Octo Holds Grand Opening of oLabs™ Innovation Hub

Octo celebrated its expanded oLabs™ innovation space with a grand opening attended by Senator Mark Warner and other notable VIPs committed to serving the Federal Government.

RESTON, VA—Octo, the premier provider of emerging technology and modernization for the Federal Government, yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its new oLabs™ innovation hub. Housed in a brand new, custom-built 14,000 square foot facility at Octo’s headquarters in Reston, Virginia, oLabs is the largest privately-owned R&D facility in the DC metro area dedicated to the Federal Government.

Octo invested more than $10 million in the expansion of oLabs which now offers an enormous amount of highly sophisticated compute power including more than 15 petaflops of AI compute and 2 petabytes of FlashBlade storage among others. In addition to the many new development tools for specialized R&D and a space purpose built to facilitate collaboration between Octo’s staff and its federal customers, oLabs will be a hub for internal collaboration and product development focused on solving federal agencies’ most complex issues.

In his comments to attendees, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said, “Innovation isn’t all happening in the Valley. It’s happening in the DMV.” He said he was excited about Octo as a mid-size GovCon company inviting other companies to work side by side on innovation. “We appreciate all Octo does helping the Federal Government.”

U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Octo CEO Mehul Sanghani address VIPs and attendees during Octo’s oLabs ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Reston, VA. — BDPA NoVA photo © 2022 bdpatoday

Octo’s CEO Mehul Sanghani said, “We are ecstatic to see the official launch of this new space and all that it offers. Octo is dedicated to finding the best solutions for customers, those that make missions happen. That can only be accomplished with powerful technology resources and a commitment to R&D. Using next-gen IT and a collaborative approach, oLabs is accelerating and validating proof-of-concepts to create transformative solutions that can’t be found anywhere else in the region. This space allows us to be in alignment with our customers future goals, and also gives us a competitive advantage over our peers.”

Sujey Edward, CTO at Octo, said, “At the end of the day, you can’t solve the hardest problems in the world without three things: the best technical talent, real world experience, and next generation technology. In this space we have all three. Anything less than that is just a glorified conference room.

“Octo has invested millions of independent research and development dollars into building oLabs, the industry’s most capable center for innovation. We’ve also perfected a collaborative approach to working with our customers supported by an extraordinary facility full of exceptionally talented and passionate emerging technology professionals. Our team isn’t just technical. They have relevant real-world experience in our core domains also. They are former special operators, data scientists pulled from some of the largest companies around the world, DevOps engineers, and AI/ML engineers who understand the scenarios in which our solutions will be deployed.”

oLabs products and solutions are used and are in testing by customers including the U.S. Army, Marine Corps Special Operations Command, the U.S. Navy, and others. Customers who could not attend the grand opening are invited to tour the space. Learn more at olabs.octo.us.

Octo, Platinum Sponsor of national BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter, is a technology firm dedicated to solving the Federal Government’s most complex challenges, enabling agencies to jump the technology curve. We don’t just modernize. We create lasting change through best practices that help agencies implement and integrate at-scale next-generation technology and innovation. With a mission and service first mentality, we provide Agile, DevSecOps, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Cloud, Open Source, and Data Science solutions, collaborating to solve customers’ pressing problems. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Octo delivers proven technology vital to the intelligence community and health care, defense, national security, and civilian agencies that directly impact our nation.

— Source: Octo/Business Wire


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Octo
https://www.octoconsulting.com/

REVOLT x AT&T release exclusive lessons learned from years of Summit success

ATLANTA, GA—As we approach the 2021 REVOLT Summit x AT&T in Atlanta, which goes down on Nov. 11-13, we can’t help but take a look back at the success of last year’s event by way of REVOLT x AT&T’s Black Paper study.

The facts are simple. REVOLT and AT&T have always had the secret sauce for leaving an impact on the culture whenever they’ve joined forces and this year’s festivities will be no difference. Last year’s just showed the world what they can do together against the odds. The pandemic didn’t stop a thing over here.

