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Microsoft kicks off JEDI talks with DOD

Microsoft leaders, including CEO Satya Nadella, will spend the next three days in meetings at the Pentagon in preparatory discussions on the implementation of the JEDI cloud contract. Nadella and members of the Microsoft Azure and public sector teams will meet with DOD CIO Dana Deasy and other senior defense IT leaders Dec. 11-13 as part of “requisite activities to prepare the cloud environment,” the department confirmed to FedScoop. This comes as Amazon has protested DOD's award of the contract to Microsoft, claiming that “DOD consistently and repeatedly made prejudicial errors, at every step along the way, that systematically favored Microsoft and harmed AWS” in the procurement. Billy Mitchell has more details.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

The ‘silver lining’ in the fallout between Google and Project Maven

Many people feel that Google's pulling out of Project Maven was a bad look for the company and Silicon Valley. But to some, like PayPal and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel, there's a "silver lining" to this otherwise "problematic" decision: “I think ... it tells us that AI is a military technology, or at least it’s a dual-use technology,” Thiel said recently at the Reagan National Defense Forum. “And it’s not something that Silicon Valley had acknowledged for a long time.” Billy has more.

Committee to modernize Congress is ready to vote

The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress will soon put its recommendations to vote in the House. The members of the bipartisan group announced on Tuesday that they will introduce legislation to codify the close to 30 official recommendations members have made to date. The “Moving Our Democracy and Congressional Operations Towards Modernization (ModCom)” resolution ultimately aims to “make Congress work better for the American people.” Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more on the legislation.

WATCH: Agency IT chief Francisco Salguero on how open source can streamline the application development process

The former deputy CISO for the USDA says the agency’s developers are working together on a singular pipeline to best use open source tools across the agency. Watch Salguero’s full conversation here.

Cloud, AI skills top list of talent needs for federal government CIOs, report finds

Seven in 10 federal government IT leaders, in a new FedScoop survey, say continuing IT skills gaps have a high or medium impact on the ability for agencies to deliver on their mission. The study highlights the top skills agencies will be looking for over the next two years and steps they’re taking to upskill or reskill their workforce. Read the full report.

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