News Briefs – October 28, 2019

Pentagon hands Microsoft $10B ‘war cloud’ deal, snubs Amazon

The Pentagon has awarded Microsoft a $10 billion cloud computing contract called JEDI.
The contentious bidding process for the contract pitted Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle, among others, against one another.
Bidding for the huge government contract has attracted more attention than usual, sparked by speculation early in the process that Amazon would be awarded the deal. Tech giants Oracle and IBM pushed back with their own bids. Oracle also challenged the bid process in federal court, but lost.
The resulting system will store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the U.S. military to use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities.
The Department of Defense emphasized in an announcement that the process was fair and followed procurement guidelines.
Over the last year, Microsoft has positioned itself as a friend to the U.S. military. President Brad Smith wrote last fall that Microsoft has long supplied technology to the military and would continue to do so, despite pushback from employees.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google and other tech giants have faced criticism from their own employees about doing business with the government, especially on military and immigration related projects.
Microsoft and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. AP

South Vietnamese ‘lost soldiers’ memorialized in California

The remains of 81 South Vietnamese soldiers shot down over Vietnam in 1965 have been interred at Southern California’s Westminster Memorial Park.
Richard Spencer, Secretary of the U.S. Navy, joined local officials for a procession and ceremony Oct. 26 just outside Little Saigon in Orange County.
The airborne soldiers of the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam were shot down in a remote area along with four American service members. The remains, which were commingled, were recovered in 1974 and eventually shipped to the United States. The Americans were identified thanks to DNA technology.
Efforts to return the other remains to Vietnam failed, so officials decided to give the unknown South Vietnamese soldiers a final resting place in the U.S.
Orange County is home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese people outside Vietnam. AP