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Bezos Earth Fund pronounces first grants totaling $791M of his $10B pledge to assist planet



Jeff Bezos at Amazon Spheres
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks on the Amazon Spheres in 2018. (GeekWire Picture / Kurt Schlosser)

Jeff Bezos on Monday introduced the 16 environmental organizations that can obtain $791 million as the primary spherical of grantees for his $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund.

The record is dominated by well-funded, long-standing organizations working to guard the local weather and wildlife, together with the Environmental Protection Fund, Pure Assets Protection Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Assets Institute and World Wildlife Fund. Every will obtain $100 million, whereas 11 others landed grants between $5 and $50 million.

The fund was initially introduced in February. The CEO of Amazon shared the information on the grantees by way of an Instagram publish, wherein he wrote: “I’ve spent the previous a number of months studying from a bunch of extremely sensible individuals who’ve made it their life’s work to struggle local weather change and its influence on communities around the globe. I’m impressed by what they’re doing, and excited to assist them scale.”

Whereas most of the teams on the record are worldwide and nationwide organizations, a number of the dollars will movement to the Pacific Northwest, residence of Amazon’s headquarters.

The Nature Conservancy will probably be utilizing a few of its grant cash to assist packages that profit temperate rainforests stretching from the Washington coast to Southeast Alaska.

“These huge forests are globally crucial for carbon seize, and our conservation technique prioritizes Indigenous and native communities,” stated Eric Delvin, a program director for The Nature Conservancy. “In direct collaboration with Indigenous peoples throughout the rainforest’s numerous areas, we assist sovereign authority and supporting sustainable economies.”

Local weather specialists agree that each minute counts when taking motion to gradual local weather change, whose dangerous results embrace hotter temperatures, extra extreme wildfires and flooding, and extra damaging storms.

Whereas there’s an urgency in addressing local weather change, Bezos faces an attention-grabbing problem together with his philanthropy. The $10 billion Earth Fund pledge to assist climate-related organizations enormously outweighs the entire quantity spent on local weather by American philanthropists lately, according to The Atlantic.

Which means there are few organizations able to managing and spending such large money infusions. It leaves Bezos with restricted choices for grantees, pushing him towards established nonprofits who won’t be on the slicing fringe of local weather innovation. It additionally presumably slows his capability to provide the cash away. The primary spherical of grantees are receiving solely eight% of the entire fund.

The complete fund itself is simply 5% of Bezos’ price, which is presently about $184 billion. (Bezos additionally has his Day One Fund, a $2 billion effort to advertise improvements in preschool training and reasonably priced housing.)

Amazon as an organization has likewise engaged on local weather change. The tech large vowed to turn out to be net-zero carbon in 20 years and urges others to affix its Local weather Pledge, first introduced final yr, to do the identical. In June, the corporate introduced its Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion initiative to assist improvements that can assist the Seattle-based cloud computing and on-line procuring behemoth cut back its carbon emissions. This fall it shared its first recipients.

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, an advocacy group shaped by a number of the workers, took the lead in publicly pushing the corporate to handle local weather points starting in 2018.

Whereas Bezos and Amazon have public initiatives to fight local weather change, recent reporting revealed that these measures may very well be undermined by their political giving.

Over the previous 4 years, most of Bezos’ private political donations have gone to Senate Republicans, who’ve fought in opposition to laws to manage planet-warming pollution, in accordance with E&E News. An evaluation of federal marketing campaign finance information by the media outlet additionally discovered that between January 2019 and this August, Amazon’s political motion committee spent 70% of its political contributions to Republican senators and their PACs.

Many climate experts spotlight the important function that laws, government motion and a push towards conservative court docket justices play in worsening or bettering the planet’s local weather outlook.

In his Instagram publish, Bezos stated that this spherical of grants was “only the start of my $10 billion dedication to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and others. We are able to all defend Earth’s future by taking daring motion now.”

The quantity allotted to every grantee, in accordance with a Bezos Earth Fund consultant:

  • Environmental Protection Fund, $100 million
  • Pure Assets Protection Council, $100 million
  • The Nature Conservancy, $100 million
  • World Assets Institute, $100 million
  • World Wildlife Fund, $100 million
  • ClimateWorks Basis, $50 million
  • The Local weather and Clear Power Fairness Fund, $43 million
  • The Hive Fund for Local weather and Gender Justice, $43 million
  • The Options Venture, $43 million
  • Power Basis, $30 million
  • Salk Institute for Organic Research, $30 million
  • Union of Involved Scientists, $15 million
  • NDN Collective, $12 million
  • Dream Corps Inexperienced For All, $10 million
  • Rocky Mountain Institute, $10 million
  • Eden Reforestation Tasks, $5 million

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On October 25, Apple will release iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. What we know so far




Apple released important updates for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 on Tuesday, to address several issues and a severe security hole affecting the two platforms. Now, according to reports, Apple is working on iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 builds for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPads.

