Billboards Love Streaming Wars Because That's Where Ads End Up

entertainment - Posted On:2019-11-15 12:30:00 Source: slashdot

Streaming services are the hottest thing in entertainment these days. But when it comes to getting the word out about the newest offerings, it's traditional media that often benefits. From a report: Apple, Disney and other big tech and media giants are increasingly turning to outlets like TV, billboards and newspapers to promote their new online products. Spending on broadcast and cable ads by streaming services jumped 19% to $209 million over the past 10 weeks, according to data from researcher ISpot.TV. The biggest spender was Apple, which launched its Apple TV+ service on Nov. 1. It accounted for almost one-quarter of the spending, followed closely behind by Amazon.com , with $37 million in TV ad purchases. "Television is the easiest place to find people who like TV," said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence for GroupM, the ad buying unit of WPP. Disney, which introduced its new Disney+ streaming service on Tuesday, relied heavily on its own networks for marketing. Ads ran on ESPN's Monday Night Football, while ABC aired the first episode of the service's new "High School Musical" series the Friday before the launch. The company also promoted the service on its radio network and in the hotel rooms at its theme parks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Disney + and 'The Mandalorian' Are Driving People Back To Torrenting

yro - Posted On:2019-11-15 11:45:00 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: A simple glance at torrent websites shows that plenty of people are stealing from the brand new steaming services -- episodes of The Mandalorian and Dickinson all have hundreds or thousands of seeders and are among the most popular shows on torrent sites. I reached out specifically to Disney, Apple, and Netflix to ask what their policy was on going after pirated content, and haven't heard back, but it's obvious that these companies assume that at least some of their viewers aren't paying the full price for their services. Given that you can watch as many as six simultaneous streams with Apple TV+, and four with Disney+ and the top Netflix package, the more common form of piracy -- password sharing -- is built into the system. But for pirates who don't have any access to the legit services, what makes stealing content particularly appealing in this age is that there are few if any people who face consequences for the crime. Since the discontinuation of the "six strikes" copyright policy in 2017, there's been lax enforcement of copyright laws. Rather than going after individuals for exorbitant fines for downloading a handful of songs like copyright holders did a decade ago, enforcement these days has focused on the providers of pirated content, with the much more efficient goal of taking down entire streaming sites rather than just a few of their visitors. Of course, as the continued resilience of The Pirate Bay shows, the current strategy isn't particularly effective at stopping piracy, either. But it does mean that those who only download already-stolen content are safer than they've ever been. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Org That Doles Out .Org Websites Just Sold Itself To a For-Profit Company

technology - Posted On:2019-11-15 11:15:00 Source: slashdot

Today, the Public Interest Registry (PIR), which maintains the .org top-level domain, announced that it will be acquired by Ethos Capital, a private equity firm. From a report: This move will make PIR, previously a non-profit domain registry, officially part of a for-profit company -- which certainly seems at odds with what .org might represent to some. Originally, ".org" was an alternative to the ".com" that was earmarked for commercial entities, which lent itself to non-profit use. That's not all: On June 30th, ICANN, the non-profit that oversees all domain names on the internet, agreed to remove price caps on rates for .org domain names -- which were previously pretty cheap. Seems like something a for-profit company might want. Removing price caps wasn't exactly a popular idea when it was first proposed on March 18th. According to Review Signal, only six of the more than 3,000 public comments on the proposal were in favor of the change. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ford v Ferrari review: A big-budget, big-screen take on racing in the 1960s

Cars - Posted On:2019-11-15 10:44:57 Source: arstechnica

In the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company was in need of a little pizzazz. Its then-General Manager Lee Iacocca had some ideas on how to do that. One of them was the Ford Mustang, which invented a new class of car that looked cool but was both cheap to buy and profitable to sell, thanks to heavy use of the corporate parts bin. Another was to get FoMoCo some racing glory, this being back in the days when "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" really worked. What happened next is the topic of Ford v Ferrari, the latest attempt by Hollywood to translate motorsport to the silver screen.

As the name might suggest, the film tells the story of a Detroit auto giant taking on the tiny but extremely successful Italian sports car maker at its own game. Ford tried to buy Ferrari, you see, until Enzo Ferrari pulled the plug over concerns that his potential new master could veto his eponymous race team's participation in races like the Indianapolis 500. Incensed with having been led up the garden path, Ford president and scion Henry Ford II commissioned a full factory-backed race program with the goal of beating Enzo at his own game, specifically at marquee endurance races like the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the most important race of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To do it, Ford would develop a purpose-built race car, one that has entered the pantheon of the greats: the GT40.

