What’s new in tech
Jeff Bezos’ Pentagon bid
Amazon is on the cusp of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract, after a bidding process that appears to have been heavily tilted in the tech company’s favor, said May Jeong in VanityFair.com. The Defense Department currently stores data in 400 separate centers; it wants to move all that information onto one cloud-based system. Among the Pentagon’s requirements for bidders on the JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) project: that they “must already generate more than $2 billion a year in commercial cloud revenues.” That shuts out most of Amazon’s potential competitors. The requirements were designed after Defense Secretary James Mattis hired a key adviser, Sally Donnelly, who’d previously lobbied for Amazon. Donnelly denies any wrongdoing. Despite President Trump’s tirades against Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, the firm’s lock on the JEDI contract looks bulletproof.
The key to protecting email
One simple piece of technology made Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign less vulnerable to hackers than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, said Alfred Ng in CNET.com. Obama’s team was equipped with security keys from a company called Yubico. To access a campaign email account, users had to enter a password and insert a YubiKey into their computer. Clinton’s campaign was wounded by a steady leak of emails from campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account, hacked with a stolen password. U.S. intelligence agencies warn that such attacks will occur again in the 2018 and 2020 elections. Since Google got security keys for employees, none of their accounts have been hacked. Google will start offering a similar device to the public in the next few months.
Tinder’s bad romance
Tinder’s creators have fallen out of love with the dating app’s owners, said Shannon Liao in TheVerge.com. Three of Tinder’s founders and seven current and former executives charge that IAC—which also owns Match.com—falsified financial information, undercounted growth, and delayed the launch of new features. The alleged aim was to undermine the company’s value and rob its early employees of billions of dollars in stock options. The lawsuit seeks $2 billion in damages. Dating has become a very profitable corner of the online world, with Tinder’s revenues projected at $800 million this year. IAC denies the charges and says that it has paid Tinder employees more than $1 billion in compensation.