No. 29: Hot startup, NY’s best beer and the faux-flatulence app you won’t find on Apple Watch

THE SIRENS’ CALL: Top state officials may now use police lights and sirens on their personal cars, according to a just-adopted emergency regulation. The rule speeds things up for the commissioners of Environmental Conservation, Transportation and Homeland Security and the guv’s secretary and operations chief. First Girlfriend Sandra Lee was not included. Capital New York.

PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GREEN HOUSES: Farmingdale State College has opened a smart energy house to showcase green technologies, including solar panels, a smartphone-controlled energy inverter and programmable window blinds that tilt to allow daylight in while still providing privacy. And, yes, there’s a plug for your hybrid in the garage.

RIGHT ON TRACK: The LIRR posted a 3 percent increase in ridership, with the biggest gains coming during off-peak hours and from trips that did not enter or leave Manhattan. The jump in non-rush hour ridership could be a sign of increased reliance on public transit as the primary mode of transportation for suburbanites, MTA officials said.


IPHONE 6-PLUS OR IPAD MINI? Apple continues to sell record numbers of iPhones, but the larger handhelds are beginning to hurt iPad sales, which were down 23 percent in the last quarter when measured year over year, the eighth straight quarter of declining sales. That was still 12.6 million units, though.

GREEN 18-WHEELING: Audi has created the first batch of diesel fuel with a net-zero carbon footprint, made from carbon dioxide, water and renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power. The project, in partnership with a greentech company called Sunfire, is unfortunately still years away from commercialization. Fortune

DOES THAT MAKE THEM TWITS? For a new generation of consumers who get their news and form their views about the world primarily on social media, Twitter is an essential proving ground. Or it should be. Here’s 50 companies that get Twitter and 50 that don’t. You may be surprised to see where Starbucks is. The list from Harvard Business Review.

WEDNESDAY’S BIG NEWS: Rubella, better known to baby boomers as German measles, has been eradicated from the Americas.

And: The FDA approved a drug called Kybella for adults with moderate-to-severe fat below the chin, also known as a double-chin. The drug is not approved for double-waist, double-butt or other areas of the body. Yet.

SEA CHANGE: Deepwater Wind, rebuffed by LIPA on a plan to build wind turbines off the East End, has begun construction of a wind farm off Rhode Island. Providence Journal.

SECRET’S OUT: Secret, an anonymous sharing app backed by Google Ventures and Ashton Kutcher, is shutting down and returning the money to investors. Anonymous apps have tried to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and combating abuse, with mixed results. See our recent piece on Yik Yak.

A PRIVATE PRIMER: Not sure what the cloud is exactly? You’re not alone. Find out quietly here from Re/Code.

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A BETTR IDEA: Ashish Pandhi and James Knaus are making the rounds to venture capitalists, including California’s Y Combinator, to fund the $800,000 launch of Bettr, their social media control app, developed in the dorms of Hofstra University. Unlike many aspiring startups, Bettr is profitable and has more than $50K in the bank. Innovate LI here.

HEY, SOMEBODY’S GOTTA WIN: The state kicked off its annual regional economic development council competition, which this year includes an extra $1.5 billion for upstate projects. (Don’t complain. We got an extra $400M ourselves.) The competition will dole out an additional $750M this fall. Innovate LI.

HAMPTON COMES ALIVE: An East Hampton plan to produce emergency solar power was one of five projects awarded $100K each in a state microgrid competition. The solar energy, to be stored in a 25-megawatt battery system, could light up 5,000 homes. Or two Kardashians. And question: Is everything a competition in Albany these days? Innovate LI

Medford-based Chembio Diagnostics has won approval to sell its HIV-test kits in Europe. The company’s Sure Check kit gives results in under 15 minutes from a prick of the finger. The company’s announcement is here.

Melville startup SulfCrete is readying its pitch for $5M to finance a proof of concept operation. Innovate LI

Hofstra students split $100K in the annual CPXi VentureTech Challenge. Innovate LI.

Huntington education software firm Teq is on a hiring binge. Innovate LI.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is taking a look at all those Start-Up NY ads. Newsday’s James T. Madore

The annual Albany 100 power list included Long Islanders Dean Skelos, John Flanagan, Pat Foye and Tom DiNapoli. Despite having secured a papal visit, Cardinal Timothy Dolan dropped 25 places to No. 86. City & State


HOW OLD? Microsoft’s How Old site, which purports to be able to tell your age from the photo you submit, became instant meme this week by being incredibly far off in its age estimating. But give it a shot here.

WHAT TO CALL FOR: Medal winners at last week’s Tap NY brew and food festival. Gold: SmackDab IPLBarrier Brewing Co., Oceanside. Silver: Hammondsporter, Finger Lakes Beer Co., Hammondsport. Bronze: Barleywine, Crossroads Brewing Co.,Athens.

WING PRICES TAKE FLIGHT: Chicken wings, once given away by the neighborhood butcher or sold for pennies the pound, have been a hot commodity ever since Buffalo invented that sauce. Restaurant-quality wings – they like medium sizes – now sell for as much as $1.90 per pound, despite growing chicken production. Part of the reason: McDonald’s new Mighty Wings have been gobbling up market share.

Plus: A day after Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle said it went GMO-free, Tyson Foods announced that it would eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its chicken flocks by September 2017. Tyson is a key chicken supplier of Mighty Wings. Reuters


A MIGHTY WIND: Apple is banning fake flatulence apps on the Apple Watch in a move that is sure to disappoint legions of teenagers. So-called “fart apps” have been extremely popular on the iPhone – iFart Mobile once topped the App Store and made $10,000 in a single day – but Apple has ruled that the Watch is too cool for whoopee cushion technology.CultofMac.

Or: Skip the story and see – and hear – the app in action here.

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