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Texas Lottery Veteran Recognition: Gwen Bingham

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Texas Lottery Veteran Recognition: Gwen Bingham

Gwen Bingham - Vetting the Game - November 26The military construction shaped Gwen Bingham’s early life and pursuits. Her father served in the United States Army for over 20 years and Bingham spent most of her childhood and adolescence in Texas, where he was stationed in Killeen and San Antonio, before moving to Alabama for high school and college.

Bingham received an ROTC scholarship to the University of Alabama, and she wanted to serve four years of military service and “not a day more.” But that built-in military frame opened up in a path that turned out to be more of a progressive calling than a determined design.

“Something happened,” Bingham said. “I fell in love with this profession.”

Commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army Quartermaster Corps, Bingham retired after 38 years of service as a three-star general. She was the first black woman to hold numerous positions as a general officer, including: the 51st Army Quartermaster General and Commander of the United States Army Quartermaster School; Commanding General, White Sands Missile Range; and Commanding General, Tank Automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command.

She is a pioneer, a leader nurtured by new challenges and energized by opportunities to expand and develop skills beyond her comfort zone.

Gwen Bingham - Vetting the Game - November 13“I’m the type of leader who likes to learn. If you find your passion, you never work a day in your life,” says Bingham, who has bachelor’s and two master’s degrees. “I was pursuing my passion and finding ways to make a positive difference. That made me want to continue (in the military).”

As Bingham’s appointments evolved, she also had to shift her mindset from tactical to strategic objectives, but her connection to individual needs and commitment to group harmony and success allowed her to stay focused on decision-making from a grassroots perspective.

“I always wanted to take an organization like I found it, and leave it in a better place,” she said. “To me, team means ‘together everyone achieves more’, so take advantage of everyone’s strengths and build on that in the organization.

“I am a people person. I am lifted by involvement, by getting to know people and working with them.”

Bingham served deployments to Kuwait and Afghanistan, and her last assignment was as the Pentagon’s assistant chief of staff for installation management.

Gwen Bingham - Vetting the Game - November 13Bingham was named “CNN Champion for Change” in 2021, and she is also the recipient of the 2019 White House Correspondents “Be Fearless” Award. She has also previously received the Joint Women’s Leadership in Excellence Meritorious Service Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Women in Defense Service to the Flag Award.

She and her husband, Dr. Patrick J. Bingham, who received his PhD from UT Austin, has two grown children and lives in Leander, Texas.


Thanks to the Texas Lottery, great things are happening all over Texas. Each year, more than $1 billion in lottery revenue goes to charities such as public education and veterans’ aid programs.

Starting with the first special scratch card game for veterans in 2009, the Texas Lottery has now contributed more than $169 million to the Fund for Veterans’ Assistance.

The Texas Lottery is celebrating 30 years of winning. Since 1992, the Texas Lottery has generated more than $33 billion in revenue for the state of Texas. By strict adherence to their vision, mission and core values, the Texas Lottery is committed to ensuring this support continues.

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Mariah Carey, McDonald’s unveil free beanies, shirts with Mariah Menu

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Mariah Carey and McDonald's are teaming up to launch the Mariah Menu on December 13.

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Packages pile up as Amazon Web Services outages destroy delivery

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Amazon, Amazon Outage

A glitch in Amazon Web Services wreaked havoc on the e-commerce giant’s delivery operations, preventing drivers from getting routes or packages and cutting off communication between Amazon and the thousands of drivers it relies on.

According to Downdetector, an online platform that provides users with real-time information about the status of various websites and services, the outage began around 10 a.m. Eastern time (8.30 p.m. IST) on Tuesday.

At the height of the outage, the web monitoring site reported more than 20,000 complaints for Amazon and more than 11,000 for Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing arm.

By 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time, reported outages had fallen by about half for AWS and two-thirds for Amazon, and by 7:35 PM Eastern Time, Amazon.com said it had resolved issues with network devices leading to web services outages. “Now that the network device issues have been resolved, we are now working on restoring any disrupted services.”

Earlier, three delivery service partners said an Amazon.com app used to communicate with deliverers was down as part of the system outage. Vans that were supposed to deliver packages along the way stopped with no communication from the company, the person said.

The problems came amid Amazon’s critical holiday shopping season, when the company couldn’t afford delays that could potentially cause lengthy lockdowns.

A West Coast delivery company owner said the company stopped deliveries on Tuesday and planned to regroup on Wednesday.

At the height of the outage, the web monitoring site reported more than 20,000 complaints for Amazon and more than 11,000 for the company’s cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services.

