No. 30: Revenge of the Nerds, Disrupt NY and the $1,700 electronic toilet seat

Pennsylvania StationPennsylvania Station could be rebuilt, with modern amenities, for a relatively modest $2.5 billion, or about half what they spent on the Word Trade Center transit hub.

PATENTLY NOT NEW: About 40 percent of all new patents are combinations of old ideas, and that’s pretty much always been true, according to a new look at the USPTO’s files. Well, always true since 1790. Science Daily

JUST YOUR TYPE: Working on a resume? Pass up the tired Times New Roman – “it’s like wearing sweat pants to a job interview,” bemoans one expert – and embrace Helvetica. No-fuss, professional, lighthearted, honest. Unless you’re running long. Then you want Garamond. A little quirky, but oh so easy on the eye. Bloomberg

ON TARGET: LI Builders Institute chief Mitch Pally reminds us why Long Island’s young people are making trails: Affordable housing and good jobs. And it’s an issue that goes way beyond the development community. Did we mention affordable housing? Just checking. Newsday’s Christine Giordano

However: If you’re young and married, Stony Brook, Massapequa Park, Wantagh, Commack, Holtsville and Bellmore are worth considering, according to NerdWallet.

LIKE THIS? Please pass along a good thing to a friend or colleague. Forward this newsletter and encourage your crowd to sign up here.

A REAL STICKLER Kathleen Finnegan, chair of the department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Stony Brook University, has been named one of the top 25 phlebotomy professors in the nation. As you know, phlebotomy involves inserting needles into veins. But let’s not hold that against her. Congrats, Prof. Finnegan.

LINKS IN: Almost a third of you clicked through to the Microsoft age calculator in Friday’s blast, double the number who visited the faux flatulence app. Second-most popular click: The private tutorial on the cloud.

VISIT US: Between newsletters, check out breaking news at According to the analytics, we’re a growing hit in Russia and have at least one dedicated fan in Zagreb. Or maybe he’s a hacker. And wherever you are, don’t forget to like us on Facebook.

IT’S MONDAY: A fine start to the week everyone, and welcome new readers, including Brookhaven National Lab’s Lee Cheatham and Farrell Fritz partner Bob Creighton. Great to have you aboard. Collectively, please don’t forget to send tips, news, ideas, calendar items, promotions, job postings, criticisms and corrections to

CALONE FILES FOR HOUSE RUN: As widely expected, venture capitalist David Calone has filed to run for the 1st District congressional seat currently held by Lee Zeldin. Insiders say next year’s race will be one of the most expensive in Long Island history, likely topping the $15M mark. Given the $5,400 limit on per-person contributions, that’s a whole lotta clambakes. You’re reading it here first. Innovate LI

TRAVERSE DEVELOPMENT DEAL: Stony Brook startup Traverse Biosciences has executed an R&D deal with Kansas-based Aratana Therapeutics that could speed Traverse’s pet periodontal drug to market and mean millions in sales in a follow-on licensing deal. Innovate LI

THE DEBRIEF: Michael Faltischek, name partner at Uniondale’s Ruskin Moscou and Him, is also chair of the Long Island Angel Network. We get the scoop on the group’s growing role in the local investment ecosystem and a scent of its best investments so far. OK, he didn’t mention ThermoLift by name but, trust us, that one’s coming back in spades. Innovate LI



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NERD’S THE WORD: When a global corporation pitched cybersecurity expert David Raviv a $130K job with a 10% bonus, he countered at $175K. Welcome to the real-world version of Revenge of the Nerds. Long dismissed as geeks with a penchant for obscure Dr. Who references, cybersecurity experts are now the hottest commodity in business. Crain’s NY

And: What do cybersecurity experts most like to do when they’re not thwarting the next Sony hack or digital invasion from North Korea? Online CTF. You knew it as Capture the Flag.

SLEEP? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Tech Crunch ran streaming video of all 104 presenters at this weekend’s Disrupt NY Hackathon. The goal: Build the best app possible in 20 hours. The lucky 104 were culled from more than 1,000 hackers who sleep-deprived themselves at the Manhattan Center. Time on your hands? Watch the replay.

A GRAVE INJUSTICE, CORRECTED: It’s been over 50 years since the destruction of Charles Follen McKim’s original Pennsylvania Station and the loss still hurts. Even with the Rangers in the NHL playoffs. But a plan from Richard W. Cameron, the principal designer at Atelier & Co., shows that resurrecting the historic building is completely possible. Cost: About $2.5B, or about half what they spent on the World Trade Center’s transit hub. Let’s do it, New York. Traditional Building

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Beta newsletters going back to February are still being added, but most are archived here.


FOR THOSE FLUSH WITH CASH: The $1,700 electronic bidet toilet seat. How have we managed to live without it? NYT Bits.

ZEST FOR LIFE: Today is National Candied Orange Peel Day. Don’t worry. You can make your own.

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