Ford vs Ferrari stars Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles. Shelby was a larger-than-life Texan who won Le Mans with Aston Martin in 1959 before his driving career was sidelined due to atrial fibrillation. For his next act, Shelby turned his hand to building cars, finding plenty of success when he married the lithe but underpowered AC Ace roadster with Ford V8 power, starting a relationship with the Blue Oval that carries on today. Bale takes on the role of Ken Miles, a British engineer and racing driver who relocated to California in the '50s and raced for Shelby in the early '60s.

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The genetic basis of Peruvians’ ability to live at high altitude

Science - Posted On:2019-11-15 10:44:57 Source: arstechnica

Sherpas are physiologically adapted to breathing, working, and living in the thin air of the Himalayas, enabling them to repeatedly schlep stuff up and down Mount Everest. The Quechua, who have lived in the Andes for about eleven thousand years, are also remarkably capable of functioning in their extremely high homes. New work suggests that these adaptations are the result of natural selection for particular genetic sequences in these populations.

Both populations live above 14,000 feet (4,267m), under chronic hypoxia—lack of oxygen—that can cause headaches, appetite suppression, inability to sleep, and general malaise in those not habituated to altitude. Even way back in the 16th century, the Spaniards noted that the Inca tolerated their thin air amazingly well (and then they killed them).

Metabolic adaptations give these highlanders have a notably high aerobic capacity in hypoxic conditions—they get oxygenated blood to their muscles more efficiently. But the genetic basis for this adaptation has been lacking. Genome Wide Association Studies, which search the entire genome for areas linked to traits, had found tantalizing clues that one particular gene might be a site of natural selection in both Andeans and Tibetans. It encodes an oxygen sensor that help cells regulate their response to hypoxia.

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Google Almost Made 100,000 Chest X-rays Public -- Until it Realized Personal Data Could Be Exposed

technology - Posted On:2019-11-15 10:44:57 Source: slashdot

Two days before Google was set to publicly post more than 100,000 images of human chest X-rays, the tech giant got a call from the National Institutes of Health, which had provided the images: Some of them still contained details that could be used to identify the patients, a potential privacy and legal violation. From a report: Google abruptly canceled its project with NIH, according to emails reviewed by The Washington Post and an interview with a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity. But the 2017 incident, which has never been reported, highlights the potential pitfalls of the tech giant(TM)s incursions into the world of sensitive health data. Over the course of planning the X-ray project, Google's researchers didn't obtain any legal agreements covering the privacy of patient information, the person said, adding that the company rushed toward publicly announcing the project without properly vetting the data for privacy concerns. The emails about Google's NIH project were part of records obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request. Google's ability to uphold data privacy is under scrutiny as it increasingly inserts itself into people's medical lives. The Internet giant this week said it has partnered with health-care provider Ascension to collect and store personal data for millions of patients, including full names, dates of birth and clinical histories, in order to make smarter recommendations to physicians. But the project raised privacy concerns in part because it wasn't immediately clear whether patients had consented to have their files transferred from Ascension servers or what Google's intentions were. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ford vs Ferrari review: A big-budget, big-screen take on racing in the 1960s

Cars - Posted On:2019-11-15 10:14:57 Source: arstechnica

In the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company was in need of a little pizzazz. Its then-General Manager Lee Iacocca had some ideas on how to do that. One of them was the Ford Mustang, which invented a new class of car that looked cool but which was both cheap to buy and profitable to sell, thanks to heavy use of the corporate parts bin. Another was to get FoMoCo some racing glory, this being back in the days when "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" really worked. What happened next is the topic of Ford vs Ferrari, the latest attempt by Hollywood to translate motorsport to the silver screen.

As the name might suggest, the film tells the story of a Detroit auto giant taking on the tiny but extremely successful Italian sports car maker at its own game. Ford tried to buy Ferrari, you see, until Enzo Ferrari pulled the plug over concerns that his potential new master could veto his eponymous race team's participation in races like the Indianapolis 500. Incensed with having been led up the garden path, Ford President and scion Henry Ford II commissioned a full factory-backed race program with the goal of beating Enzo at his own game, specifically at marquee endurance races like the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the most important race of the year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To do it, Ford would develop a purpose-built race car, one that has entered the pantheon of the greats: the GT40.

