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article imageTopFinds: Obamacare debate heats up, Twitter under attack

By David Silverberg     Aug 7, 2009 in Internet
Twitter shuts down due to a hacker attack. Obama's health care bill faces protests across the U.S. Will news sites start charging for accessing content? These are the top stories gathering buzz around the world.
The "Obamacare" bill continues to be a hot topic in the U.S. There to capture the protests for and against health care reform is David E. Owen, offering us snapshots of various demonstrations in Colorado. He told us the arguments both sides are trying to make, illustrating two articles with great photos of protesters. David made sure to find out if anyone was arrested at either event. Wonderful reportage, David!
Digital Journalist Bob Ewing wanted to learn more about social recruitment website So he made the extra effort to interview the company's CEO to offer readers a thorough Q&A. We learned how Koda is different from other job sites, why there's no Facebook-like "friending" feature and the site's target demographic. There's nothing like hearing a company's motives in the CEO's own words.
Eugene  Rod  Roddenberry at Shark Reef
Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry waves at the tourist from inside Shark Reef.
Jay David Murphy
When Jay David Murphy tackles a story in Las Vegas, his camera isn't far behind. Evidence? Two articles exemplify his penchant for strong interviewing skills and photojournalism prowess -- he interviewed Eugene Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, during a shark dive recently. He also attended the Star Trek convention in Vegas, providing a variety of pics to check out, from Klingons to the always popular Jonathan Frakes. We're happy to have Jay on board.
A selection of other notable stories include:
Presidential Beer Session Leaves Bitter Aftertaste: Now known as the Beer Summit (for better or worse), President Obama sat down with Dr. Henry Louis Gates and Sergeant James Crowley in a mini peacekeeping session. But as Sadiq Green opines, was it all just political theatre? In a well-written op-ed, Sadiq says "Yesterday’s White House soiree will have a limited impact on the larger institutional issues at play that drive racism in our nation so long as we fixate on what happened between a famous Black Harvard professor and a White police officer."
McCain: Obama has not Changed Washington: Call it sour grapes or straight talk -- John McCain is still on the offensive. He recently said in an interview Obama has not changed the climate in Washington. The Republican also believes Obama failed to deliver on his pledge of bipartisanship.
Medical marijuana as protection against the H1N1 swine flu virus?: It sounds like a Cheech and Chong daydream, but some scientists believe the swine flu virus can be combatted with a lozenge made from medicinal marijuana. As Michael Krebs explained, "A medical marijuana lozenge provides the body with a boost of endocannabinoids and helps to relieve the dangerous inflammation." Would you buy a pot lozenge...even if you didn't have the flu?
Marijuana Bud
Bud from an orange kush cannabis plant
Photo by Murken
The Topless Pools in Vegas being targeted by police: Another Jay David Murphy exclusive gave us an interesting story about topless pools raided by Las Vegas police. Women were charged with prostitution, topless sunbathing was suspended and Murphy couldn't help wondering, "The irony of it all is, that insiders and locals have known that these things go on in every casino everyday, always have and always will, and that every once and a while, Las Vegas Metro has to make a show..."
Student Ordered to Pay $675,000 to Record Labels: It looks like a misprint, but as Weezer would sing, say it ain't so. A Rhode Island student must pay $675,000 for illegally downloading music, and he said he will file for bankruptcy. He never denied the charge, Andrew Moran reported.
FT Editor: News Sites Will Charge Access Within One Year: In one of the most popular stories on (thanks, Drudge Report), Andrew Moran told us about the editor of the Financial Times predicting all online news site would require payment to read articles. It could be pay-per-article or a monthly subscription, the latter an idea the New York Times may implement. The initiative of "charging for content may be seen as a way to combat slumping revenues," he added.
Twitter under attack, partially online: If you couldn't retweet, tinyURL or "follow", you weren't alone. Few Twitter users could access the micro-blogging service on Thursday because of a denial-of-service attack that crippled the site. Facebook was also affected, we learned. Matthew Moran kept updated on its status, while other users let us know when Twitter came back to life.
Study links heavy consumption of beer, spirits to cancer: Next time you pound beers at the local pub, heed the words of caution from Bob Ewing's article -- people who drink a lot of beer and spirits increase their risk of developing oesophageal cancer sevenfold, colon cancer by 80 per cent and even lung cancer by 50 per cent. Even the researchers were surprised by the alcohol-lung cancer link, so it looks like getting drunk can do more damage than just a splitting hangover.
Possible Clues To Amelia Earhart’s Death Found: It's all Earhart all the time. Not only is a film about the aviator coming to theatres, but some clues surfaced relating to how she died. Researchers may have found the place of her death in a small Pacific island, Christopher Szabo reports. Commenter Michael Cosgrove is skeptical, though, writing: "It seems strange to me that no-one found the plane or her (relatively fresh at the beginning) remains during all that time spent exploring and wandering around such a small piece of land."
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith
Steven Tyler, the lead singer for Aerosmith.
flickr / nixitee
Steven Tyler sustained head, neck injuries after stage plunge: When you're an aging rock star, dancing and leaping off stages might not be the best course of action. Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler flips a bird to that advice and fell backwards off a stage catwalk, injuring his head and shoulder. He's back in his hometown of Boston, recovering from his injuries, and his wife said he's "very sore" but otherwise OK.

TopFinds Awards

The honourees of this week's TopFinds Awards attracted impressive attention and widest readership. Digital Journal thanks the following Digital Journalists with Awards for their passion for covering the top issues of the day: Sadiq Green, Michael Krebs, Jay David Murphy, Bob Ewing, David E. Owen, Matthew Moran, , Andrew Moran, Christopher Szabo, Sara B. Caldwell , and Carol Forsloff.
The Top Blog Post of the Week goes to Gemma Fox for her delightfully insightful post on Net addiction. She gave us a play-by-play of how a power outage caused her more grief when she thought about what she's missing on the Web than her possibly spoiling food in her fridge. Rest assured, Gemma, you're not alone!
The Top Comment of the Week is awarded to dukethepcdr (his real name?), who offered his viewpoint on Andrew Moran's article on news site possibly charging visitors to read articles. He said, "I don't know about anyone else but I consider myself already paying for internet access because of what I have to pay my ISP (internet service provider) every month. I'm not about to start paying websites just to see their content. If I really really want to see what a website has on it, I might pay a little (very little) to see it." duke isn't the only straight-talkin' commentator on the post, so read through the feedback section to learn what others think about this plan.
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