards on what he was, in fact, ordering.

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A day late, a penny short: a couple of awesome updates.

12 Jul

(further update at the end)

BearLove Good, Cancer Bad–and Mathew Inman, pretty much awesomesauce through and through: The Oatmeal blog update has some of the pictures of the money, which will be dutifully send to Charles Carreon¹ via Priority Mail.

Boing Boing has a Flickr slideshow with more pictures, and Popehat has a lovely closing remarks. Heck, there was even a mention–and earlier even an image in the homepage–at msnbc.com

It pains me that Inman may yet be penalized, tax-wise, by fulfilling his promise to his readers and donors. According to that msnbc article, he “had to fill out a bunch of tax forms.”

Ann Branson‘s own fundraising is finished–and more than double her original goal was raised, so indeed, it’s quite possible that, after all fees have been deducted, both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Americans for the Arts will receive a thousand dollars a piece. Awesomely well played, Ann!

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Here‘s Ann Branson’s own Fuck you, Charles Carreon picture–along with math and receipts for the money that actually made it to each charity’s account. The Electronic Frontier Foundation got $1,162.00 and Americans for the Arts got $1, 163.00.

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¹ Who, by the way, really can’t keep his mouth shut to save his life.

Musing: On having “the right equipment”

11 Jul

The following is only tangentially connected to the Carreon farce of the last few weeks.

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Over at Popehat, commenter Gerta made a correction on the purported/perceived origin of a reference, and was soundly slapped back by Thorne:

Let me clue you in to a little something here…

The secret behind Ken’s “it’s-a-cookbook moment” comment in Part III?


Twilight Zone? Star Trek? Star Wars? We can’t help ourselves. It really did come with the y-chromosome.
In our efforts to be funny, you never see us go “full Lennie”. (And that one IS an “Of Mice And Men” reference; not “Laverne and Shirley”.)

You can be forgiven this time for not possessing the requisite equipment to sufficiently ‘get it’ but now that I’ve dropped some serious ‘dude makeup’ on you, it can only be a one-time deal.

Next time, I’d suggest not climbing onto such a high horse. It’ll lessen the chance of injury when you fall off it.

While I see how Gerta’s comment was more than a bit extemporaneous (as both meanings had already been pointed out up-thread), I found Thorne’s reply tasteless and more than just a tad sexist. Frankly, I wonder what the gals over at The Discriminating Fangirl, or the Smart Bitches, or Meljean Brook would have to say to that.

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Just a few days later (and I believe it was, once again, through a Popehat comment link–which I can’t find at the moment), I read about Donna Barstow, racist bigoted cartoonist, and her issues with Something Awful ‘goons’ (great analysis–at Popehat, of course). In brief, Ms Barstow is incensed that her cartoons are posted and discussed, in an overwhelmingly negative manner from what I gather, over at Something Awful. Further, Ms Barstow believes that criticism, particularly of the negative variety, is not protected under the First Amendment.

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The big(ger) picture

4 Jul

The crazy and baffling developments continue in the tale of The Oatmeal and Charles Carreon, censorious douchebag.

After about three weeks of very public hysterics and absurd online antics,  Charles Carreon has dismissed his suit against Matthew Inman, IndieGoGo, the Wildlife Federation Foundation and the American Cancer Association.

Fortunately for the parties involved and so far named, several upstanding and outstanding lawyers had picked up the torch for freedom of speech. One must hope that they remain willing to become involved because, as both Ken at Popehat and Adam Steinbaugh explain, the manner in which this suit is being dismissed will not preclude Charles Carreon from filing it again in the future.¹

On Monday, Ken at Popehat reminded readers that, while Charles Carreon’s behaviour is indeed outrageous and ridiculous at once, it’s not–by far–the worse example of legal intimidation at hand. What’s more, it’s only because Carreon’s originally intended victim, Matthew Inman, is so successful that word of the crazy spread so fast, so far and so often.

But just what happens when the recipient of such legal thread, even one delivered without all the pomp and fanfare of a process server to one’s residence, is a small, unknown blogger?

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Ah, what tangled webs! Stupid and vindictive against the might of the internet.

2 Jul

Well, the convoluted tale of stupidity continues.

Charles Carreon amended his suit against Matthew Inman, IndieGoGo, the Wildlife Federation Foundation and the American Cancer Association, apparently to try and make the suit relevant in some way by…making California’s Attorney General a plaintiff defendant in it?


Apparently Mr Carreon, a self-styled internet-savvy attorney, wasn’t very familiar with the Streisand Effect. Up until now, that is–what with ArsTechnica, Boing Boing, Popehat, The Legal Satyricon, Lowering the Bar, and a number of other blogs picking up the story, anyone with even a passing interest in Free Speech has by now at the very least heard about the suit.

We can consider Mr Carreon educated on the workings of the internet now–a day late and a few dollars short, if you ask me.


Not deterred (or perhaps spurred) by the amazing success of the BearLove Good, Cancer Bad campaign in the face of his shenanigans, Charles Carreon filed for temporary restraining order, so that IndieGoGo couldn’t disburse the monies raised to Matthew Inman. Except, maybe, if IndieGoGo did what Carreon wanted without delay, then he (Carreon) would drop the matter.

I repeat: Huh?

(I know, right?)


Perhaps you are one of the few who don’t know that, a few days ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined Matthew Inman’s defense team. They have issued a truly awesome release here¹.

For your entertainment, choice tidbits that tickled me: Continue reading

What happens when an idiot pisses the internet off?

27 Jun

(See update at the end)

Nine times out of ten, the internet makes something good out of it.

Because the internet is made out of people, and while it’s the asshats and douchebags who, squeaky rodents that they are, make much of the noise, the silent majority tends to be better–much better–than that.

So when ill-informed (and it would seem, ill-advised himself) attorney Charles Carreon demands that Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal send a check for $20,000.00, the latter appeals to his readers and raises more than that in a matter of minutes for the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

When butthurt attorney Charles Carreon sues Matthew Inman, IndieGoGo and both of the charities in question, because (paraphrasing) “charities should only receive money donated out the purest of motives,” the amount donated grows exponentially, to the point that when the fundraiser closed the final amount was about eleven times the original goal.

And when Matthew Inman decides to stick to the original plan and divide the final amount between only those two charities, someone else picks up the standard for two other charities.

Donate. Participate. Defend your right to say “fuck you” in any way you want, under the protection of the first amendment of the constitution of the United States. Continue reading