I have a lot of interest in the placebo effect, dunno why, it's just one of those things that interests me
A study by a knee surgeon http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2119999.stm reported that common surgery was no better than the placebo procedure. Now while that may prove more that the surgery is often unnecessary, the reported benefits and improvements by many of the recipients of the placebo procedure surely demonstrate some effect
A recent Discovery channel series on this introduced another doctor who stated that simulating the operation with manipulation and audio recordings enhanced the statistics of the placebo group even further, but I can't find the data to cite
Here in the UK, especially since the advent of 'Chip & Pin' security, card skimmers and other intercept methods have become increasingly common, and fuel pumps are among the most common targets of all. The reason why is ease of access. You're stood at the pump for quite a long time (in the UK you have to keep the handle squeezed to pump fuel, no latch) with noone paying any real attention to you. Since you're stood for so long you have ample opportunity to install your device, and since there are no attendants, just a couple of cashiers, the chances of detection are minimal. Since automatic number plate recognition technology was added to aid in apprehending fuel thieves, the cashiers have no reason to look at the CCTV screens either, so they don't.
I was had by just such a device a couple of years ago, but here the banks are so confident in chip and pin as a security method they weren't exactly sympathetic - and bank fraud is now a matter for the banks, not the police. It took a long struggle to get my money back, and in the end the best I could manage was about 50% of it.
Personally I agree with the guy, and he holds a powerful position within the EU, but in reality it's not that powerful in comparison to the collective interests of the US government, the RIAA, MPAA etc
Representatives and Senators will keep big business happy, that's who puts the dollars in their campaign funds after all.
It's probable that it'll just be like all the rest of the recent "international" laws - there'll be safeguards to ensure no US citizens have to answer to any non-US IP holder, while US IP holders get free reign to stomp all over the rest of us in a similar fashion to how the USA doesn't hand over suspects wanted in other countries but on pain of sanction and embargo demands we all hand our citizens over to them without due process in their country of origin
and, well, forgetting about the UK helps too
Yes it certainly does. Unfortunately our country's laws are now changed at the behest of a semi-hostile foreign power, the USA, or an unelected foreign government, the European Commission, rather than the citizens of the country
In the UK civil courts, both sides must prove the veracity of their arguments. Thus the plaintiff must show that the respondent's utterances were defamatory, and the respondent must must prove the veracity of his defence, by showing them to be truthful, justified or whatever defence he has chosen to employ. If you can prove the statement is true you will not be found to be guilty of defamation. The difference between the allowable and the absolute defence of truth in the UK & US courts respectively is merely this; in the US truth is an absolute defence and the justice systems explicitly forbids the court from finding in favour of the plaintiff, in the UK it is an allowable defence and historical precedence guides the court that in such cases the plaintiff cannot claim slander if the utterances were truthful.
Civil actions are not about proof as criminal cases are, they're more about putting forward a convincing argument.
Journalistic freedom is highly prized in the UK, and, though journalists' employers may run scared of litigation on occasion, it's very rare for such actions to be successful, and those which are are more often than not overturned at appeal.
The cases discussed here are viewed entirely differently (and rightly so) from the tabloid rumour-mongering which abounds in our newspaper industry