Simply put, we believe that brands should be creating experiences that give the next generation of cultural leaders platforms that speak to their needs and expand possibilities.

In that spirit, the 2020 REVOLT Summit by AT&T provided an opportunity to collect and share insights that we know can advance the collective interests of multicultural consumers, companies and the culture at large.

Whether you’re a thriving tech power, leading lifestyle brand or consumer product giant, moving culture and commerce forward in the changing economy requires investing in immersive experiences that authentically engage and empower Black creators globally. This collaborative case study of last year’s REVOLT Summit x AT&T shares valuable insights for marketers looking to establish impactful global partnerships and create dynamic experiences that expand your audience, build deeper cultural connections, and strengthen your relationship with Black consumers.

The pandemic put an abrupt end to live events and forced many brands to rethink their approach to delivering content, products and experiences in a newly virtual world. So, for the first time ever, REVOLT Summit by AT&T was completely virtual, delivering a more dynamic and expansive scope of programming to an audience.

We know today’s generation wants to be better, smarter and more equipped to achieve their dreams while actively designing a new world. As we reimagined the REVOLT Summit by AT&T for a digital audience, we were challenged with creating a global platform position that authentically captured the spirit, attitude and aspirations of Gen Hip Hop.

Our mobile app even provided users with a full lineup of featured speakers, programs, daily schedules, exclusive content and real-time updates. The platform also featured an in-app store to buy limited products, in addition to an on-demand library to rewatch highlights from previous years. By making the shift to a fully virtual event, we gave attendees the freedom to curate their Summit experience based on their personalized interests.

With REVOLT and AT&T once again collaborating for this year summit, and continuing to push the needle forward, we also want to encourage REVOLT fans to never be afraid of leaving their own mark or creating their very own initiatives that aim to elevate the culture. Climb as high as you can now, so those who come after you can soar.

Learn more. Download our Black Paper study here and we’ll see you at this year’s festivities!

Source and images: REVOLT


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Select here to register or join any online session

$COIN — IT’s Only the Beginning

NEW YORK —Today Coinbase is listing on Nasdaq. A decade of work and so many people brought us here. This includes every Coinbase employee, focused for years on building a financial system that’s free, fair, and open to everyone. It also includes you, the 56 million people who use Coinbase. And of course, we have to recognize Satoshi Nakamoto, who started it all by introducing Bitcoin to the world in 2008.

We’ve had a number of ups and downs on our way here. Through luck and skill, Coinbase succeeded where many predicted it would fail. We weathered the ups and downs through innovation and keeping our eye on the long term. And along the way, we made cryptocurrency easier to use, introducing millions of people to this new technology. I’m proud of what we have accomplished so far. But we certainly didn’t do all this work just for one day.

Today’s listing is a milestone, but it’s not as important as every new day in front of us. Coinbase has an ambitious missionto increase economic freedom in the world. Everyone deserves access to financial services that can help them build a better life for themselves and their families. We have a lot of hard work to do to make this a reality.

We’re still in the early days of this industry, but we’re squarely focused on the future, on our mission, and on building the best crypto experiences for you, our community.

Thank you all for your trust and support,

—Brian Armstrong, Co-founder and CEO, Coinbase



A D V E R T I S E M E N T

5th Annual Virtual Earth Day Tech Summit • April 22-24, 2021 • RSVP today using Promo Code: cyberxxi

Preconditions for a general-purpose central bank digital currency

WASHINGTON —Money is a social and legal construct underpinned by trust. Conceptions of money have evolved and money has taken many forms over the years. In North America, pre-colonial trade was often conducted in wampum, corn, and fur pelts.

Today, for the United States, whatever specific objectives may arise for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), they should be consistent with the Federal Reserve’s longstanding objectives of the safety and efficiency of the nation’s payments system, as well as monetary and financial stability. A CBDC arrangement must be in keeping with these objectives, which have guided the central bank since its establishment in 1913.

