Hashtag Trending Jan. 17 – ‘Adaptive’ transistors; Kosovo crypto panic; Walmart NFT

Researchers create a new transistor that adapts to its workload, the Kosovo cryptocurrency mining ban has miners panicking, and Walmart files applications for NFTs and its own tokens.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, January 17th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

A team of researchers with the Vienna University of Technology has apparently found a way to reduce the transistors needed to build a processor. The new transistors are adaptive and can change their configuration based on workload requirements. According to tech publication Tom’s Hardware, this new method reduces the transistor needed by 85 per cent. The reduction in transistor count could also mean lower power consumption, which is an increasing concern in today’s hyperscaling computing environments. The researchers also claim that this new tech is scalable and deployable. Initial adoption is expected to be limited, it’s more likely that these new transistors will complement certain semiconductor designs.

The recent cryptocurrency mining ban in Kosovo has left miners in a panic. According to the Guardian, miners in the country are now either trying to move their equipment elsewhere to continue their operations, or are selling them off at a loss. This is certainly good news for the consumer PC market, but that wasn’t the main motivation for the ban. As we discovered in a previous episode of Hashtag Trending, the enormous amount of electricity mining consumed crashed Kosovo’s energy grid. The country not only imports its energy, but towards the end of the year, had to subsidize $20 million euros in additional energy as many citizens were left without power.

And finally, Walmart is planning on selling NFTs and virtual goods, as well as launching its own cryptocurrency. On Dec. 30, the retail giant filed several applications, some of which included financial services for cryptocurrency, NFTs and blockchain. It also filed applications for a financial exchange for its virtual currency, and tokens for its online community. Eventually, Walmart plans on creating a virtual retail store for all of its products, ranging from appliances to video games.

And finally, don’t be surprised to see your Netflix subscription becoming a little more expensive this month. The streaming service has raised the cost of its basic plan by $1 and its premium plan by $2. With the increase, a basic plan now costs $10 in Canada and a premium plan, $20. Given how many subscribers also pay for other platforms like Disney+ or Hulu, the cost could quickly add up if all these platforms increase their fees. Netflix explained straightforwardly that the price increase is to offset its investment in content.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected]

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