Geek News

BSides Asheville is back for it’s fifth annual infosec conference. Register for 4-hour training sessions on Friday, June 22nd for $64 each and the day long conference on Saturday, June 23rd for $32. Get your conference tickets soon and tell other geeks you’ll be going on our meet up site here.

AB Tech’s Computer Technology Department is planning for next year and they’re asking for the WNC tech community’s input. Whether you’re a hiring manager or work in tech and want solid coworkers, your input matters! Take a few minutes to complete AB Tech’s survey here.  Thanks for helping shape the tech talent pipeline in our area.

Want to give back to our local region? Have you ever thought about a great way to connect learning in the classroom to the technology work you do on a daily basis? 

In January, NC Superintendent Mark Johnson submitted recommendations to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee to expand computer science opportunities to all students  (CS4All) in North Carolina K-12 schools. His recommendations target foundational changes in the education system that will enable students to:

  • Create and contribute, not just use and consume, in the digital economy
  • Actively engage as informed citizens in our complex, technology-driven world

In anticipation of the General Assembly investing in CS4All for North Carolina, the Land of Sky, the Friday Institute, and local school, government, and community leaders have come together to host a summit this spring to start planning activities and programs to help Western NC jumpstart this initiative.

Meet the Geeks is looking for WNC tech folks either working for a local company or 100% remote to attend the summit on April 23rd, 8:30 – 4:00 pm at the US Cellular Center to not only brainstorm programs and activities to support students, parents, and teachers implementing this CS4ALL curricula but also be able to help make the connections and resources to carryout these plans. Registration is limited. Click here to register.

Women Entrepreneurs of Western North Carolina (WEWNC) and a brand new coworking space in town, Focal Point Coworking, are hosting a free tech demo night. Come and network, learn about local products and solutions, and enjoy some beer and snacks. Registration is limited. Get tickets here.

Want to be in-the-know of tech happenings around town? Jay Hill puts together a great monthly newsletter on tech events in the area. Here’s the Asheville Tech Events February newsletter. Sign up to receive a copy direct to your inbox at http://ashevilletechevents.com/

This Friday, June 23, from 5:30p – 8:00p, join The Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS) for the June edition of Science Pub.

The former art director at National Geographic, Charles Floyd, is presenting:
At the Interface – Bridging the Gap Between Science and Public Understanding Through Art and Design.

Science isn’t just for nerds. It is the foundation of our culture, and our democracy. Learn how art and design attempt to bridge the gap between science and public understanding. Science Pub’s are free to the public with beverages and light bites provided by the Asheville Brewing Alliance and Ingles Markets. Doors to The Collider open at 5:30pm and the presentation begins at 6:30pm.

We invite the public to come in, grab a beverage, snack on some light bites, and settle in for a great night of science! All Science Pub’s are free to the community, and occur once a month. With topics that include gravity, dog behavior, neuroscience of bias, and more, there is sure to be a topic for everyone.

Non-Profit status helps Hatch achieve their goal of serving as an entrepreneurial hub  for local startups

Asheville, NC – May 30, 2017 Hatch Asheville (Hatch), a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity in downtown Asheville, has restructured as a 501c(3) non-profit foundation. Launched in 2016, the goal of Hatch is to turn Asheville into a city  known and recognized for innovative and diverse startup companies. Hatch supports this mission through Place, Programming and Partnerships. 

“Place” means co-locating startups under one roof in downtown Asheville.  Hatch currently has 6 startups in residence at its 45 South French Broad location including of Plum Print, LoLo, Anthroware, Shiny Creek, Galaxy Digital and UGoTour. Entrepreneurs literally bump into each other in the hallways to share advice, tips and support.

“Programming” provides a structured way to learn together, solve a tough problem or even build a new business in a weekend!  As an example, Hatch Salons provide an informal forum for entrepreneurs to discuss startup challenges such as problem solving, building teams or setting pricing strategy.  Hatch This is a weekend-long competition where teams come in with a new business idea, build the business over the weekend with the aid of mentors, and then compete for prizes.

