No. 112: Cyber whomping, solar surges and what a friend we have in cheeses

TG it’s F: A great Friday, everybody. It’s March 11, on which one year ago Innovate LI posted its first story, a scoop on former Forest Labs star Charles Ryan being named general counsel at CSHL. Thanks for sticking with us.
Going fast: LISTnet has filled a third of the space at its new Digital Ballpark coworking space in Plainview.
Ouch: The Senate passed a bill renaming the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara County as the Niagara Scenic Parkway. Reasoning: No one remembers who Robert Moses was.
(Keep an eye on your beach, Maj. Tom.)
Less bang: Gunfire incidents are down 27.1 percent in the Northeast, according to the National Gunfire Index, with Long Island posting two of the top five drops – Huntington Station (-50.2%) and Brentwood (-37.4%). Read the full report.
HR fun focus of the week: The top 5 reasons startups lose employees. And burnout is not No. 1.
A homily on hominids: Scientists are bemoaning the use of “Neanderthal” to describe Donald Trump on the grounds that it gives our extinct cousins a bad name.
Tales from the crypto: Tucked inside Stony Brook University’s computer science center, the National Security Institute is taking a fundamental approach to thwarting cyber bad guys. The commercialization potential is, of course, enormous.
The son also rises: Greg Artzt, progeny of Computer Associates cofounderRuss, is adding punch to the digital 911 world. Though currently based in North Carolina, the startup has deep Long Island ties and customer base.
Graduating: Millennial Materials, a Stony Brook-spawned nano-coating startup that won big in last year’s SUNY student pitch contest, has been added to the Start-Up NY accelerator program.
Choo on this: Gov. Andrew Cuomo dropped in to help launch the Right Track For Long Island coalition, which backs a third set of LIRR rails between Floral Park and Hicksville. A carrot for unwilling local residents: A promise that seven at-grade crossings would be raised or lowered, significantly improving traffic flows.
True: One gate in Mineola is down 27 minutes per hour. And that’s with just two tracks.
Related: The Real Deal ponders the guv’s $100 billion legacy-building building program. “Nothing says ‘remember me’ like giant infrastructure,” writer Kathryn Brenzei notes.
Budding out: 1-800-Flowers founder Jim McCann is turning over chief executive duties to his brother, Chris. The firm’s stock leapt 11 cents on the news. (Newsday or Optimum subscription required)
Heading south: Biotech firm Chembio Diagnostics posted weaker earnings as sales in its once-hot Latin American markets slumped. But new Zika test kits, funded in part by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, could provide a welcome bounce back.
Speaking of Zika: A roundup of significant local virus news is here.
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Asia miner: Shared-space juggernaut WeWork Cos. raised $430 million from Chinese investors, boosting its valuation to $16 billion. China, Hong Kong, India and Seoul are the company’s next expansion sites.
Choppy performance: Massachusetts is losing the fight to become the capital of the future $82 billion drone industry … to North Dakota.
Noted: Arrow Electronics, which decamped Long Island for less-expensive Colorado climes, has agreed to another year sponsoring the No. 5 IndyCar driven by Canadian James Hinchcliffe. (Still cheaper than Melville, though.)
Low cost of goods: Exo, the Brooklyn-based startup that is marketing flour and other proteins made from crickets, closed a Series A round worth $4 million. The rapper Nas is in.
The download: Detroit is trying to speed its rebirth as a tech hub by installing 10-gig Internet service. The Motor City is currently the second-least connected city in the country, after Laredo, Texas.
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Stuff we’re going to: Serious networker, April 5, 5:30 p.m. onward, Jewel in Melville, brought to you by Innovate, LISTnet, Ellevate Women and Women in Technology. Free hors d’oeuvres. Let us know you’re coming.
Also: 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.
Update: Five public relations firms have brought a federal suit seeking to block New York’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics from enforcing an advisory opinion that would treat people paid to discuss legislation with editorial writers as lobbyists.
Sunny outlook: The U.S. solar market is set to grow a staggering 119 percent this year, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2015 Year in Review. Utility-scale installations will represent 74 percent, but residential and commercial remain strong. The U.S. is poised for its 1 millionth solar installation.
Let’s build something together. Like trust: Home Depot has agreed to pay almost $20 million to settle fed charges stemming from its 2014 data breachthat hit 40 million customers.
At long last: Social media app Yik Yak, a fave among college students, has started using screen names to cut back on cyber bullying.
Apptly put: Peeple, the so-called “Yelp for People” app that allows you to review fellow humans instead of businesses, officially launched to major scorn in the App Store. “Absolutely the worst idea in internet history,” reads one review. Another: “I can see this app ruining a few innocent lives.”
Cruel and unusual: Baywatch actress and animal rights activist Pamela Anderson wrote the governor this week to suggest the state switch to vegan prison menus.
Related bonus quote: “We greatly respect the work that PETA does, but there’s probably a better chance of me being in the Baywatch reboot,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said.
Depressing stat off the week: Only 10 percent of American families have at least $274,000 saved for retirement; the median is $5,000.
Mellower yellow: In what it called “the world’s largest blind taste test,” Kraft quietly changed the recipe for its famed mac and cheese meal late last year … and no one noticed. The company dropped the artificial dyes – Yellow No. 5 and 6 – and replaced them with paprika, annatto and turmeric.
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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.