No. 250: Bionic eyes, cop cameras in the classroom and Brickhouse finally turns legal

A bionic eye is amazing hope where there once was none.

Howdy: Yep, it’s Wednesday out there. Welcome new readers Norm, Beth, Jiv Monkey, Sandeep and three more who go by numbers. Happy to have you aboard. Don’t forget to send story ideas, news, promotions, carps, complaints and corrections to

Brand incubator: Roosevelt Field has established a scalable retail platform to help startups and established brands find their footing or launch new products and directions. And, believe it or not, it’s brick and mortar.
Favorite snack:

A “bionic eye” implanted by Stony Brook University surgeons has improved the sight of a long-blind Port Jefferson woman to the extent that she could tell her doctor he looked like a Cheeto.

Also worth a look: Don’t forget to take a gander at Cerini & Associates’ tech industry insights report.

21 Club: The Brickhouse Brewery, which introduced craft beer to Long Island’s south shore, turns legal drinking age.

Also spots nappers: Farmingdale State College has begun using police body cameras in Criminal Justice classes, giving students a chance to witness and then discuss a staged crime both live and from the camera’s perspective.

Congrats: 56 Long Island students are among the 491 semifinalists named nationally in the prestigious 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.

In the can: AriZona Iced Tea co-founder Don Vultaggio was named the 264thwealthiest American by Forbes magazine. President Trump slid 92 spots to 248.

Hello NYC: Aetna has decided to bail on Connecticut and will lease space for a new corporate headquarters near Chelsea Market. The move is valued at around $85 million, plus 250 jobs.

Amazon HQ prediction of the week: A growing number of relocation experts believe the city of choice will be Toronto, largely to avoid complications from any Trump administration ban on foreign tech workers.

But: Newark really thinks it has a shot.


Boost the flow: Insilico Medicine, a Baltimore-based biotech research company, hopes to revolutionize cancer drug development by using artificial intelligence to slash the time necessary to commercialize research.

Related: Seattle-based Wellpepper took the $125,000 grand prize in the Alexa Diabetes Challenge, a competition to develop voice technology specifically to help people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Its entry, Sugarpod, is an interactive care and management plan, paired with a voice-enabled scale and foot scanner, that’s meant to help people with the disease integrate new behaviors into their daily routines.

And: Last year the FDA approved the first artificial pancreas for general use. The technology is designed to automatically monitor and inject insulin as needed, in patients with type 1 diabetes. Now a team at Harvard has developed an even more sophisticated system that connects to a patient’s smartphone and learns their habits, enabling glucose levels to be kept within healthy ranges.

ICYMI: Uber and SoftBank are expected to reach an agreement within the next week on the pricing of the deal that will pave the way for the Japanese tech conglomerate to acquire as much as one-fifth of the company.

Related: SoftBank is also looking to raise a $100 billion tech fund that would top its existing $93 billion Vision Fund.

Collide-o-scope: Less than two weeks after the Nobel committee awarded this year’s physics prize for spotting the universe’s four gravitational waves, researchers have found a fifth. The others were the results of two black holes merging, this one by two neutron stars colliding.

Good ROI: Just 2.5 hours of exercise each week will significantly improve your life according to a study published in The Lancet. That’s about 21 minutes of moving your body per day.

Does not include Lincoln Logs: Five toys to teach your kids the basics of engineering.

Is bike sharing the next Uber? San Francisco-based bike sharing company LimeBike said it raised $50 million in funding led by Coatue Management, valuing the company at $225 million. Started just 10 months ago, it raised $12 million in March and already operates in 20 U.S. markets.

About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for more than 45 years by bringing together government economic development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.


+ boostr, a NYC and San Francisco-based CRM platform for media and advertising companies, closed a $1 million seed funding round. Backers included Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and CEOs Jon Steinberg and Bryan Goldberg of Cheddar and Bustle.

+ Butterfly, the NYC-based employee intelligence and management coaching platform, raised $2.4 million in seed funding.

+ Zype, a cloud-based distribution service that helps video businesses to build, manage and grow their own streaming services, raised $4.9 million in a Series A led by Runa Capital.

+ CastBox, a San Francisco-based audio platform that allows users to listen to and share their favorite content, raised $16 million in funding led by Qiming Venture Partners.


Murder, she modeled: Frances Glessner Lee, the mother of forensic science, created meticulous and gruesome dioramas of murder scenes, which are still used to train police today.

ID, please: Facebook is looking to hire people who have national security clearances, a move the company thinks is necessary to prevent foreign powers from manipulating future elections through its social network.

Psst: Spyscape, a museum devoted to espionage, opens in NYC in December.

Who moved my cheese? Rescue the dried out cheese in your fridge with this classic Spanish preservation hack. Queso en aceite, literally cheese marinated in oil, breathes new life into old curds.

Might we note: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great organizations like the LIBDC.

Compiled by John Kominicki and Marlene McDonnell