No. 110: Hack the Pentagon, SolarCity woes and dog days in Anchorage

TG it’s F: A happy Friday everybody. It’s March 4, the first day of business for the first U.S. Congress of 1789. Much like today, not much happened. It took another month for enough members to arrive in NYC to form a quorum.

Advocacy by association: The LIA released its top 10 priorities for 2016 this week, headlined by a research corridor that would stretch from Yaphank to Uniondale and fold in the mixed-use Nassau and Ronkonkoma hub projects.

The group also supports the LIRR’s third track proposal, beefed-up operations at MacArthur and Republic airports, more sewers, an energy master plan, friendlier workplaces for women and a committee to support biotechnology.

Also: Continued support for SUNY schools and less red tape for landlords.

Opposed: The guv’s $15 minimum wage.

The group’s looonger priority list is here.

Attackathon: The Department of Defense is looking for techies for a new cybersecurity program called Hack the Pentagon.

Less Big Blue: IBM, which has cut as many as 100,000 jobs since 2006, is looking to thin the ranks even more in its move to cloud-based artificial intelligence.

Looking for work? Companies on Fortune’s just-out best companies to work for list have 100,876 job openings at the moment. (So, um, why the turnover?)

Buffalo Watch: The state scrambled to find $82.5 million to pour into the troubled SolarCity plant project, where contractors have been idled by missing payments. The state has agreed to chip in $750 million overall from a variety of coffers. This week’s emergency payment came from the Dormitory Authority.

First idea, and thankfully abandoned: The SUNY Research Foundation tech fund.

Nonetheless: After a record 2015, the solar industry is poised to add another 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar this year, topping natural gas (8 gw) and wind (6.8 gw), WaPo reports.

Adds up: Big banks made 8 percent of their profits last year from overdraft fees.

If you need a hammer: Angie’s List announced it will drop membership fees this summer in favor of a freemium model with, as of yet, undisclosed pay services.

Going viral: Google (or Alphabet, your choice) promised a $1 million grant to help combat the Zika outbreak.

They don’t fear to tread: Goodyear has unveiled two tires of the future, including the sensor-loaded Intelligrip, which monitors road conditions and helps drivers react accordingly, and the ball-shaped Eagle 360, which would help driverless cars move sideways. It eschews axels in favor of magnetic levitation.

The times, a changin’: AT&T will begin offering DirecTV programming over the Internet later this year, with no contracts or need for a dish or set-top box.

About our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.

Stuff we’re going to: Tech Together Happy Hour, April 5, 5:30 p.m. onward, Jewel in Melville, brought to you by Innovate, LISTnet, Ellevate Women and Women in Technology. Buy your own beverages, free hors d’oeuvres. Let us know you’re coming.

Noted: KC law firm Polsinelli – also in NYC and growing amounts of elsewhere – has merged in Boston-based IP firm Novak Druce, adding 44 attorneys to the practice, which it says makes it one of the nation’s largest.

Artzt and sciences: CA cofounder Russ Artzt waited a full 60 days after retirement to launch Digital Associates, a cloud-based startup focused on digital transformation, the first product from which launches next month. Reacquaint yourself with someone who just can’t get technology out of his veins.

Big names on campus: Hofstra has named six local celebs as the first entrepreneurs in residence at the Mark Lesko-run Center for Entrepreneurship.

Generation win: Political consulting startup Millennial Strategies is bringing its youth focus, social media savvy and other skills to congressional races here, in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Washington State.

How about Appropriation Buster? The Air Force is looking for a name for its new long-range bomber, which it has designated the B-21. Since Northrop Grumman may sub some parts of the $564 million per-copy plane here, we figured you should help.


The state is passing out federal dollars to improve technology for victim-assistance programs, some here.

ClipFix, the Commack startup with an incredibly simple repair for busted computer plugs, is working with local angel investors to target what could be a $1 million marketing push.

The LI Index released a set of interactive maps that show where – and where not – the region’s stock of rental properties are or will be.

Don Monti of Renaissance Downtowns keynotes the LIBDC’s Hempstead meeting, April 4, noon to 2 p.m., Chateau Briand. Contact Marlene McDonnell at 516-314-8982 or via for seats.

Bohemia veterinarian George Kramer has patented pet-sized stents and other treatments that will add years to your dog’s life. Cats, too.

LISTnet is marketing offices, desk space and sponsorships at its spanking-new Digital Ballpark in Plainview.

Stony Brook aircraft scheduler FlightPartner is now at cruising altitude and looking to move freely about the country.

Long Islanders were awarded 1,149 patents last year, down nearly 9 percent year over year, Ken Schachter reports. (Requires Newsday or Optimum subscription)

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Top Packaging That Can Be Made Into VR Goggles of the Week: Coca Cola 12 packs (U.S.) and McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes (Sweden).

Mush the slush: Thanks to a warm El Niño winter, Anchorage has had to ship in snow for the last leg of the annual Iditarod dog race, which kicks off tomorrow.

Wasting not: Denmark has opened a supermarket that sells only expired and damaged food products at up to 50 percent off regular prices. There are lines.

Outside the market: Growing ranks of anti-food waste activists are called skraldere, literally “garbagers.” (We’d say dumpster divers.)

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.