Amazon pledges to fight homelessness in its headquarter cities

first_imgAmazon says its $8 million donation will “help offer additional housing and support services for our neighbors in need.” Getty images Amazon said Tuesday that it would donate $8 million to fight homelessness. Plymouth Housing in Washington will receive $5 million, and the Arlington Community Foundation will get $3 million. Both nonprofits are located in Amazon headquarter cities. In addition to the donation, Amazon will match employee contributions to the following charities up to $5 million through Sept. 30: Accelerator YMCA.AHC Inc.Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.A-SPAN.Bellwether Housing.Carpenter’s Shelter.Community Lodgings.Compass Housing Alliance.Cornerstones.Doorways.El Centro de la Raza.Facets.FareStart.Friendship Place.Hopelink.Mary’s Place.Plymouth Housing.Wellspring Family Services.Wesley Housing Development Corporation.YouthCare.The funds will help increase access to affordable housing for low-income families and veterans, according to Amazon. The nonprofits can use the money to create more housing units and add support services for community members in those regions. In Amazon’s release, Paul Lambros, CEO of Plymouth Housing, said Amazon’s initiative would help the nonprofit meet the immediate needs of thousands of people in the coming years. And Jennifer Owens, president and CEO of the Arlington Community Foundation, said, “Our veterans and working families deserve an appropriate standard of living that is healthy, safe and makes for a vibrant community. This gift is a great contribution toward that cause.”Jay Carney, senior vice president of Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon, said homelessness and affordable housing are real concerns in headquarter cities.”We believe this gift can help offer additional housing and support services for our neighbors in need. In addition, together with our employees, we will donate to nonprofits located in Washington state; Washington, DC; Maryland and Virginia, whose missions support affordable housing and people experiencing homelessness,” Carney said.Last month, MacKenzie Bezos signed the Giving Pledge, following her divorce from the Amazon CEO. The split would make MacKenzie Bezos one of the richest people in the world, worth about $37 billion. She plans to give away at least half of her fortune. To date, her soon-to-be-ex husband hasn’t signed the pledge. Last September, Jeff Bezos announced the charitable Bezos Day One Fund. The fund will initially focus on giving money to existing nonprofits that help homeless communities. Later, it’ll be geared toward creating a new network of top-tier preschools in low-income communities. In January, Microsoft also took strides to address homelessness. The company pledged $500 million to build low-cost homes in Seattle. The same month, Airbnb gave $2 million to aid homeless youth in San Francisco. Originally published June 11, 9:55 a.m. PT.Update, 11:21 a.m.: Adds more details.  Amazon 1:32 Amazon’s drones and robots want to take over your deliveries Share your voice 0center_img Post a comment Tags Tech Industry Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

Houston LGBTQ Community Mourns African American Transgender Woman

first_img Share Photo via FacebookPolice have identified the victim as 22-year-old Tracy Single.Houstonians are mourning the death of an African American transgender woman. Tracy Single was found dead in a parking lot in the Memorial area on July 30, according to the Houston Police Department. An autopsy revealed the incident was a homicide.“We are devastated by the loss of Tracy,” HPD sergeant Alexa Magnan, who works closely with members of the LGBT community, said. “We’re here and we are pursuing every lead in this case to try to bring justice for Tracy.” The 16th trans murder this year has happened here in Houston. Rest In Peace Tracy Single. We have lit City Hall and the Bridges over Hwy 59 in trans colors in her honor tonight/tomorrow. As we #sayhername we remain committed to creating a City where #translivesmatter 💙💕 pic.twitter.com/4cagiNFmrS— RustinBrother (@HarrisonGuy) August 15, 2019At least 22 transgender people were killed in the U.S. last year and 82% of them were women of color, according to the national advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.“Transgender people are disproportionately affected by violence. Every year it’s consistent,” Magnan said. “Transgender women of color all across the country are victimized at much higher rates.” All HPD officers are receiving mandatory training with Equality Texas this year to educate them on working with transgender Houstonians, Magnan said. And she’s encouraging members of the transgender community to report any information that could be related to the incident. Houston City Hall and several highway bridges were lit in the trans pride flag colors — blue, pink and white — this week in Single’s memory, according to Harrison Guy, the chair of the mayor’s LGBTQ task force. “I was hoping to let the trans community specifically know that we see you, that this is your city as well, that you have a place here, that we’re working to make this a city that is safe for you, a place where you can thrive,” Guy said.In Dallas, police have been investigating the murders of two black transgender women, Muhlaysia Booker and Chynal Lindsey, earlier this summer.last_img read more

