LARGO, MD (NBDPA) — From BDPA’s annual National Conferences, BDPA Tech & Career Talks, and other methods of engagement, networking, and mentorship, this new program will provide special offerings for cloud engineering and architecture. National BDPA seeks to create the next generation of Black technology thought-leaders deeply interested in the cloud space through this virtual series alongside the 12-week Cloud Academy.
The BDPA Cloud Academy is a 12-week program that will provide 50 College Students and Early Career Professionals (ECPs) the opportunity to learn about key cloud computing and technology concepts, get hands on experience with leading software from the leading Cloud providers, and get some experience applying core cloud concepts and technology to use cases based on Real World Evidence and current industry problems/situations.
Upon “graduation” students receive a BDPA Cloud Associate certification with an Industry Specialization and will have the opportunity to get a Google Cloud Digital Leader certification. There will be post-academy Fireside Chats that will allow program graduates the opportunity to interface with industry leaders and discuss the future of technology, society, and innovation.
ECPs or new BDPA Members may directly register their interests for the Academy’s next sessions by using this interest form.
— Source and graphic: National BDPA Top Photo: Google
PENTAGON—Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) canceled the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud solicitation and initiated contract termination procedures. The Department has determined that, due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances, the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs. The Department continues to have unmet cloud capability gaps for enterprise-wide, commercial cloud services at all three classification levels that work at the tactical edge, at scale — these needs have only advanced in recent years with efforts such as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration (ADA) initiative.
“JEDI was developed at a time when the Department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and Ai and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains,” said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer.
Concurrent with the cancellation of the JEDI Request for Proposals (RFP), the DoD announced its intent for new cloud efforts. The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) will be a multi-cloud/multi-vendor Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The Department intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely the Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the Department’s requirements. However, as noted in its Pre-Solicitation Notice, the Department will immediately engage with industry and continue its market research to determine whether any other U.S.-based hyperscale CSPs can also meet the DoD’s requirements. If so, those Department will also negotiate with those companies.
WASHINGTON—Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.
“Today, millions of Americans rely on the Internet and online platforms for their daily lives. Competition in this industry is vitally important, which is why today’s challenge against Google — the gatekeeper of the Internet — for violating antitrust laws is a monumental case both for the Department of Justice and for the American people,” said Attorney General William Barr. “Since my confirmation, I have prioritized the Department’s review of online market-leading platforms to ensure that our technology industries remain competitive. This lawsuit strikes at the heart of Google’s grip over the internet for millions of American consumers, advertisers, small businesses and entrepreneurs beholden to an unlawful monopolist.”
“As with its historic antitrust actions against AT&T in 1974 and Microsoft in 1998, the Department is again enforcing the Sherman Act to restore the role of competition and open the door to the next wave of innovation—this time in vital digital markets,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen.
As one of the wealthiest companies on the planet with a market value of $1 trillion, Google is the monopoly gatekeeper to the internet for billions of users and countless advertisers worldwide. For years, Google has accounted for almost 90 percent of all search queries in the United States and has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in search and search advertising.
As alleged in the Complaint, Google has entered into a series of exclusionary agreements that collectively lock up the primary avenues through which users access search engines, and thus the internet, by requiring that Google be set as the preset default general search engine on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide and, in many cases, prohibiting preinstallation of a competitor. In particular, the Complaint alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained monopolies in search and search advertising by:
Entering into exclusivity agreements that forbid preinstallation of any competing search service.
Entering into tying and other arrangements that force preinstallation of its search applications in prime locations on mobile devices and make them undeletable, regardless of consumer preference.
Entering into long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default – and de facto exclusive – general search engine on Apple’s popular Safari browser and other Apple search tools.
Generally using monopoly profits to buy preferential treatment for its search engine on devices, web browsers, and other search access points, creating a continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization.
These and other anticompetitive practices harm competition and consumers, reducing the ability of innovative new companies to develop, compete, and discipline Google’s behavior.