Multiple popular websites, including Coinbase Global, Robinhood Markets, Walt Disney and Netflix, were also affected, according to Downdetector.

Disney said that although people were able to enter the parks, they were having trouble checking in online and paying for purchases.

Video streaming service Netflix saw a 26 percent drop in traffic after the AWS issues were reported, demonstrating how quickly outages can ripple outwards, said Doug Madory, an analyst at network monitoring company Kentik. “It’s getting more complicated with software running these services, so if something goes wrong, it can take a long time to figure out what went wrong and fix it,” he said.

According to Downdetector, several popular websites were also affected, including those of McDonald’s, Venmo and T Rowe Price.

Webcast presentations from Comcast and Altice USA at UBS’s Global TMT Conference experienced disruptions on Tuesday, and the Charter Communications presentation was rescheduled.

AWS is the leading provider of cloud computing, selling companies compute and software services on demand rather than maintaining their own data centers and teams in-house. Its customers include a wide range of industries and the federal government.

Smart houses don’t stay that smart after all

The outage at Amazon.com’s cloud computing arm has left thousands of people in the US without need for refrigerators, creambass (robotic vacuum cleaners) and doorbells, highlighting how dependent people have become on the company as the Internet of Things spreads into homes.

Amazon services affected included the voice assistant Alexa and the smart doorbell, Ring.

Several Ring users even said they couldn’t get into their homes without accessing the phone app, which was unavailable.

Others said they couldn’t turn on their Christmas lights. Smart light bulbs stopped responding to voice commands, many people reported.

Even simple household tasks become impossible for some.

The outage prompted people to ponder the pitfalls of having a “smart” home that relies too much on not just the Internet, but one company in particular — while those with “dumb” homes beamed that their refrigerators and light switches worked fine. (Isabella Steger | Bloomberg)

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How to choose a flight with the least chance of weather delays

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How to choose a flight with the least chance of weather delays

Image for article titled How to choose a flight with the least chance of weather delays

Photo: Alexey Lesik (Shutterstock)

The holidays are a notoriously difficult time to travel by plane, partly because of the number of people trying to fly and partly because of the greater chance of winter weather. Blizzards and icy airstrips can quickly derail days of air travel.

But while you can’t plan for every event or know what the weather will be like when you book your flights, you can can help minimize potential disruptions with smart planning.

Why you should choose an early flight

In general, experts recommend book an early flight, as delays and cancellations pile up over the course of a day. Since passenger flights generally don’t take off at night, airlines have some downtime to prepare for future (or existing) scheduling chaos. Catching a morning plane can reduce the chances of ending up in a domino of delays. And if your early flight is cancelled, you have more options for same-day departures than for evening departures.

However, be prepared for even the first flight in the morning to be a little behind, as deicing is often necessary after a plane has been sitting overnight and frost or snow has formed. It may still make sense to take the earliest flight, as most later aircraft taking off in winter conditions must defrost anyway, and these operations are not necessarily first come, first served.

If possible, fly direct, even if it means continuing your journey

While a direct flight isn’t always feasible when traveling between smaller cities, it may be the best way to keep disruptions to a minimum. You are only dependent on the path of one plane and there is no risk of missing connections due to delays or losing checked luggage somewhere along the way. Direct flights can certainly be late or canceled, but the overall experience is likely to involve less time and frustration than having to catch two or more planes.

If you live within a few hours of a major hub, it may even be worth driving to the larger airport to catch a direct flight, naturally balancing the total time and cost with the potential for delays.

Choose your connections carefully

If you can’t get a direct flight, don’t default to the fastest or cheapest route. Consider flying a more southerly route, where snow and ice are less likely.

This is of course not an exact science. While northern airports are more likely to be hit by winter storms, they are also better prepared to deal with the impact and keep things moving. Even a little snow can paralyze an airport that rarely sees winter weather.

In addition, the airports your flight visits before boarding also matters. Even if you’re flying through sunny Texas, your plane could come out of snowy Minnesota. Unfortunately, you can’t control that, and it takes a lot of research to find a flight path in advance.

You may consider transiting or ending up at smaller airports (or secondary airports in major cities) with lower passenger and flight numbers. It can also pay off to have a slightly longer transfer time in case your first flight is delayed or has to defrost.

Consider alternative routes if the weather is bad

Know the weather before you go and what alternative routes there are. If you expect to be affected by cancellations, you may be able to get ahead of it by rescheduling with your airline (rather than waiting for every other stranded passenger to try the same thing). Of course, know that the weather is unpredictable, airline staff are very busy during these times and there are only a limited number of flights with so many seats on the way to your destination. Preparedness and patience are the keywords.

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