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DoD clarifies winner-take-all cloud contract

When the Department of Defense announced in March  a 10-year winner-take-all cloud contract that could be worth up to $10 billion, it raised a few eyebrows. Last week, they clarified some of the conditions , and it turns out that much like a modern baseball free agent contract, there are a couple of points where the DoD can opt out of the deal. In a press conference last week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White indicated that the original contract award is for just two years. After that there are two additional options for five years and three years. The department can opt out after the first two years if it’s not working out, or seven years if it accepts the second option. Obviously if it takes the final option, that would add up to a full 10-year commitment. Leigh Madden, who heads up Microsoft’s defense effort, says he believes Microsoft can win such a contract, but it isn’t necessarily the best approach for the DoD. “If the DoD goes with a single award path, we are in it to win, but having said that, it’s counter to what we are seeing across the globe where 80 percent of customers are adopting a multi-cloud solution,” Madden told TechCrunch. White indicated that 46 companies have responded to the request for proposal, but it seems clear there are only a handful of companies that could handle a project of this scope.

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What the Tech? App of the Day: Upwork – WRCB-TV

WRCB-TV What the Tech? App of the Day : Upwork WRCB-TV Never before have so many Americans had a second job. Not the kind of second-job that you might picture, but a side-gig or side-hustle. A job where they call the shots. Many times those side-gigs turn into a full-time career. If that's the kind of ... and more »

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Department of Energy hosts competition to train cyber defense warriors

From leaked passwords to identity theft, cybersecurity issues are constantly in the news. Few issues, though, are as important — or as under-reported by the media — as the security of America’s industrial control infrastructure. Oil rigs, power plants, water treatment facilities and other critical infrastructure are increasingly connecting to the internet, but often without the kinds of foolproof security systems in place to ensure bad actors can’t gain access or disrupt service delivery. This is a growing area of the economy with a wealth of jobs, but few students even realize that industrial and infrastructure cybersecurity is an interesting career path. So, over the past three years, the Department of Energy has hosted a Cyber Defense Competition to encourage university students to engage in the field. The latest incarnation of the completion was held this past weekend and hosted by Argonne, Pacific Northwest and Oak Ridge national laboratories. Lewis University won the competition this year in a total field of 25 entrants. That is up from 15 teams last year, and 9 teams in the inaugural competition. Nate Evans leads the program at Argonne, and explained to me the design of the competition. Teams get a month before the competition to learn how to defend industrial control systems against hackers. Each team is given a small industrial control system that emulates a real-world model.

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