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Comment Re:Since US wants to play it this way (Score 2) 214

The villain you see in Bond films stroking a white cat and saying "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die" doesn't really exist in real life. Not on a personal level, not on a national or international level. Everyone thinks they're the good guy, everyone thinks they're doing the right thing.

Hell, Osama bin Laden seemed pretty convinced that what he stood for was right. At the risk of invoking Godwin, as far as anyone can tell Hitler honestly thought that attempting to rid the world of the Jews was the right thing to do. And I bet you Kim Jong Il thinks he's doing a pretty damn good job of keeping his country well looked after.

It is the 'Banality of Evil' argument. Hannah Arendt popularised the term after watching Eichmann in court. The question of how apparently ordinary people can do extraordinarily evil things was a central issue for social psychology after WWII (e.g. Stanley Milgram's 'electric shock' obedience experiments). The headlines focused on the surprisingly high levels of obedience, but the more interesting story is in the accounts given by participants afterwards. In short, the majority of people rationalise their actions in terms of good intentions. Bond style evil villains who wake up in the morning and plot overtly evil schemes are mostly fictional.

Comment I'm a VAserv customer (Score 4, Informative) 413

Request: Please no one post links to the VAserv status page. The last thing we need is to /. them right now. Customers have been emailed the URL and we are the only ones who really need to see it (plus it isn't very interesting).

VAserv have emailed customers to say they will be taken over by BlueSquare (where they do most of their hosting anyway). Probably the best option given the scale of the attack.

I've got one apparently deleted VPS and one still running. The whole situation is terribly frustrating. However I don't think the lack of information coming from VAserv is due to a lack of effort on their part.

Comment Re:Not that new (Score 1) 734

Question A is rather interesting "A) Do you have a communicable disease; physical or mental disorder". What definition of mental disorder are they using? A very sizeable percentage of people meet the DSM-IV/ICD-10 criteria for some mental disorder. Does depression or anxiety prohibit a person from visiting the USA?

Comment Re:Ubuntu and the new users (Score 1) 193

So much of this is luck with hardware. I've done many Ubuntu installs and most often everything worked out the box. But the hoops you need to jump through to get certain hardware running are very off-putting. :-( Assuming you have a desktop environment installed (and working!) I can't think why you'd have to type "apt-get...". Although instructions are often posted for the command line because they can be cut and pasted which is often quicker and can eliminate mistakes. But mostly graphical package management is pretty good and a strength of linux. Some people I know reacted with "Wow, you mean I can just click and install any of these for free?!".

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