A foundational element for introducing a CBDC is understanding its purpose: What can a CBDC be used for, how it can be used, and what potential value does it provide? A recent Bank for International Settlements report highlighted a number of potential benefits for a CBDC. These include enhancing payment system resiliency, increasing payments diversity, encouraging financial inclusion, and improving cross-border payments. Research papers and other reports have referenced the potential for a CBDC to support monetary policy.  It is important to consider that a CBDC that is designed to support monetary policy transmission or economic stimulus payments, for example, would be quite different than a CBDC that is designed to be an alternative to cash.  Without clear objectives, it would be difficult to establish business requirements for a CBDC.

Primary motivations for CBDC research and experimentation

Sources: This map was compiled using data from the March 2020 BIS Quarterly Review and a 2020 working paper from the IMF, “A survey of research on retail central bank digital currency,” and supplemented through additional secondary research. CBDC activity tracking sites from organizations such as the Atlantic Council were used. Motivations were broadly determined by the authors using the public statements attributed to sources within the central banks themselves or in some cases other news sources.

Central bank interest in CBDC research and experimentation varies significantly. However, these interests generally fall into two broad categories. One set of central banks is primarily looking to address present-day challenges, while for others it is exploring future capabilities. For some jurisdictions, a CBDC is intended to address a specific problem — inefficient payment systems, weak banking infrastructure, or declining cash use — or to promote national policy goals, such as supporting payments inclusion and protecting monetary sovereignty.

For many advanced economies, the primary motivations are centered on potential payments innovation and general preparedness for a potential future state. highlights some of the central banks’ primary motivations.

Source and Map: Federal Reserve by Jess Cheng, Angela N Lawson, and Paul Wong. Select here to visit their website for this full article.

Bitcoin’s 2020 In Tech

by AARON VAN WIRDUM December 31, 2020

Seemingly undisturbed by 2020’s craziness, and largely unfazed by bitcoin’s wild price swings that concluded with new all-time highs in December, Bitcoin’s technical community continues to plow ahead. Bitcoin’s software and the many projects around it were gradually improved throughout the year, as software was optimized, bugs fixed and privacy leaks patched. The bulk of this work, as vital as much of it is, doesn’t attract headlines.

Yet, a bird’s-eye view on Bitcoin’s tech development over the span of a year helps highlight new milestones in Bitcoin’s ongoing technological march forward. In 2020, too, the consistently growing Bitcoin development community introduced a number of useful new features, several particularly important upgrades and some especially notable improvements.

As this volatile year is drawing to a close, these were some of Bitcoin’s most notable technical developments over the past 12 months…

New Privacy Tools With PayJoin And CoinSwap

On Bitcoin’s privacy front, the PayJoin and CoinSwap projects this year represented two promising advancements.

PayJoin, also known as Pay to Endpoint (P2EP), is a trick that lets recipients of a transaction partake in the transaction through a CoinJoin, to basically send funds to themselves while also receiving the actual payment from the real sender. If a snoop, conducting blockchain analysis, were to assume that all coins sent in a transaction belonged to the same person — as they normally would — they’d be wrong. This already benefits the privacy of both sender and receiver, as the snoop would confuse (past) coin ownership between them. Moreover, if enough people use PayJoin, it could render this important heuristic for blockchain analysis useless altogether, in turn benefiting even the privacy of those who didn’t make PayJoin transactions themselves.

The Lightning Network Became More Robust With Watchtowers (And More)

The Lightning Network, Bitcoin’s Layer 2 protocol for faster, cheaper and more private payments, continued to improve across the board in 2020. With Lightning implementations LND, Eclair, C-Lightning and — since July — Electrum rolling out a number of new software releases, and a growing number of projects building on top of the protocol, Lightning development was more active than ever. Among the more notable developments, Watchtowers resolved one of the Lightning Network’s remaining weaknesses, resulting in a more robust protocol.

After Miniscript, Bitcoin Programming Was Made Easier With Minsc

The code embedded in Bitcoin transactions that specifies what conditions must be met to spend the coins in a next transaction is written in a programming language specifically designed for Bitcoin, called Script. Script can be tricky to work with, however: in programmers jargon, Script is hard to “reason about.” This means that, especially as it becomes a bit more complex, it can be difficult to understand what a piece of script actually allows: a transaction may unintentionally include code that allows the coins to be spent under different conditions than originally intended. This is one reason why many Bitcoin software applications, like wallets, refrain from utilizing Script’s full potential.

