links for 2008-11-10

by Justin Souter on November 11, 2008

  • Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”

    As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.

  • The clear winner in the Obama campaign was marketing. It helped that the product was worth talking about, but without the massive, well-run marketing machine, we’d be talking about a very different president elect today.
  • It’s easy to feel a bit glum with all the financial news. People are worried about their futures. They’re unsure where to put what little money they have left. Everyone is wondering what comes next.

    Clearly, I have no better ideas than you on that, but I do have some thoughts on what you can do to prepare for the news ahead. These tactics all fall into the bucket of “if apples all start falling off the tree, at least try to be the shiniest, best-placed, easy to pick up apple out there” school of thought.

  • “You have to be at the top of your game,” said Salma Nakhlawi, 13, who has been brushing up on her math skills along with her hand-eye coordination so that she can play the video game Dimension M with her friends. “I used to hate math, but I’ve started to like it. I actually understand it more.”

    This fall, New York City is rolling out Dimension M — M stands for math — in 109 middle schools across the five boroughs after trying the game out in two dozen schools, including I.S. 30, last year. Like a modern twist on “Jeopardy!,” the fast-paced video game quizzes students on prealgebra and algebra topics ranging from prime numbers to fractions and complex equations. A correct answer brings 500 or more points, a wrong one as few as 25; the player with the most points wins. (No prizes, just glory.)

  • ut, of course, it's not hard to understand why the political leaders in Britain and the US felt they had to paint a positive picture of Stalin and the Soviet Union. The reality was that the Soviet Union was a vital ally and the West needed to keep the Red Army fighting the Germans.

    The trouble is that the legacy of these "expedient lies" has still not entirely left us. Which is why I hope people will come to realise just how appalling Stalin was, and students might think twice before hanging pictures of Stalin on their walls.

  • Yesterday's election will go down in history for the highly sophisticated way that both campaigns–but especially president-elect Obama's–leveraged the Web to mobilize volunteers, get voters to the polls, and keep field organizers informed so that they could make tactical adjustments in the final days and hours.
  • If you’re in internet marketing and you want half a chance to succeed on Twitter, pay attention. I don’t know who you’ve been listening to telling you how to make it on Twitter, but if they’re telling you to do these five things, then they don’t understand social media, and you shouldn’t listen to them
  • A bivy bag, bivouac, bivi, or bivy sack is a lightweight alternative to traditional tent systems. It is essentially a waterproof fabric shell designed to fit over your sleeping bag. It acts as a barrier against the wind and rain and provides extra insulation. Good bivy bags consist of Gore-Tex and are breathable, allowing humidity to pass and so reducing moisture inside for the occupant.
  • Yoga has long been considered beneficial to the body, but could it be a cure for lower-back pain?

    Yoga teacher John Aplin is certain that it can.

    After he broke his back in a walking accident 12 years ago he was impressed by the effect yoga had on his recovery.

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