Ford vs Ferrari stars Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as Ken Miles. Shelby was a larger-than-life Texan who won Le Mans with Aston Martin in 1959 before his driving career was sidelined due to atrial fibrillation. For his next act, Shelby turned his hand to building cars, finding plenty of success when he married the lithe but underpowered AC Ace roadster with Ford V8 power, starting a relationship with the Blue Oval that carries on today. Bale takes on the role of Ken Miles, a British engineer and racing driver who relocated to California in the 50s and raced for Shelby in the early 60s.

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Taiwan Stops Selling Huawei Phones That Identify It as Part of China

mobile - Posted On:2019-11-15 09:59:56 Source: slashdot

Taiwan suspended sales of three Huawei smartphone models that identify Taiwan as part of China, striking a fresh blow in a long-running conflict over references to sovereignty. From a report: Phone carriers were ordered to stop offering Huawei's P30, P3O Pro and Nova 5T models starting Thursday because their displays included the words "Taiwan, China" for time zones and contacts, said Peter Niou, a deputy director at the National Communications Commission in Taipei. The reference impairs Taiwan's "national dignity," Niou said. The halt adds Huawei to the list of global brands, from Coach and Givenchy to JPMorgan, that have had to respond to the sovereignty dispute between separately governed Taiwan and China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory. The two fashion brands, owned by companies in the U.S. and France, apologized to China's government after offering T-shirts that identified Taiwan as a country. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Apple To Remove Vaping Apps From Store

apple - Posted On:2019-11-15 09:29:57 Source: slashdot

Amid growing health concerns over e-cigarettes, Apple will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its mobile App Store this morning, Axios reports. From a report: The move comes after at least 42 people have died from vaping-related lung illness, per the CDC. Most of those people had been using cartridges containing THC, though some exclusively used nicotine cartridges. The company has never allowed the sale of vape cartridges directly from apps. But there were apps that let people control the temperature and lighting of their vape pens, and others provided vaping-related news, social networks and games. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google Fixes White Screen Problem in Chrome, Admins Furious

Security - Posted On:2019-11-15 09:14:57 Source: bleepingcomputer

Google has rolled back an experimental WebContent Occlusion feature that caused major disruption for enterprise users using Chrome in a multi-user terminal server environment. While the issue is now fixed, enterprise admins are furious that this feature was enabled in the first place without their knowledge or permission. [...]

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What the newly released Checkra1n jailbreak means for iDevice security

Biz & IT - Posted On:2019-11-15 09:14:57 Source: arstechnica

It has been a week since the release of Checkra1n, the world’s first jailbreak for devices running Apple’s iOS 13. Because jailbreaks are so powerful and by definition disable a host of protections built into the OS, many people have rightly been eyeing Checkra1n—and the Checkm8 exploit it relies on—cautiously. What follows is a list of pros and cons for readers to ponder, with a particular emphasis on security.

First, Checkra1n is extremely reliable and robust, particularly for a tool that’s still in beta mode. It jailbreaks a variety of older iDevices quickly and reliably. It also installs an SSH server and other utilities, a bonus that makes the tool ideal for researchers and hobbyists who want to dig into the internals of their devices.

“I expected it to be a little rougher around the edges for the first release,” Ryan Stortz, an iOS security expert and principal security researcher at the firm Trail of Bits, said in an interview. “It’s really nice to be able to install a new developer beta on your development iPhone and have all your tooling work out of the box. It makes testing Apple's updates much much easier.”

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A Jury of Random People Can Do Wonders For Facebook

yro - Posted On:2019-11-15 08:14:56 Source: slashdot

Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of Harvard's Berkman Klein Center, writes about how and why Facebook might take inspiration from the U.S. jury system in reviewing the truth value of political ads. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the article: What we need are ways for decisions about content to be made, as they inevitably must be when platforms rank and recommend content for us to see; for those decisions yet not to be too far-reaching or stiflingly consistent, so there is play in the joints; and for the deep stakes of those decisions to be matched by the gravity and reflectiveness of the process to make them. Facebook recently announced plans for an "independent oversight board," a tribunal that would render the company's final judgment on whether a disputed posting should be taken down. But far more than its own version of the Supreme Court, Facebook needs a way to tap into the everyday common sense of regular people. Even Facebook does not trust Facebook to decide unilaterally which ads are false and misleading. So if the ads are to be weighed at all, someone else has to render judgment. In the court system, legislators write laws, and lawyers argue cases, but juries of ordinary people are typically the finders of fact and judges of what counts as "reasonable" behavior. This is less because a group of people plucked from the phone book is the best way to ascertain truth -- after all, we don't use that kind of group for any other fact-finding. Rather, it's because, when done honorably, with duties taken seriously, deliberation by juries lends legitimacy and credibility to the machinations of the legal system. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Silly Phishing Scam Warns That Your Password Will be Changed

Security - Posted On:2019-11-15 06:59:57 Source: bleepingcomputer

A silly phishing campaign is underway where the attackers state that your password will expire and be changed unless you login and confirm that you want to keep it the same. [...]