The antitrust laws protect our free market economy and forbid monopolists from engaging in anticompetitive practices. They also empower the Department of Justice to bring cases like this one to remedy violations and restore competition, as it has done for over a century in notable cases involving monopolists over other critical industries undergirding the American economy like Standard Oil and the AT&T telephone monopoly. Decades ago the Department’s case against Microsoft recognized that the antitrust laws forbid anticompetitive agreements by high-technology monopolists to require preinstalled default status, to shut off distribution channels to rivals, and to make software undeletable. The Complaint alleges that Google is using similar agreements itself to maintain and extend its own dominance.
The Complaint alleges that Google’s anticompetitive practices have had harmful effects on competition and consumers. Google has foreclosed any meaningful search competitor from gaining vital distribution and scale, eliminating competition for a majority of search queries in the United States. By restricting competition in search, Google’s conduct has harmed consumers by reducing the quality of search (including on dimensions such as privacy, data protection, and use of consumer data), lessening choice in search, and impeding innovation. By suppressing competition in advertising, Google has the power to charge advertisers more than it could in a competitive market and to reduce the quality of the services it provides them. Through filing the lawsuit, the Department seeks to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition for American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy.
Google is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, and is headquartered in Mountain View, California. Google is owned by Alphabet Inc., a publicly traded company incorporated and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware and headquartered in Mountain View, California.
— Source/Seal: Department of Justice •Photo/Graphic: Google
CUPERTINO, CA — Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.
Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.
First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.
All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.
WASHINGTON — In her blog post written Friday of this week, “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), calls for breaking apart certain components of Alphabet (Google’s parent), Facebook, and Amazon into new components called “Platform Utilities.”
According to Senator Warren, these new spinoffs are necessary to launch with new “platform utility” designations. New suppliers and startups may have lower barriers to entry for their consumers to use. Senator Warren added these tech juggernauts are “too big” and wield too much power over the economy, society and democracy.
“They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else,” her blog posted. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.”
— Source and photos: Senator Warren and senate.gov
PITTSBURGH, PA // BDPA Pittsburgh // – CNET reported Thursday, October 12, 2017, Google’s introduction of $1 billion in new initiatives aimed at training and educating workers to help them find jobs and grow their businesses during a Grow with Google event. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai (above) stated the search giant will spend the money over the next five years to fund grants directly to nonprofits globally as part of efforts to prepare people for the “changing nature of work.”
TechCrunch also reported Google is committing $10 million to Goodwill as part of this initiative — the largest Google.org has committed to one organization. That money will be used to help launch the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, aimed at preparing the American workforce for high-tech jobs. Grow with Google also will take the form of a national tour hosted by libraries and community organizations aimed at bringing training and career advice directly to local towns and cities. That’s part of the company’s goal of committing one million hours to employee volunteering over the next five years.
Google says it doesn’t want to leave anyone behind as technology changes the way people live and work.
– Source and photos: Alphabet (Google) , TechCrunch, and CNET
AWS and VMware executives officially unveil their cloud collaboration
PALO ALTO, CA—One of bdpatoday’s highlighted stories from industry last week featured Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware executives officially unveiling their cloud collaboration. It was said beneficiaries will include businesses running computing jobs on-prem, in their own data centers, and others on Amazon’s shared public cloud infrastructure.
TechCrunch reported VMware inked deals with Microsoft, Google and IBM earlier this year as it has shifted firmly to a hybrid cloud strategy; however, it was this deal signed with AWS that may reveal industry’s ‘forsaken few’ in the quest towards cloud dominance.
The cloud infrastructure market breaks down to AWS with around a third of the market— and the rest of the world’s players. Microsoft is the closest competitor with nearly 10 percent marketshare. While VMware has had deals in place with other major players, the one with AWS matters most giving AWS an even greater advantage in the emerging cloud market.
