Opinion

Productivity, in the age of telecommuting

By SHONA ST. ANGELO // Many companies across the country, such as Aetna and Dell, are allowing employees to work remotely. Employees save money normally spent on gas and transit costs, and save valuable hours normally spent commuting to an office. Telecommuting can also benefit employers, who can take advantage of savings from decreased occupancy costs and travel-expense reimbursements. Money saved can then be spent on customer acquisition and marketing, which will ultimately yield higher…

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Big projects deserve better environmental oversight

By MICHAEL SAHN // This year’s state budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars for big projects on Long Island, including a proposed bridge or tunnel to Westchester and a deep-water port in Shoreham, a new customs station at MacArthur Airport and money to beef up the Ronkonkoma and Nassau Hub projects. There’s funding for new R&D facilities, an engineering school, even money for a third track on the LIRR. If we are going to…


Can entrepreneurship keep you young?

By JOHN KOMINICKI // New Hyde Park resident Mary Putre is on the waiting list for “Shark Tank,” the insanely popular TV show on which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a group of cranky investors. They say it could take another year or so to get her on camera. That’s not because her product – a snow shovel to which icy sludge will not stick – is a potential victim of climate change. The wait reflects…


Russian space geeks hitch their wagon to a star

Have an extra $7 you can’t figure out what to do with? You could help launch the first manmade star. That’s the smallest Kickstarter donation level for Mayak, a giant reflector some renegade Russian scientists hope to put into orbit this summer, making it the brightest object in the night sky. Um, Kickstarter? Yes. These are private, nongovernment scientists who have spent two years designing, building and stratosphere-testing the device, which Roscosmos, the Russian NASA,…


Infrastructure and other fashion necessities

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s promise of millions of dollars in new infrastructure projects for Long Island is a lot like getting socks and underwear for your birthday. They’re useful, but a bit of a letdown when you’re hoping for a new bike. And the governor has certainly been handing out Schwinn Phantoms in other parts of the state. $4 billion overhauls of LaGuardia and JFK airports. $1 billion to spruce up the Javits Center. Hundreds of…


Marvin Minsky and the future of the workplace

By JOHN KOMINICKI // Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence whose work helped create the personal computer and the Internet, died in Boston over the weekend at the age of 88. The son of a noted NYC ophthalmologist, Minsky attended a string of private science and prep schools, then Harvard and Princeton, before settling in as a professor at MIT. There, with colleague John McCarthy, Minsky founded the school’s Artificial Intelligence…


Apartment development claws its way back

By JOHN KOMINICKI Getting an apartment on Long Island is a lot like ordering a lobster. Well, except one of them doesn’t have mushy green stuff inside. (And if it does, I suggest you don’t rent it.) No, I’m referring to the concept of “market price,” which is usually what the menu says next to the lobster entrée. It’s restaurant-speak for “We plan to charge you the most we possibly can.” And so it goes…