Staff picks for the week of Aug. 25, 2015

 In News, Staff Picks

Today we look at new tech, a new tech hotspot, and an unfolding challenge for tech startups.

Staff Picks General

The Noise Around You Could Strengthen Your Passwords (Read by Heidi B.)

Who knew the clink of a dish could better protect you from hackers? The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is making that possible with its new Sound-Proof authentication tool. When users log in to a Sound-Proof-enabled site, the tool automatically (read: you don’t have to do anything!) pings both your browser and your phone, captures a few seconds of ambient sound from each, and compares the two to ensure they are indeed in the same room. This is in contrast to standard two-factor authentication, which requires you to enter a code from your phone to access a website on a PC. An effortless way to better protect yourself – that’s something I can get behind!

How blazing Internet speeds helped Chattanooga shed its smokestack past (Read by Camillia S.)

Although it’s a lengthy read, this article paints a picture of old Chattanooga and the new-and-improved Chattanooga. Once described by the late, great Walter Cronkite as, “the dirtiest city in America” (pollution, not culture), Chattanooga is now buzzing with young people looking to set up shops for their tech startups. What’s the attraction? Apparently Tennesseans in the city have been sitting on a gold mine, also known as The Gig, which gives them access to ultra-high-speed Internet. The lush greenery and affordable living isn’t bad either.

Hot Tech Start-Ups May Face a Long and Bumpy Fall (Read by Ed M.)

After pretending that the worst week for American stocks since 2011 did not tempt me to log in to my 401k account, look around for 30 minutes, and then make absolutely no changes, I found this article discussing the effect of the recently bumpy market on tech startups. Quite simply, less investor confidence results in less available venture activity for an increasingly crowded group of start-ups. (There are currently 131 tech start-ups valued at $1 billion or more, up from less than 12 in 2010). As always, the most sound business models will survive. However, many of the entrepreneurs running today’s startups weren’t even in junior high when the original dot-com bubble crashed in 1999 – 2000. Are they students of history? Stay tuned …

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