A new Life of Tech


No spires required for our community broadband

Broadband arrives in Fair Isle, one of Britain's remotest corners, in 2005
Broadband arrives in Fair Isle, one of Britain’s remotest corners, in 2005. Reader Bill Messer battled the bureaucrats to bring broadband to his part of west Wales. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian


Kim Stoddart’s report (Living in a broadband ‘not-spot’? Try using the church spire to get a signal, 12 November) highlights a variety of local attempts to solve this problem but bemoans the fact that Ceredigion in west Wales is seventh from the bottom out of 650 UK constituencies for connectivity. Oh really? Not in our part of Ceredigion. We have a mast supplying 4G signals from all four major mobile network operators and we buy, and distribute 40Mbps broadband from a small technology company.

We are currently looking at extending our service by using “whitespace”, spare bandwith capacity on TV wavebands. This is a community achievement. Six years ago four of us in our seventies and eighties formed a not-for-profit company, raised £243,000 from grant sources (including European money) and the cost of our unpaid time. We had contractors build the mast on a small piece of land leased to us by a local farmer. It was not always easy: fighting bureaucracy at local, Welsh and Westminster government levels took a lot of time and energy but with help from our friends in the community, including our local MP, we did it. He tells us we have better communications here than he has in Westminster. It can be done but needs a community to commit its resources of members’ time and energy. And forget the church spires: Welsh chapels don’t have spires.


AMD’s new R9 380X sweeps the $229 cost bracket, offers manly plea to Nvidia GTX 960



For a past year, AMD’s midrange cost indicate has been anchored by a R9 285 (later re-branded as a R9 380). This GPU debuted during 2GB during a $249 cost point, though forsaken to $199 in June, with some OEMs charity a 4GB option. Today, AMD is upping a ante with a R9 380X — a 4GB label formed on Tonga’s full doing and a somewhat aloft time speed.

Before we check performance, a bit of examination is in order. Since introducing a GCN design in early 2012, AMD has launched 3 vital product families. The Radeon 7800 and 7900 cards were formed on GCN 1.0, as were many of a Radeon 7700 cards. The Radeon 7790 (Bonaire) and a after R9 290 and R9 290X (Hawaii) were formed on an updated chronicle of GCN, called GCN 1.1.

GCN 1.2 debuted in Sep 2014 with a R9 285 (Tonga), though reviewers immediately suspected that there competence be some-more opening stealing within a core. The R9 285 and R9 380 both offer 1792 cores, 112 hardness mapping units, and 32 ROPS. Today’s new R9 380X, in contrast, has 2048 cores, 128 TMUs, and 32 ROPS. While a core depends and ratios are a same as a scarcely four-year-old Radeon HD 7970, a additional improvements from GCN 1.1 and 1.2, total with a 4GB RAM buffer, should offer homogeneous or softened opening than a comparison label in many games.


One engaging tidbit is a distance of a memory bus. Ever given Tonga debuted, users (including me) have theorized that a “full” chronicle of a GPU would have a 384-bit memory bus. We now know that’s not loyal — a R9 380X packs a 256-bit bus. Memory bandwidth use should still be softened over a aged Tahiti cards, however, given GCN 1.2 introduced tone application capabilities meant to wring extent opening out of a same bandwidth.

Official list cost on a R9 380X is $229; companies like Asus, Sapphire, and XFX (pictured, top) are charity cards during several time speeds and cost points around that target. The R9 380X’s categorical aspirant is a GTX 960, that launched progressing this year and also ships in 2GB and 4GB versions. Newegg shows 2GB cards shipping for as low as $179, with 4GB cards starting during $189.

AMD is positioning a R9 380X during a bit of a reward compared to a rival, though eccentric contrast seems to endorse it deserves a cost point. Hot Hardware notes, “With a difference of a singular exam during 1080p, a Radeon R9 380X – or some-more specifically, a bureau overclocked Sapphire Nitro R9 380X we tested – achieved significantly softened than a Radeon R9 285 and GeForce GTX 960 opposite a board.”

Tech Report also took a GPU for a spin, and came to identical conclusions. TR uses scatterplots to graph GPU price/performance ratios, as shown below:


Trendquiz Is A Super Addictive Game Using Google Trends Data

I’m a fan of Google Trends. Whenever a new meme pops adult or some vital news breaks, we conduct there to check how meddlesome people are in pronounced information and either they’ve been meddlesome all along, when it got unequivocally hot…and when it became not.

A elementary site called trendquiz uses Google Trends information to ask we on either we can collect out what a trend line is, and it gives we dual options to select from. You can also select from topics like technology:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 during 11.38.28 AM

After we collect your areas of expertise, you’ll be quizzed on 4 trend-lines and afterwards given a score. Are we looking during one association or another? One contestant or another? Use your believe of news to figure out who or what that trend line is showing:

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 during 11.39.41 AM

Enjoy. But don’t be a jerk and cheat. You’re also timed, so if we go off to Google things, you’ll get held anyways. I’ve mislaid many of my morning to this thing, so you’re welcome.