This pact, previously reported in Fortune, gives Amazon a better hybrid cloud story. For all Amazon’s talk about tools that facilitate hybrid use, their current business plan has been to get as much corporate data and applications into its data centers as possible—a ‘one-way on-ramp’ to AWS.
This latest deal, in theory, makes it easier to keep workloads running in-house, with immediate capabilities to scale when large computing jobs that might exceed data center capabilities, will seamlessly run on AWS. VMware, on the other hand, gets “a strategic and long-term partnership” with the world’s largest public cloud. This portrayal is a win-win scenario.
Alphabet, Inc. Dials-Up ‘Pixel’ to Launch Google’s AI Thrust
by Tim Higgins and Nathan Olivarez-Giles
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Google, ubiquitous in internet search but long trailing in consumer hardware, announced today its new line of smartphones and detailed its latest efforts to infuse artificial intelligence (AI) into more of its products.
The unit of Alphabet Inc. unveiled its Pixel smartphone, touting its camera and quick charging ability—Google says the Pixel can derive seven hours of battery life from 15 minutes of charging. The phone, which will be Google’s first with a digital assistant built in, will retail beginning at $649. Google also said a bigger version, the Pixel XL, would be available.
That digital assistant is part of Google’s broader effort to integrate its work in artificial intelligence, which allows software to make inferences and decisions, to make products more useful with voice commands that may represent the next step in search.
Google also revealed details of its Home device, a personal assistant that aims to rival the Echo speaker, Amazon.com Inc.’s surprise hit that allows users to ask a virtual assistant named Alexa to answer questions and to perform tasks. Home, a voice-controlled speaker, will be powered by what the company calls Google Assistant.
Black Girls Code now has its own space within the confines of Google’s New York HQ – in a space worth $2.8m – with aims of connecting young girls directly with the tech industry.
by Colm Gorey, SiliconRepublic
NEW YORK —SiliconRepublic and CNet report Black Girls Code (BGC), an organization founded in 2011 by Inspirefest 2015 speaker Kimberley Bryant, has made strides in encouraging young black girls to pick up coding, given that they are one of the least represented groups in the wider tech sector.
Now, having previously stated that it hopes to introduce 1 million girls to coding by 2040, Black Girls Code has managed to acquire a direct line with the tech industry, having agreed a deal with Google to establish an office space in its New York HQ.
According to CNet, the office space, worth $2.8 million on the real estate market given its location in Manhattan, has been given to Black Girls Code as a gift to the organization.
‘We need a tech sector that looks like the society it serves’
The overall aim of giving the organization its own space next to Google is to shorten the time between a young black girl starting to learn to code, to them landing a job in the tech sector.
In a statement, Google’s head of external affairs, William Floyd, said of the creation of a permanent office space for the organization: “We need a tech sector that looks like the society it serves, and groups like Black Girls Code are ensuring that we can cultivate and access talent in communities of color.”
Photo: Renetta English (left), Past President BDPA-NY, Kimberly Bryant , Founder of Black Girls Code, and Judaea Y. Lane, Past President BDPA-NY participate in local BDPA Chapter workshops with other STEM organizations nationwide.
According to Google’s latest diversity report, only 19% of its workforce globally are women, and only 1% of its tech staff in the US is black, suggesting that black women are one of the least-represented groups in all of the tech industry. Read more...
— Sources and photos: SiliconRepublic, CNet, bdpatoday, and BDPA-NY
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — USA Today reports Google.org is teaming with Bryan Stevenson and his non-profit Equal Justice Initiative to push America to confront its violent racial history.
The philanthropic arm of the Internet giant says it will help bring online the public education programs on racial justice developed by this Harvard-educated lawyer and author of the bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption so that millions of people can be exposed to them.
Google.org made the announcement at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters during an event with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and hosted by Alphabet executive David Drummond to celebrate Black History Month and the company’s African-American employees known as the Black Googler Network.