No. 345: Tinkerers, taxes, the Twist and Long Island’s economic-development wish list

Peopleware: Oct. 3 has been National Techies Day since 1999, and now it kicks off National Cyber Security Awareness Month, too. If your devices are locked down and secure, thank a techie.

Half-full: It’s Wednesday, dear readers, middle ground of another busy workweek on Long Island and around the globe.

A warm welcome this Oct. 3 to new newsletter subscribers Jordan, Anita, Carole, Edward, Renee and Catherine – welcome to the show – and a happy National Techies Day to all. The annual observance, designed to inspire the next generation of techno-tinkerers, marks its 20th anniversary today.

Donuts are optional: It’s also National Coffee With a Cop Day, meant to build bonds between law enforcers and the communities they serve (in a nation where such connections can be sorely lacking, we like this one.)

Giving thanks: Thanksgiving is still more than a month away, of course, but the holiday traces its roots to two separate October Thirds.

On Oct. 3, 1789, President George Washington declared that the first national “day of thanksgiving and prayer” would be on Nov. 26 of that year; then, on Oct. 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving holiday, in perpetuity.

Sucking it up: The motor-driven vacuum cleaner was patented on Oct. 3, 1899, by American inventor J.S. Thurman.

Other patents issued on this date include an electronic device designed to control the weather (to inventor E.L. Chaffee in 1933, true story) and a “real-time holographic surveillance system” (to a team of Battelle Memorial Institute researchers in 1995).

The Giants won the pennant, the Giants won the pennant! Turning from patents to pennants, today is the 67th anniversary of Bobby Thomson’s famous “shot heard round the world.”

Let’s go to the videotape: The first video recording using magnetic tape was made on Oct. 3, 1952, by Los Angeles-based Bing Crosby Enterprises.

Tax man: And happy birthday this Oct. 3 to the U.S. federal income tax, signed into law (at 1 percent) on this date by President Woodrow Wilson as part of the Revenue Act of 1913.

Non-tax-code-related births on this date include celebrated U.S. journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell (1885-1970), Irish cardiologist and inventor of the portable defibrillator Frank Pantridge (1916-2004), influential U.S. author Gore Vidal (1925-2012) and American civil rights activist Al Sharpton (born 1954).

Let’s Twist again: And take a bow, Chubby Checker – the king of the Twist, the Limbo and other popular dance styles turns 77 today.

Wish them all a happy birthday at – but save the presents for us. (We’re one-size-fits-all when it comes to story tips and calendar suggestions.)


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Memory lane: Another chunk of Suffolk County highway has been dedicated to the legacy of a fallen U.S. serviceman. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation rechristening a portion of Jericho Turnpike as the “Lt. Christopher J. Raguso FDNY-CFD Memorial Highway,” in honor of a New York Fire Department lieutenant and Air National Guard master sergeant who died this year in a helicopter crash in Syria.

Raguso, who served with the Commack Volunteer Fire Department before joining the FDNY in 2005, was deployed overseas six times and participated in multiple missions in Texas and the Caribbean with the Air National Guard’s 106th Air Rescue Wing following 2017 hurricanes Harvey and Irma. To honor his service, the new memorial highway designation covers Jericho Turnpike between East Deer Park Road and St. Johnland Road.

State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-2nd Dist.), who sponsored the Senate bill calling for the ceremonious renaming, called Raguso “a true American hero who repeatedly stepped up to protect his country and community.”



Best-laid plans: With $750 million up for grabs, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council has made its pitch for Round 8 of Albany’s annual REDC competition.

Intent to distribute: Stony Brook-based biotech Applied DNA Sciences is super-sizing its cannabis-tagging system to secure the supplies of larger legal-marijuana producers.

Bank on it: Hauppauge-based Teachers Federal Credit Union has continued its aggressive expansion with its third credit-union acquisition of 2018.

Big finish: Melville-based satellite-communications ace Comtech Telecommunications wrapped up a stellar FY2018 with a meteoric fourth-quarter performance.



Space case: Forbes wishes NASA a happy 60th birthday – and explains why all American innovators owe a debt of gratitude to the often-maligned space agency.

Freedom from speech: A quarter of the world’s e-mailers could soon be writing in Gmail-ese, thanks to a new Google product that finishes your sentences for you.

Blue ribbon: Newsday highlights four Long Island public schools honored by the U.S. Department of Education for their academic excellence.



+ Modis Therapeutics, a California-based company developing medicines for patients with rare genetic diseases, raised $30 million in Series A funding led by F-Prime Capital Partners and OrbiMed, Aceras Life Sciences and Osage University Partners.

+ Covr Financial Technologies, an Idaho-based digital, multi-carrier life insurance platform for financial institutions, raised $10 million in Series A funding backed by Nyca Partners, Commerce Ventures, Countour Venture Partners, Connectivity Capital Partners and Allianz Life Ventures.

+ Taxfyle, a Florida-based on-demand licensed-accounting platform that connects customers to licensed CPAs and IRS-enrolled agents, raised $4.1 million in Series A funding led by Rokk3r Fuel ExO, with participation from Ocean Azul Partners.

+ Nozomi Networks, a California-based industrial cybersecurity and operational visibility company, raised $30 million in Series C financing led by Giovanni Canetta Roeder, Planven Investments SA, GGV Capital, Lux Capital, Energize Ventures and THI Investments.

+ Guardhat, a Michigan-based worksite-safety and injury-prevention technology company, raised $20 million in Series A funding backed by RTP Ventures, 3M Ventures, Caterpillar Venture Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Silicon Valley Bank and Detroit Venture Partners.

+ Lionano, a Massachusetts-based developer and manufacturer of advanced battery-energy storage technologies, completed a $22 million Series B financing round led by Wave Equity Partners, Helios Capital Ventures and NXT Ventures.



Making a list: With the holidays closing in, Salesforce calculates this year’s likeliest shopping trends (hint: think mobile).

Checking it twice: Outdoor-retail expert SNews warns that if you don’t have a holiday-shopping to-do list, you’re already falling behind (hint: co-branded giveaways are hot this month).

Naughty and nice: U.S. News & World Report offers ideas on paying for your holiday shopping binge (hint: start spending less right now).

Be good, for goodness sake: We’re still searching for this legendary “free news” we’ve heard about, so please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI – including Northwell Health, where innovation is always coming to town.