Smart Contracts Became Smarter With DLCs

Whenever smart contracts depend on external data — data that doesn’t live on the blockchain — they rely on an external source for that data referred to as an “oracle.” If two users want to bet on the outcome of a sports match, for example, the oracle would have to use the result of the match to settle the bet in favor of whoever made the correct prediction (at least in case of a dispute).

Holding Is Getting Safer With Bitcoin Vaults

The long list of exchange hacks and other bitcoin heists are testament to the fact that securely storing private keys continues to be a challenge, especially where many coins are at stake. But more secure solutions to store coins are in development. Bitcoin vaults — a concept dating back to 2016 — are a type of smart contract that secure coins so that it takes several confirmed transactions and a time delay to really spend them. This gives potential victims the opportunity to revert a heist before it is too late. 2020 saw the release of two types of vault prototypes.

Taproot Is Now Good To Go, As Activation Is Under Consideration

Taproot is set to be the first Bitcoin protocol upgrade since Segregated Witness activated in August 2017. First proposed by Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell in January 2018, Taproot lets users “hide” smart contracts in regular-looking Bitcoin transactions: complex multisig construction could be indistinguishable from a simple payment.

For an even more extensive and detailed summary of Bitcoin’s 2020 tech developments, also see the Bitcoin Optech 2020 Year-in-Review Special. Aaron’s full article is linked here.

Source: BITCOIN Magazine
Image: GettyImages

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Select here for dynamic careers in CYBER!

Blacks in Cybersecurity host Winter Summit 2020

ARLINGTON, VA — Building upon 2019’s inaugural year, this year’s convening of Blacks in Cybersecurity (BIC) Winter Summit 2020 at Marymount University provided an excellent venue with workshops for very diverse audiences and small business owners exploring DevSecOps, information security, and new cybersecurity challenges.

BIC understands these programs are vital for emerging information and communications technology (ICT) industries to promote and support broader engagements across underserved and under-represented communities. This year’s highlights included distinguished professionals from industry and academia complimenting BIC’s Blue Team and Capture The Flag (CTF) workshops (shown below).

Blacks In Cybersecurity, is a Cybersecurity Conference Series all encompassing professional networking and development for minorities in cybersecurity fields. BIC promotes the advancement, knowledge, and cybersecurity education across STEM communities.

According to their leadership team, Blacks In Cybersecurity is attending or participating in Black Hat USA, DEF CON 28, BDPACon20, and hosting their BIC Fall Summit 2020 later this year.

For upcoming engagements, visit → https://www.blacksincyberconf.com/ 

— Sources: Blacks In Cybersecurity, LLC and BDPAdc.org
photos ©  2020 bdpatoday

A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Register now for BDPACon20 • August 20-22, 2020 • Atlanta, Georgia

HUBL’s Whitney Griffith Wins Big in Silicon Valley

World Blockchain Hackathon 2018 and Howard University

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Whitney Griffith, an early member of the Howard University Blockchain Lab (HUBL), won first place at this year’s World Blockchain Hackathon, in San Francisco. Recently, HUBL got a chance to reconnect with her to hear all about her latest success story.

HUBL: How did you find out about the Hackathon?

Whitney: I found out about the hackathon through the magic of Silicon Valley. One of the organizers came to my birthday party, and after we were talking for a while he told me about his World Blockchain Hackathon series, where he travels the world hosting Blockchain hackathons to build a community. Immediately I was intrigued because Blockchain and hackathons are totally my thing.

HUBL: Did you already have a team, or did you form the team when you arrived?

Whitney: When I got to the event, I formed the team with some other women engineers. However, most of us were pretty clueless in terms of Blockchain development so on Saturday everyone basically took the time to follow some tutorials and we began working on the project on Sunday.

HUBL: What got you interested in blockchain dev?

