No. 205: Farrell Fritz on the move, kudos for Canon and lusting after your digital assistant

Susan Bennett, the voice of the digital assistant Siri.

TG it’s F: A happy Friday, gentle readers, and hope you’ve been keeping your powder dry. It’s National Beer Day, which celebrates the passage of 1933’s Cullen-Harrison Act permitting the sale of 3.2% alcoholic beverages during Prohibition.

As FDR quipped upon signing the measure: “I think this would be a good time for a beer.”

Happy birthday Peter Curry and Clark Gillies. RIP, Don “Mr. Warmth” Rickles.

Good luck with all that: Innovate supporter Farrell Fritz starts moving into new digs at RXR Plaza today. The firm is also going paperless.

Congrats: Real estate brokers Phil Shwom and Jeff Starr won the Ingenious Deal of the Year Award for a project that will convert the former Arrow Electronics HQ into industrial space for Stellae International, a logistics provider to the fashion industry.

Developer of the Year honors went to Blumenfeld Development Group for a deal that kept the Pharmapacks e-commerce health and beauty products business on Long Island.

Point of interest: The Arrow headquarters was an industrial building that was converted into office space.

The awards were announced at the annual gala of the Association for a Better Long Island and the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society.

Trivia: The gala is often called the Liar’s Ball.

Also: Canon USA has received the EPA’s top Energy Star award for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing energy-efficient products. It also won last year.

The name drop: A big Innovate shout out to everyone at our Tech Together mixer this week, including Innovator of the Year winner Dan Giacopelli, the ever-vivacious Carol Lane, Jody Fisher, Carl Corry, Alon Kapen, John Culbertson and Jonathan Rudes. And good to run into Joe Campolo and Anthony Acampora.

Not bad: New York is ranked No. 27 among the states for tech employment, according to the latest CompTIA Cyberstates report. Oh, and tenth in the number of tech-related patents.

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Hofstra University took four of the top spots representing Long Island in the annual statewide $100,000 DARE college business plan competition.

Northwell Health unveiled a 3D-printed, amphibious prosthetic leg that will get disabled vets and other amputees back in the pool.

FlightPartner Technologies has snagged the CEO of a top competitor, who onboards as COO.

Stony Brook University wrapped its annual Innovation Boot Camp, and campers got a lot more than a T-shirt.

An SBU-led research team has created an automated computer server that calculates complex computations for modeling the protein interactions involved in diseases. We translate the science.


Keith Sawyer pitches the power of science in building creative potential, Hofstra, April 19, 4:30 p.m.

Getting along with the FDA, specifically on food labeling, April 19, 8 a.m., Melville Marriott, Nixon Peabody, industry experts and Kominicki, please register.

The LIA talks clean water with State Sen. Kemp Hannon and The Nature Conservancy, April 13, 8 a.m., lower level of the BoA building in Melville.

The fabulous Dave Pennetta helms the Real Estate Institute’s spring symposium, April 28, Stony Brook Garden Inn, info and tickets here.

The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.

A few words from our sponsor: Sahn Ward Coschignano is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. Our attorneys are thought leaders, dedicated to achieving success through excellence. With our broad experience in land use, development, real estate and environmental law, we have the vision to serve our clients and our communities. Please visit


That includes 20 Hispanic-owned firms: 732 U.S. companies expressed interest in helping build the Trump administration’s proposed wall on the border with Mexico. Customs and Border Protection will now select a few of the proposals and fund prototypes, not sure how many, possibly in June if money is available, the agency said.

Lights out: General Electric is considering selling its light bulb division, once-staggering profits from which allowed the company to expand into such businesses as appliances, jet engines and finance, many also since sold as GE retools for the future. The bulb division could fetch $500 million, the WSJ suggests.

Fare disclosure: More than 8,200 Uber and Lyft drivers flunked Massachusetts’ new tough background check, most for having suspended licenses but including those with records of violent crime, DUIs and reckless driving. 51 were registered sex offenders.

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Stag party: The state Department of Environmental Conservation says New York hunters killed about 214,000 deer in 2016, up 5 percent from 2015. However, there was a big year-over-year drop in black bear shootings.

The big number: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he plans to sell $1 billion worth of stock each year to fund his Blue Origin rocket venture, via which he hopes to begin offering space flights to the hoi polloi as early as next year.

Data point: With his current holdings, Bezos could do that for almost 80 years.

Scary survey of the week: 26% of voice technology users admitted having had sexual fantasies about their digital assistant, which include products named Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Another 37% said they wished their voice assistant was a real person. That did laundry. (OK, kidding about the laundry.)

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.