RFP Pro Tips

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The Dos and Donts of RFP Benchmarks

In today’s show we only have Dan and Henry on deck, Shahin is away at the “HPC and AI on Wall Street” event where he’ll be hosting various panel discussions. But Dan and Henry soldier on with a discussion based on a recent, and fascinating, presentation by Tricia Balle of Cray at the HPC-AI Advisory Council event in Perth, Australia.

The topic: Benchmarks in HPC Procurement Tenders. As Shahin said in the IO500 episode (originally about SPEC) “benchmarks specify the specious specter of our species”, but in market whose middle name is “performance”, they can be pretty much everything, and a real and critical part of the RFP/buying process.

We discuss how benchmarks should and shouldn’t be used in RFPs, and the relevant best practices; important stuff whether you are on the customer side or the vendor side.

You can see the entire presentation with slides here:

Henry Newman’s Why No One Should be Online, Ever.

Dan comes up with a new label for the ever uplifting Feel Good Security Corner.  Henry talks about the Google security exploit, discovered in 2017 and finally getting fixed, that allows miscreants to take over your system through a combination of Google email and calendar applications. However, this isn’t so bad – it only potentially impacts 1.5 million users…oh, wait, that’s not correct, it impacts as many as 1.5 BILLION users…which makes it quite bad. Here’s a link to the story:

Google To Fix Malicious Invites Issue For 1 Billion Calendar Users

Way back in 2017, two researchers at Black Hills Information Security disclosed how a vulnerability in the Google Calendar app was leaving more than a billion users open to a credential-stealing exploit. Google apparently didn’t fix this at the time as it would have caused “major functionality drawbacks” for Calendar users, despite those researchers demonstrating how they had weaponized the vulnerability at the Wild West Hackin’ Fest.

Catch of the Week

Henry discusses the Wired story below about how wifi almost didn’t happen. Most people probably don’t know that September 15th will mark the 20th anniversary of Wi-Fi. It was introduced to a room of 60 people at the Atlanta Convention Center, an understated announcement for a technology that would go on to change the world. The story is a very cool look at the history of Wi-Fi and how a little-known IEEE specification went on to become the standard vs. something called HomeRF, which was supported by IBM, HP, Intel, and Compaq.

How Wi-Fi Almost Didn’t Happen

We all love Wi-Fi, except when we can’t connect. We take for granted being able to have wireless access at home and the office, on airplanes, in cafés around the globe, and if we’d be so lucky, floating on the International Space Station. But what if Wi-Fi hadn’t happened? It almost didn’t, at least not in the way we recognize it today.

Listen in to hear the full conversation.

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