Scientists show how to erase information without using energy

first_img In the study, physicists Joan Vaccaro from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and Stephen Barnett from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK, have quantitatively described how information can be erased without any energy, and they also explain why the result is not as contentious as it first appears. Their paper is published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.Traditionally, the process of erasing information requires a cost that is calculated in terms of energy – more specifically, heat dissipation. In 1961, Rolf Landauer argued that there was a minimum amount of energy required to erase one bit of information, i.e. to put a bit in the logical zero state. The energy required is positively related to the temperature of the system’s thermal reservoir, and can be thought of as the system’s thermodynamic entropy. As such, this entropy is considered to be a fundamental cost of erasing a bit of information.However, Vaccaro and Barnett have shown that an energy cost can be fully avoided by using a reservoir based on something other than energy, such as spin angular momentum. Subatomic particles have spin angular momentum, a quantity that, like energy, must be conserved. Basically, instead of heat being exchanged between a qubit and thermal reservoir, discrete quanta of angular momentum are exchanged between a qubit and spin reservoir. The scientists described how repeated logic operations between the qubit’s spin and a secondary spin in the zero state eventually result in both spins reaching the logical zero state. Most importantly, the scientists showed that the cost of erasing the qubit’s memory is given in terms of the quantity defining the logic states, which in this case is spin angular momentum and not energy.The scientists explained that experimentally realizing this scheme would be very difficult. Nevertheless, their results show that physical laws do not forbid information erasure with a zero energy cost, which is contrary to previous studies. The researchers noted that, in practice, it will be especially difficult to ensure the system’s energy degeneracy (that different spin states of the qubit and reservoir have the exact same energy level). But even if imperfect conditions cause some energy loss, there is no fundamental reason to assume that the cost will be as large as that predicted by Landauer’s formula. Explore further Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Joan A. Vaccaro and Stephen M. Barnett. “Information erasure without an energy cost.” Proceedings of the Royal Society A. DOI:10.1098/rspa.2010.0577 The possibility of erasing information without using energy has implications for a variety of areas. One example is the paradox of Maxwell’s demon, which appears to offer a way of violating the second law of thermodynamics. By opening and closing a door to separate hot and cold molecules, the demon supposedly extracts work from the reservoir, converting all heat into useful mechanical energy. Bennett’s resolution of the paradox in 1982 argues that the demon’s memory has to be erased to complete the cycle, and the cost of erasure is at least as much as the liberated energy. However, Vaccaro and Barnett’s results suggest that the demon’s memory can be erased at no energy cost by using a different kind of reservoir, where the cost would be in terms of spin angular momentum. In this scheme, the demon can extract all the energy from a heat reservoir as useful energy at a cost of another resource.As the scientists explained, this result doesn’t contradict historical statements of the second law of thermodynamics, which are exclusively within the context of heat and thermal reservoirs and do not allow for a broader class of reservoirs. Moreover, even though the example with Maxwell’s demon suggests that mechanical work can be extracted at zero energy cost, this extraction is associated with an increase in the information-theoretic entropy of the overall system.“The maximization of entropy subject to a constraint need apply not only to heat reservoirs and the conservation of energy,” Vaccaro explained to PhysOrg.com.The results could also apply to hypothetical Carnot heat engines, which operate at maximum efficiency. If these engines use angular momentum reservoirs instead of thermal reservoirs, they could generate angular momentum effort instead of mechanical work. As for demonstrating the concept of erasing information at zero energy cost, the scientists said that it would take more research and time.“We are currently looking at an idea to perform information erasure in atomic and optical systems, but it needs much more development to see if it would actually work in practice,” Vaccaro said.She added that the result is of fundamental significance, and it’s not likely to have practical applications for memory devices.“We don’t see this as having a direct impact in terms of practical applications, because the current energy cost of information erasure is nowhere near Landauer’s theoretical bound,” she said. “It’s more a case of what it says about fundamental concepts. For example, Landauer said that information is physical because it takes energy to erase it. We are saying that the reason it is physical has a broader context than that.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Scientists show how to erase information without using energy (2011, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-scientists-erase-energy.html Could Maxwell’s Demon Exist in Nanoscale Systems? Maxwell’s demon can extract work from a single heat reservoir at a cost of spin angular momentum. In step (a), the demon has no memory and the gas in the heat reservoir is in thermal equilibrium. In step (b), the demon divides the reservoir in two, trapping the fastest moving molecules on the right side, and uses a heat engine operating between the two partitions to extract work. In step (c), the demon’s memory is erased using a spin reservoir and the two partitions are allowed to return to equilibrium. Image credit: Joan A. Vaccaro, et al. Fig. 1. ©2011 Royal Society. (PhysOrg.com) — Until now, scientists have thought that the process of erasing information requires energy. But a new study shows that, theoretically, information can be erased without using any energy at all. Instead, the cost of erasure can be paid in terms of another conserved quantity, such as spin angular momentum.last_img read more

