Ethereum finally merges, semiconductors stay scarce (Ep. 490)

Proof of work is here, but who can stake me some silicon?

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When we recorded this podcast episode, we heard rumblings that the Ethereum merge was coming. Now it’s here, and we’re in watch-and-wait mode to see its impact. Meanwhile, it seems to be the best and worst of times in the world of chip manufacturing. NVIDIA and AMD are releasing a new line of GPUs while automobile manufacturers have no choice but to cut back on features. Now that mining crypto is dead, maybe we can finally upgrade our video card. Today’s podcast brings up a lot of questions about humanity and its devices. Ben and Matt reflect on the challenges of hybrid work for hardware developers, Apple Watch’s health features, and Ethereum’s promise for energy efficiency.

It finally happened. In the words of the Ethereum Foundation, ETH is now “ready for its interstellar voyage,” having transitioned from proof of work to proof of stake. With no centralized authority insisting on a ship date, we’re witnessing a feat. We’re all wondering what comes next.

The Great Debate about hybrid and remote work continues. Is the decentralized talent movement winning? What can we do to prevent cabin fever? What do government workers do with their laptops if they need to cross the border?

The semiconductor chip shortage hasn’t ended yet, but some companies seem to be hurting more than others. What gives?

We conclude with a reflection on the new Apple Watch—and whether it can actually save our lives.

Be sure to follow @mattkander and @benpopper on Twitter to keep the convo going.

Big thanks to Androidian who is our latest Inquisitive badge recipient for coming to Stack Overflow for 30 separate days, maintaining a positive question record.


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