No. 97: Grill bots, Katie shuffles and Didit done it again

It’s Monday: A great start to the week everybody and welcome new readers, including Greg, Gordon, Theresa, Dror, Mona, Matt, Barry, Marissa and Amanda. Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman, from whom the ’60s got LSD, was born on this day in 1906.

Foreign service: Susan Sadocha, chief of the Island’s U.S. Export Assistance Center, sits down with Innovate to discuss the ever-growing overseas push by local manufacturers. Really big trade show in Germany in April you should maybe attend, BTW.

Speed demon: After unveiling a $52 billion rebuilding spree that would freshen up just about everything in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tacked on proposals for high-speed broadband and better train stations.

Maybe Howard knows: Empire State Development chief Howard Zemsky, due to speak in Islip on Feb. 3, may have the inside track on how the governor plans to pay for it all.

Thirst for answers: Rep. Steve Israel joins an all-star panel (including activist Seth Siegel and Texas Tech’s Danny Reible, plus NYIT notables) for a debate on innovation and technology solutions to the global water crisis. Feb. 1 at NYIT’s auditorium on Broadway. Free but it’s at 8:30 a.m.

No pun intended, we guess: Didit, the Mineola-based software cum marketing giant, has acquired Plainview’s Laser Image Corp., a digital print and mail shop. Didit CEO David Pasternack said he would transform the operation into a “cutting-edge, direct marketing factory that will ‘push the envelope’ on speed, capability and effectiveness.”

Hey, we’re burgeoning: The LIA hired former OSI exec Linda Amper to help launch a Long Island Bio initiative, to be chaired by Cold Spring director Bruce Stillman and Canon EVP Seymour Liebman. The LIA said the committee “will serve as a platform for Long Island’s burgeoning” biotech, pharma, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical and life sciences industries.

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Stuff to go to: A tech networker hosted by Innovate, LISTnet and LaunchPad, Jan. 19, 5 to 7:30 p.m., Jewel, free to attend but we hear the drinks cost money.

Also: Six would-be unicorns try to impress a panel of local investors, Jan. 20, 6 to 8:30 p.m., $10, LaunchPad Huntington. Beer and pizza rumored.

AROUND NY

Shuffling in and off: Katie Couric’s Rebuilding America series for Yahoo kicks off Jan. 15 with a report on Buffalo, in which the former Today anchor spent “several hours” preparing, local media reported. “Buffalo should be so proud,” she said on the way back to the airport.

Linked in: NYC’s first free WiFi stations started popping up last week, bringing – not yet but soon – gigabit broadband to those close by. Gigabit? That’s up to 50 times faster than your home link and 100 times that of average public broadband.

Example: You can download a movie in about a minute.

Still a bargain: Philly-based Crown Holdings will invest $132 million in a beverage can plant in Tioga County and create 164 jobs. Your investment: Up to $8.1 million in tax incentives, about $7 million in capital grants, a local IDA tax deal, plus grants for electrical and gas hookups from local utility NYSEG.

Arts beat: Yusef Komunyakaa (Louisiana-born, Pulitzer and Ruth Lilly winner, Vietnam and civil rights are major influences) has been named state poet. Our new state writer is Edmund White, the Ohio-born biographer and novelist. Both for two-year terms.

About our sponsor: The Rauch Foundation invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain success in children and promote systemic change in our communities. To read more about the foundation’s many efforts, including the Long Island Index and the Build A Better Burb program, visit http://bit.ly/1HKRWtk

ELSEWHERE

OK, this is it: Basta. Fini. Last chance for the SBA small biz awards. Nominate your favorite startup by 3 p.m. today.

They must be serious: Apple just registered a bunch of car-related web domains, including apple.car.

Also: Apple has acquired Emotient, a San Diego startup whose software can analyze human emotions from facial expressions. The firm famously studied faces during an August Republican debate, registering mostly anger for Donald Trump and sadness from Ted Cruz.

Attention Matt Whalen: College debt will continue to force young people to delay buying homes, according to a Northwestern Mutual report on millennial trends.

The 10 Coolest gadgets: From last week’s CES in Vegas. Drones? Of course, but also the Grillbot, which is kinda like a Roomba for your Weber.

A fare deal: Uber, which recently delivered its 1 billionth passenger (London, New Year’s Eve) has cut prices to goose business during the normally sluggish month of January.

Left coast calling: LA’s Perception Robotics is looking for specialists in polymer-based sensors and vision systems.

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BELOW THE FOLD

At a loss for words: The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster both chose non-words as their Word of the Year for 2015. Oxford went with an emoji, while M-W settled for the suffix -ism.

Maybe why Mickey Rooney was married so often: Female burying beetles prefer to mate with smaller males, apparently because they attract fewer competitors, researchers have found.

Whew: Exercise DVDs are psychologically damaging and should be avoided at all costs, a researcher says.

Speaking of resolutions: Keeping up with your new year promises has never been easier, thanks to apps like Strides and GoalsOnTrack.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support our sponsors.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.


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