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Ars To-Be-Read: Five books we’re most excited to read in 2020

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2019-11-15 06:59:57 Source: arstechnica

As "best of 2019" lists flood in, we're looking toward the future—the literary future, to be precise. After another solid year of reading in 2019, we're excited for new releases to come in the early months of 2020. Below are some of our most anticipated reads that you can get your hands on within the first three months of 2020.

Hugo-award-winner N.K. Jemisin will be releasing the first novel in a new series in March, while German author-songwriter Marc-Uwe Kling has a satirical novel about our addiction to convenience coming out in English for the first time. We know setting New Year's resolutions can be hard, but we think you'll want to put all five of these upcoming releases at the top of your TBR list.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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Physicists Irreversibly Split Photons By Freezing Them In a Bose-Einstein Condensate

science - Posted On:2019-11-15 05:14:57 Source: slashdot

Physicists from the University of Bonn and the University of Cologne have succeeded in cooling photons down to a Bose-Einstein condensate, causing the light to collect in optical "valleys" from which it can no longer return. The findings have been published in the journal Science. Phys.Org reports: A light beam is usually divided by being directed onto a partially reflecting mirror: Part of the light is then reflected back to create the mirror image. The rest passes through the mirror. "However, this process can be turned around if the experimental set-up is reversed," says Prof. Dr. Martin Weitz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Bonn. If the reflected light and the part of the light passing through the mirror are sent in the opposite direction, the original light beam can be reconstructed. The physicist investigates exotic optical quantum states of light. Together with his team and Prof. Dr. Achim Rosch from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Cologne, Weitz was looking for a new method to generate optical one-way streets by cooling the photons: As a result of the smaller energy of the photons, the light should collect in valleys and thereby be irreversibly divided. The physicists used a Bose-Einstein condensate made of photons for this purpose, which Weitz first achieved in 2010, becoming the first to create such a "super-photon." A beam of light is thrown back and forth between two mirrors. During this process, the photons collide with dye molecules located between the reflecting surfaces. The dye molecules "swallow" the photons and then spit them out again. "The photons acquire the temperature of the dye solution," says Weitz. "In the course of this, they cool down to room temperature without getting lost." By irradiating the dye solution with a laser, the physicists increase the number of photons between the mirrors. The strong concentration of the light particles combined with simultaneous cooling causes the individual photons to fuse to form a "super-photon," also known as Bose-Einstein condensate. "Perhaps quantum computers might one day use this method to communicate with each other and form a kind of quantum Internet," says Weitz. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Black Death Plague Just Reappeared In China

science - Posted On:2019-11-15 02:14:57 Source: slashdot

At least two people in China are under close observation and are receiving treatment for infections of the same plague that devastated Europe in the mid-1300s. The two confirmed cases originated in north China and were confirmed by doctors in Beijing earlier this week. From a report: The pneumonic variant of the plague, which affects the lungs, can easily spread to others through the air. It is one of the three main forms of plague infection, alongside bubonic and septicemic, but it's believed that the pneumonic form was largely responsible for the rapid spread of plague during the Black Death pandemic that wiped out as much as half of Europe's population centuries ago. While it hasn't led to a full-scale pandemic for some time, plague -- a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotics -- is known to persist in certain animal populations across Asia as well as the Americas and Africa. The pneumonic form, however, is rare and considered to be a more serious threat. It is almost always deadly if not promptly treated. China's Xinhua news agency didn't provide many details on the condition of the two patients or if they had contact with others. The report simply notes that "relevant disease prevention and control measures have been taken." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Jedi: Fallen Order game review: More like, the Force goes back to sleep

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2019-11-15 00:14:59 Source: arstechnica

Really, 2010's Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is an appropriate reference point as we peel back the EA-ization of Star Wars games—from MMO-related bloat to cancellations to loot boxes—and dive into Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn Entertainment's new game, out now on PCs and consoles, pits you (and a suite of Force powers) against armies of AI-controlled foes. Sounds familiar, right? And is that a good thing?