Whitney: My friends at Howard University, specifically Alston, got me into this cryptocurrency world. The more I was in the blockchain space by going to the events, and faking it, I got more intrigued by the technology and specifically I saw the numerous use cases that Blockchain can be applied to, to make the world a better place. As such, I immediately knew I needed to learn how to develop in Blockchain and all I needed was time.

HUBL: How long have you been doing blockchain dev?

Whitney:I have been doing Blockchain Development for two weeks roughly. Before, I have been researching about general blockchain stuff, such as, cryptocurrency trading, mining and following the ICO trends but I have only been doing blockchain dev the past two weeks.

wallpaper-techHUBL: What were some obstacles you and your teamed faced while building the project?

Whitney: One of the main obstacle we faced was lack of knowledge of the Stack of a DApp, limited understanding of smart contracts and how to secure smart contracts. As such we spent most of our time peer programming, writing in pseudocode and then having to write it over in Solidity, and explaining the concepts to everyone on the team.

HUBL: How did the pitch go?

Whitney: The pitch was great. We had a story to tell and we knew that was the thing that would enable us to win. I was tasked with doing the pitch for my team, and although I was nervous I pushed through because I believed in our story.

HUBL: What went through your mind when they announced your team as the winner?

Whitney: I was in shock. I still am somewhat in disbelief and my first thought was, “Yes, I can go to Bali now!” We all looked at each other and screamed because we did not expect to actually win. Logically it didn’t make sense, 60% of our team never coded smart contracts before, but here we were winning a blockchain hackathon. This experience just shows that once you believe in yourself you can achieve anything. We have decided to pursue our idea to make a legitimate company, and part of our prize was access to a coworking space in San Francisco for three months to build the company.

HUBL: What advice do you have for people looking to getting into blockchain dev, talk to your people!

Whitney: My advice is if you aren’t currently in Blockchain and you are still looking for an area in tech to dominate, do Blockchain! A part from the wonders that the technology do, the job market is absolutely booming, and most importantly, you have more control as the jobs are mainly remote. If you have a dream of traveling the world and being a digital nomad, Blockchain can allow you to do so.

I have created a Blockchain Resources doc, that has a bunch of tutorials that you can use to upscale in your Blockchain skills. Take time, do the work and you will definitely reap the rewards. And the community is important, share knowledge, talk with others in the space, make an effort to go to Blockchain related events and you will not regret it.

HUBL: Keep doing your thing in Silicon Valley, and we can’t wait for you to come back to Howard University in the fall and share your lessons learned with the lab!

—  by Alston Clark
Co-Founder, Howard University Blockchain Lab
Story and photo courtesy HUBL
Alston-HU18

 

Alston Clark is a 2018 Computer Science graduate of Howard University and National BDPA’s High School Coding Competition (HSCC) alumnus. Mr. Clark co-founded HUBL, the Center for Blockchain Education, Research, & Innovation, at Howard University.

 


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

bdpa2018conf

 

Fidelity Labs Tests Digital Asset Wallet

BOSTON, MA — As digital assets continue to proliferate, they are becoming much more widely accepted. Should a person’s digital asset holdings be a part of their overall financial picture? In an effort to find out, Fidelity Labs, the research and development (R&D) and innovation unit of Fidelity Investments, launched an experiment with digital assets, accessible by the majority of Fidelity customer households across the country with Coinbase® wallet accounts.

coinbase-logoFor this test, Fidelity Labs partnered with Coinbase, a well-known digital wallet and digital asset exchange platform. Individual customers can now authorize Coinbase to provide Fidelity with data on holdings in their Coinbase wallet accounts so that customers can view their Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin balances alongside other accounts in their Fidelity Portfolio Summary views on their Fidelity.com portals.

“Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from their infancy but mass adoption is still many years away. And don’t underestimate their disruptive nature. Just as many other technologies have done in the past, Bitcoin and blockchain will transform how we manage our finances,” said Hadley Stern, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Fidelity Labs.

Source and images — Coinbase and Fidelity Labs

Select here for new career and internship opportunities with CSRA    Select here for new civilian careers with the United States Air Force.

%d bloggers like this: