Briefly Noted for September 25, 2009

What is Cloud Computing? — You know what it is. But have you ever struggled to explain “the cloud” to anyone outside the tech community? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is here to help. NIST is working on a standard definition of “cloud computing” so it can help provide effective guidance and promote security standards to government and industry. The current revision (number fifteen) is three pages long, so I don’t think it will help your elevator pitch. But I’m glad nevertheless that someone is putting some thought into this.

Google Books Settlement Delayed — According to the New York Times, the a ruling on the Google Books settlement has been delayed indefinitely. The reason Judge Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York gave for his ruling: that “fair concerns have been raised” and that the parties in the settlement (i.e. Google, the Authors’ Guild, and the book publishers’ association) were already negotiating changes to address them.

The Shape of Public History Today: NCPH/AHA Survey — Preliminary results of a 2008 survey of nearly 4,000 public history professionals are now available in Public History News (the newsletter of the National Council on Public History) and Perspectives on History (the magazine of the American Historical Association). Among the more startling results: nearly a quarter of respondents were unwilling to identify themselves as public historians. For my part and for all its ambiguity (and with the possible exception of “digital humanist”), it’s the only term that comes anywhere close to describing what I do.

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