Finally, Hatch seeks to create “Partnerships” around common interests, such as Asheville’s strengths of Outdoors, Health Care, Climate and Bio-tech.  These Partnerships will be formed between startups, between startups and big corporations, and between startups and universities.

“The purpose of Hatch is to be a test bed for the best that  Asheville has to offer” says President of Hatch, George Glackin. ”We seek to foster a startup culture consistent with that of the City of Asheville, one that is welcoming to entrepreneurs, nurtures trust, and celebrates ‘paying it forward’”.

Local companies have also seen the value in the Hatch mission. According to David Kozak, Asheville Savings Bank Chief Credit Officer, “Supporting an organization like Hatch is not just good for this organization but it is also good for our whole community. We understand that every time a small business opens its doors, hires an employee, or expands its facilities that it helps our entire economy prosper. That is why an organization like Hatch that helps small businesses thrive is key to the long-term future success of the small business community here in Asheville.”

As noted above, Hatch announced an exciting new event called Hatch This. This inaugural event, which is a celebration of startups, will be held from September 8-10. Hatch This is planned to be a startup weekend, a hackathon, and a business accelerator. Organizer Jeffrey Kaplan, Brand Strategist and Product Owner at Anthroware (a Hatch member company), described this event by saying “Participants will have the opportunity to pitch a business idea, form teams, receive expert mentorship, and compete to win prize money and office space at Hatch’s South French Broad location.”

For more information on the Hatch organization, to donate to the Hatch Asheville Foundation or to sign up for the Hatch This event, visit HatchAVL.org.

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About Hatch:

Launched in 2016, Hatch is a fresh approach to creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem. It accelerates new venture learning by co-locating high growth potential startups under one roof. At Hatch, member companies can learn from each other every day. Talent, training and resources come to them rather than chasing what they need. The Hatch campus also houses a rich mix of amenities onsite such as Hopey & Co, a grocery and coffee bar, Little Bee Thai Cafe, and the Grail Moviehouse. The Hatch campus features a redundant gigabit fiber internet and there are several shared conference spaces, a common lounge, and kitchen onsite. For more information on the Hatch organization, visit HatchAVL.org.

Jen Pahlka, the founder and executive director of Code for America, will be joining Code for Asheville for their July 13 Community Night (at the Burton Street Community Center). In addition to her role at Code for America, Jen recently served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped found the United States Digital Service.

Jen is visiting Asheville to talk with you. She said she would love to “hear about any projects, and [would] love to talk to people in Code for Asheville about what motivates them and what we should be doing to help all volunteers.”

Please RSVP so they can make sure there is enough space and pizza for everyone – yeah, you read that right, PIZZA!

retr3at Montreat College Cybersecurity Conference - Awareness. Assessment. Action.

October 27, 2017!

Each year, Montreat College’s Center for Cybersecurity Education and Leadership hosts RETR3AT, a conference designed to engage, educate, and raise awareness about cybersecurity in Western North Carolina and beyond. RETR3AT goes beyond the “1s and 0s” approach to cybersecurity training, challenging attendees to think about how to lead in protecting their organization’s information within an ethical framework.

Take advantage of early-bird registration (ends August 31). 
General admission: $125 
Educators: $62.50
Students: $50
After August 31: General admission $150; Educators $75; Students $60

/soapbox

To start, if you haven’t patched your Windows system, please do so now. We’ll be right here waiting for your return…

The WannaCry virus hit the world with a flurry and now everyone is arguing who is responsible for ensuring their computer’s safety. The easiest answer is, “you are”! Seldom can you rely on tools and utilities to protect you 100% of the time but if you execute proper personal responsibility in regards to your technical safety and well-being, you can prevent darn near close to all of them.

/soapbox

Here are a couple interesting and timely articles regarding cybersecurity you may want to pay attention to:

Cyber security and internet freedom statistics by country. Which are most and least safe?
T
his article has a great infographic.

New Trump Executive Order on Cybersecurity: Just the Beginning
T
he link above takes you to the article; you can read the executive order here.