Govt looks at taxes dividends to meet deficit target

first_imgGovernment is likely to step up efforts to mop up additional resources by hiking duties and seeking higher dividends from PSUs to make up for the anticipated shortfall in disinvestment and direct tax proceeds in its bid to meet the fiscal deficit target.The Finance Ministry had last week raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.60 per litre and the same on diesel by 40 paise, which is expected to fetch the exchequer an additional revenue of about Rs 3,200 crore during the rest of the fiscal. This will help the government in partly meeting the shortfall in disinvestment and direct tax realisation. Also Read – Punjab & Sind Bank cuts MCLR by up to 20 basis pointsDue to volatile market conditions, the disinvestment department could garner Rs 12,600 crore so far this fiscal. It has a target of Rs 69,500 crore to be garnered from minority stake sale in PSUs as well as strategic stake sale. With seven months of the current fiscal already over, the Department of Disinvestment has already indicated to the Finance Ministry that it would not be possible to meet the ambitious target.As regards dividend, the government is pushing blue-chip PSUs to either step up their capex or pay higher dividends and not sit on cash pile. Also Read – ‘The great gold bull market has begun’The government had budgeted to collect Rs 36,174 crore by way of dividend from the public sector enterprises, higher than last year’s realisation of Rs 28,423 crore. It has already received a dividend of Rs 65,896 crore from RBI, which is higher than this year’s budget projection of Rs 64,477 crore.Making up for the shortfall in disinvestment through other sources is essential for meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 per cent of GDP.last_img read more

Reliving college memories

first_imgSneaking out of the classrooms, bunking the afternoon lectures and gathering around at the college canteen to treat your taste buds, naturally brings back the smile of nostalgia. Recently, Café Knosh of The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel took me to a trip down the memory lane. The ongoing festival serves the signature dishes from some popular Delhi colleges.Though located in an obscure zone, the appetizing aroma of the food and the beautiful ambience makes Café Knosh an enticing place to reminisce the good old college days over a cutting chai. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSituated on the third floor of the hotel, the very first moment of stepping into the café gave me the feel of those typical college canteens (but of course the cafe is cleaner and classy). I would love to give a 10 on 10 to the vibrant interiors. The colourful cold drink bottles, books stalked in the shelves, a replica of the basketball court adjacent to the canteen and a bus stop dummy beautifully justifies and enhances the overall theme of the festival. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile I absorbed the artistic and aesthetic ambience of the café, I was served with a glass of refreshing orange juice. While I was still struggling with the thought of what to start with (which I always do), I was enlightened by one of the hotel staff (who joined me at the lunch table) that a delhite would anytime grab the bite of chole-bhature over everything else, and so I did the same. The fluffy bhaturas, which did not have even a trace of excess oil, perfectly complimented the spicy yet a bit tangy taste of chole. It was followed by the Pav-Bhaji. Since Pav-Bhaji is something that stimulates my cravings, I couldn’t resist but dig my spoon in the bowl to taste it. Against my expectations, it couldn’t excite my taste buds. But I won’t mind neglecting such a minor disappointment as Rajma Chawal, served afterwards, compensated for the Pav-bhaji. Balanced taste and well-cooked beans actually melt in the mouth. But what won my heart was kadhi-chawal. Though I am not a crazy avid kadhi lover as most of the north Indians are, the quirky taste of the soft pakodas drenched in the yummy curry, fascinated me to bits. With this, I progressed towards the south Indian platter that had masala dosa, Idli and Vada served with three different kinds of chutneys including that of coconut, tomato, and mint. The colorful and fragrant salver took my sense of smell to new heights.So, if the talks are revolving around the canteen food, how can you miss out Maggie, an all time favorite snack? I would delightfully call Café Knosh the mecca of the Maggie lovers. You will find plenty of options, from all veggie Maggie to the chicken masala Maggie, which will explore your taste buds to an explosion of zesty flavor that you have loved all your life.Here I reached the end of a wholesome meal without a dessert but a sizzling cutting chai which indeed preserved the feel of chatting-eating in the college canteen on a rainy day. After such a hearty meal I carried the memories of good food and hospitality that surely will keep prompting me to revisit a place like Café Knosh.last_img read more