Tech News for June 8

How agile helps attract and retain millennial tech pros

For IT organizations hungry for talent, agile is key to helping attract and retain the next generation of engineers and developers, because the principles of the methodology dovetail with millennials’ intrinsic motivation. One of the hallmarks of the millennial generation is its need for autonomy, mastery and purpose in the work they’re doing, and a demonstrable impact on the success of the companies they work for and the larger world around them. It’s one of the reasons millennial software engineers embrace the agile methodology, with its emphasis on flat management, self-regulating teams, business context, iteration and ability to adapt quickly to changing needs and demands, says Dave West, product owner at

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That didn’t take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in ‘fake cloud sales’ row

Just days after Oracle was sued by an ex-employee, who accused the IT giant of making up its cloud sales figures, its shareholders are now hauling the company into court. A complaint filed on behalf of Oracle stockholders by investor Grover Klarfeld alleges that the database goliath put their investments in the company at risk: Oracle’s share price dropped four per cent – wiping $6bn off the value of the biz – when claims that the company inflated its cloud revenues emerged. The lawsuit points the finger of blame for this dip at Oracle’s top brass: supremo Larry Ellison, and co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

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Senate Dem calls for cybersecurity ‘militia’

A Democratic senator on Monday called for the creation of a cybersecurity “militia” that would help the U.S. shore up its cybersecurity posture, even if it means recruiting people who don’t measure up to traditional military recruiting standards. The suggestion was made by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., in afternoon remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Whitehouse said the country had witnessed several “game-changers” over the last seven months, and that they effectively amounted to a new Cold War in the cyberarena.

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California Lawmakers and Cybersecurity Legislation

Last week California legislators took more steps that they believe will protect the state’s IT systems from hackers. The Assembly unanimously voted to force the current administration to implement – by July 0f next year – a response plan for cybersecurity threats to state critical infrastructure. The bill’s author, Assemblyperson Jacqui Irwin, is attributed with saying “Ensuring that these preparations are made for cybersecurity will make our state networks more resilient, improve response coordination, reduce recovery time and costs and ultimately limit the damage that is done.” Other bills, both in the Assembly and in California’s upper house, the Senate, placed or will place further actions and responsibilities on state agencies; not only to protect data and infrastructure, but also to force improved communications between these agencies.

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LinkedIn data breach still causing problems

Do you remember back in 2012 when LinkedIn was hacked? Around 6.5 million user passwords were posted on a Russian blog. There was a mandatory password reset for affected users, and LinkedIn released a statement advising people to enable two-step verification and use stronger passwords. Four years later, and the passwords of 117 million accounts were compromised. Worryingly, this came to light only when a hacker put them up for sale, offering data from 167 million accounts in total. If you haven’t changed your LinkedIn password since 2012, you could be at risk. Tech savvy is no protection, as evidenced by the fact that a hacker group used the LinkedIn password dump to hack Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts.

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Sacramento company alleges confidential information was shared in data dump

A Sacramento business and its CEO alleges that a Massachusetts company disclosed confidential data about them. SOURCiS Inc. and Shahram Elli filed a complaint on June 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Bluehost Inc., Shari Dixon and Does 1 through 50 alleging violation of the Stored Communications Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other counts. According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they suffered damages to their business as well as losing potential business opportunities due to the actions of the defendants. The plaintiffs holds Bluehost Inc., Dixon and Does 1 through 50 responsible because the defendant Bluehost allegedly data dumped confidential data to Bravo Development Group on Oct. 10, 2014, in a purported attempt to defraud plaintiff and others.

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Assembly Bill Would Clarify Protections for California’s Intellectual Property

Legislation intended to clarify how the state of California manages and protects its intellectual property is moving forward at the state Capitol on the heels of a high-profile case that has troubled the National Park Service. In January, Yosemite National Park decided to change the names of many of its historic buildings and hotels in order to avoid the potential for copyright infringement held by a concessionaire whose contract wasn’t renewed. The change has been unpopular among park-goers. A bill passed last week by a 76-to-3 vote in the Assembly would instruct the state of California to take additional steps to manage and protect the intellectual property agencies and departments hold.

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OTech Chief Robert Schmidt Scheduled for June 20 Confirmation Hearing

Office of Technology Services chief Robert Schmidt is scheduled to appear June 20 in front of the Senate Rules Committee for his confirmation hearing. Gubernatorial appointees such as Schmidt must be approved by a Senate floor vote no later than a year after they are named to a position. The Rules Committee confirmation hearing and vote is the penultimate step in the process. In September, Schmidt was appointed the chief of the Office of Technology Services (OTech) at the Department of Technology. Schmidt had been the agency CIO and director of Executive Office/IT Services at Food and Agriculture since 2011.

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Governor’s Office Backs Precision Medicine Ideas Contest

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) are partnering with a Silicon Valley entrepreneurship organization to call for ideas that utilize precision medicine. The winning entrant in the Precision Medicine Impact Challenge will win a $10,000 prize from Singularity University and receive and invite to present a prototype at the Exponential Medicine conference in San Diego this fall. “California is a pioneer in innovation, and supporting the entrepreneurial community to develop precision medicine approaches is key,” said Louis Stewart, GO-Biz deputy for innovation and entrepreneurship. “GO-Biz is honored to partner with OPR and Singularity University to leverage the state Innovation Hubs (I-Hubs) and help inspire new precision medicine solutions.”

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San Francisco to Consider ‘Black Boxes’ for Government Vehicles

San Francisco has a fleet of 7,800 government vehicles, and Supervisor Norman Yee wants the city to know where they are and what they’re doing at any given time. His legislation to track the location, speed and all-around maneuverings of city-owned vehicles, by installing “black boxes,” will go before the Board of Supervisors for a vote Tuesday. Proponents say the tracking would save the city money, reduce collisions and prompt employees to drive more slowly. The boxes also could provide a glimpse into how and where city employees are spending their time.

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18F awards first agile task order — building a FedRAMP dashboard

The General Services Administration’s 18F digital services team has awarded Reston, Virginia-based TrueTandem LLC a $150,000 contract to build out a dashboard for the parent agency’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. The project is the first 18F has awarded under its agile development services blanket purchase agreement contract, which pools together contractors vetted in agile software design to build tools in a rapid, iterative, incremental, and user-centered manner. Fourteen of the 17 teams that comprise pool three of the agile BPA bid for work on the project, with an average offer of $120,626.54. TrueTandem’s winning bid came in a bit above that at $153,782.05. Vendors were evaluated based on a compliance check and oral presentation rather than the traditional standard submittal of a lengthy proposal.

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