After playing its 12-hour campaign, I can only muster a shoulder shrug as a response. I guess. Sure. If you want.

That's not to say Fallen Order isn't polished or, at times, quite impressive. But it's also a painfully safe game, built to check a list of "hardcore gamer" boxes instead of forging particularly new paths for the Jedi power fantasy. Respawn was given the unenviable task of winning back some of the most opinionated fans in the world, and the developer charted a tried-and-true course of doing so: a third-person adventure that combines lightsaber waving and a healthy mix of Force superpowers. (You know, like Force Unleashed II.)

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Andrew Yang Wants To Tax Digital Ads, Launch a New Algorithm Regulator

politics - Posted On:2019-11-14 22:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: On Thursday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang put out a sweeping new tech policy proposal with a number of controversial proposals, including taxing digital ads and launching a new department to regulate algorithms on social networks. [...] In his Thursday blog post, Yang argues that his opponents' calls to break-up big tech firms like Facebook and Google fall short of protecting consumers from companies that prioritize "profits over our well-being." Yang's broad tech policy plan attacks the issues plaguing tech from four different angles: promoting a healthy relationship with tech, data ownership and privacy, fighting disinformation, and empowering the federal government with new guidelines and resources to tackle these issues. Ever since the 2016 election, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been under fire by public advocates and lawmakers for their failures to remove disinformation from their platforms. In his tech proposal, Yang piggybacks on his digital ads VAT, suggesting that if it were implemented, there would be less false information on social media because platforms would become subscription-based and not be forced to accept advertising at all, let alone misleading political ads. There would also be significant new restrictions on how platforms like Facebook can target users with content. Any algorithms used by "platforms that allow political advertisements or the sharing of news stories" would be required to be open source or at least confidentially shared with Yang's "Department of the Attention Economy." All ads would have to be clearly labeled as such. Yang says he would amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act -- one of the most pivotal laws governing the internet -- but didn't specify what his amendment would look like. He also pledges to pass a "Digital Bill of Rights, ensuring ownership of data, control over how it's used, and compensation for its use" if he is elected president. Consumers could choose to opt in to have their data collected. "But then you should receive a share of the economic value generated from your data," Yang says. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the single leading source of anti-vax ads on Facebook

Science - Posted On:2019-11-14 21:59:58 Source: arstechnica

Just two organizations were responsible for the majority of anti-vaccine advertisements on Facebook before the social media giant restricted such content in March of this year, according to a November 13 study in the journal Vaccine.

Of 145 anti-vaccine Facebook advertisements that ran between May 31, 2017, and February 22, 2019, the World Mercury Project and a group called Stop Mandatory Vaccination together ran 54% of them.

The World Mercury Project, which ran the most ads of any single source, is an organization closely aligned with the anti-vaccine group Children's Health Defense. Both are spearheaded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer turned prolific peddler of dangerous anti-vaccine misinformation. He and his organizations promote conspiracy theories about vaccine safety, including the roundly debunked claim that safe, life-saving immunizations are linked to autism. More recently, Kennedy has become a prominent opponent of laws aimed at increasing vaccination rates among school children.

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Amazon Appeals Pentagon's Choice of Microsoft For $10 Billion Cloud Contract

technology - Posted On:2019-11-14 20:29:58 Source: slashdot

Amazon is going into battle with the Pentagon over a massive military tech contract awarded to Microsoft. Amazon cited "unmistakable bias" as it prepares to protest the selection in federal court. NPR reports: This begins a new chapter in the protracted and contentious battle over the biggest cloud-computing contract in U.S. history -- called JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure -- worth up to $10 billion over 10 years. The Pentagon declared Microsoft the winner of JEDI on Oct. 25, after months of delays, investigations and controversy -- at first, over accusations of a cozy relationship between Amazon and the Department of Defense, and later, over President Trump's public criticism of Amazon. In a statement on Thursday, Amazon's cloud unit argued that "numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified." The company is appealing the contract at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Amazon Web Services spokesperson said the company was "uniquely experienced and qualified" for the job, adding: "We also believe it's critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence." Amazon was stunned by its loss of the JEDI contract. Microsoft's cloud business Azure has been a distant second in size to AWS, which also previously won a cloud contract with the CIA. But a former Pentagon official familiar with the JEDI deal previously told NPR that Microsoft's bid "hit the ball out of the park." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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