Briefly Noted for November 14, 2009

Cloud Computing in Plain English — In September, I pointed to a definition of cloud computing developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which, though thorough, was also thoroughly unreadable. Now Common Craft—the company made famous for its simple, pencil and paper video explanations of commonplace internet technologies such as RSS—has released a short video explaining Cloud Computing in Plain English. Now this could help your elevator pitch.

Revised Google Books Settlement FiledGoogle, the Authors Guild, and the Publishers Association have filed a revised settlement with the court hearing the Google Books case. From my quick first reading the main changes include: placing the orphan works registry in the hands of an independent trustee which will oversee funds generated from their sale; allowing third party companies to license and resell the entire database; providing more room for companies other than Google to negotiate deals of their own with copyright holders; and an agreement to purge books published outside of the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or Australia (i.e. in the EU) from the database. It’s hard to say, but it seems like these concessions should satisfy many of critics.

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