Also, Twitter user named RobertCFO received confirmation from an Apple Product Security Team member about the final build’s release date. On October 25th, according to a leaked email that was then deleted from Twitter, iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 will be released, a week after Apple holds its conference.

This follows Apple’s general software upgrade policy, which is to release new updates a week after its events.

SharePlay, which allows you to remotely watch and listen to streaming material with your friends via FaceTime, ProRes video support, as well as Covid-19 vaccination document support in the Wallet app, are all expected features of iOS 15.1.

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PSA: Mining Chia on an SSD Will Completely Wreck It in No Time Flat



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When SSDs first started transport in shopper merchandise, there have been comprehensible issues about their longevity. Time, steadily enhancing manufacturing methods, and a few low-level OS enhancements have all contributed to solid-state storage’s popularity for sturdiness. With experiences praising SSDs as provisionally extra dependable than arduous drives even beneath heavy utilization, it’s straightforward to see how individuals may not see the brand new Chia cryptocurrency as a serious trigger for concern.

It’s. Chia is first plotted after which farmed, and whereas farming Chia takes little or no in the way in which of processing sources, plotting it should completely hammer an SSD.

It’s been years since we talked about write amplification, but it surely’s a difficulty that impacts all NAND flash storage. NAND is written in 4KB pages and erased in 256KB blocks. If 8KB of information must be changed out of a 256KB block, the drive might want to learn the unique 256KB block, replace it, write the brand new block to a unique location on the drive, after which erase the earlier block.

Write amplification has been an issue for NAND for the reason that starting and a substantial amount of work has gone into addressing these issues, however Chia represents one thing of a worst-case situation. Right here’s an excerpt from a latest Chia blog post:

Producing plot recordsdata is a course of known as plotting, which requires short-term space for storing, compute and reminiscence to create, kind, and compress the information into the ultimate file. This course of takes an estimated 256.6GB of short-term house, very generally saved on SSDs to hurry up the method, and roughly 1.3TiB of writes in the course of the creation.

The ultimate plot created by the method described above is simply 101.3GB. There seems to be an order of magnitude of distinction between the full quantity of drive writes required to create a Chia plot and the storage capability mentioned plot requires when accomplished.

Motherboard producers have gotten in on the motion, with one Chia-compliant board providing 32 SATA backplanes.

Right here’s what this boils right down to: A number of shopper SSDs are actually unhealthy decisions for mining Chia. TLC drives with SLC / MLC caches will not be really useful as a result of they provide poor efficiency. Low-end and midrange shopper drives will not be really useful, as a result of they don’t provide excessive sufficient endurance. It’s important to watch out through which SKUs you buy and enterprise and enterprise drives are extra extremely really useful normally.

Don’t purchase a QLC drive to mine Chia.

Optane would appear to be a near-perfect match for Chia, given its a lot greater endurance, however I can’t discover any data on whether or not individuals have tried deploying it in massive sufficient numbers to have some concept of what efficiency and endurance seem like beneath the 24/7 load Chia plotters are placing on their hardware. Possibly any individual will put a rig collectively utilizing it, as a lot out of curiosity as the rest.

Past that, ExtremeTech recommends customers not try and plot Chia on any SSD they aren’t snug with dropping, and to not purchase an SSD for the aim until you don’t thoughts throwing it away if it dies far more rapidly than anticipated. Chia plotting is a worst-case situation for SSD longevity and it needs to be handled as such.

One notice of fine information: To this point, Chia mining has had a a lot stronger affect on high-capacity arduous drive costs than on SSDs and smaller drives. Hopefully, this continues to be the case.

Now Learn:

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Microsoft adapts OpenAI’s GPT-Three pure language expertise to mechanically write code



Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces the brand new GPT-Three integration into Energy Apps in a recorded keynote tackle for the corporate’s digital Construct convention.

Microsoft unveiled new tools for automatically generating computer code and formulation on Tuesday morning, in a brand new adaptation of the GPT-Three natural-language expertise extra generally identified for replicating human language.

The aptitude, to be supplied as a part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, is among the fruits of the corporate’s partnership with OpenAI, the San Francisco-based synthetic intelligence firm behind GPT-Three. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019.

“The code writes itself,” stated Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, saying the information in a recorded keynote tackle to open the corporate’s Build developer conference.

The characteristic is named Power Apps Ideas. It’s a part of a broader push by Microsoft and different expertise corporations to make software program growth extra accessible to non-developers, often called low-code or no-code growth.

Microsoft fine-tuned GPT-Three to “leverage the mannequin’s current strengths in pure language enter to offer Energy Apps makers the power to explain logic similar to they’d to a good friend or co-worker, and find yourself with the suitable system for his or her app,” says Ryan Cunningham of the Energy Apps staff in a publish describing the way it works.

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