No. 434: Kodak clicks, ATMs arrive, Edison flips out – and surf’s up, dudes!

Busy B: Best-selling singer, award-winning songwriter, actress, philanthropist, businesswoman, political activist and self-proclaimed feminist Beyoncé Knowles has packed a lot into her 38 years.


Welcome back: Summer is unofficially over, schools are open and there are only 118 days remaining in 2019, dear readers, as we get back to it on this Wednesday, the fourth day of September.

Sweet life: A good day to happen upon a Viennese table.

Actually, you’re already halfway through this latest workweek – and it’s Eat an Extra Dessert Day, too, so turn that frown upside down.

La-La Land: Happy anniversary Los Angeles, founded (by 44 disparate Spanish settlers) as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (“The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels”) on this date in 1781.

Electrifying: Meanwhile, in New York City, Sept. 4, 1882, proved a monumental date for electricity transmissions.

Not only did the first central electric station to supply commercial power – the Edison Electric Illuminating Co. – go live at 257 Pearl St. (inaugurated with a ceremonious switch flip by none other than Thomas Edison), but the wired-and-ready New York Times became the first U.S. newspaper to electrically light its newsroom.

Picture this: All-time innovator George Eastman landed a landmark U.S. patent on this date in 1888 for his revolutionary box camera.

Also: Eastman trademarked the name “Kodak” on that same date.

Grace, space, pace: Partners William Walmsley and William “Mr. Jaguar” Lyons founded the Swallow Sidecar Company – later Jaguar Cars – in England on Sept. 4, 1922.

Coast to coast: It was this date in 1951 when President Harry Truman heralded the era of transcontinental television service with an address at the opening of the Japanese Peace Convention in San Francisco, broadcasted live by AT&T.

That’s no laptop: The IBM 350 Disk Storage Unit spins up.

Floppy success: And marking a new spin in data storage, IBM announced the 350 Disk Storage Unit – the world’s first disk drive – on Sept. 4, 1956.

Artificial man: Speaking of computer giants, American cognitive scientist John McCarthy (1927-2011) – remembered as the “father of artificial intelligence” (and the man who coined the phrase) – would be 92 today.

Also born on Sept. 4 were American industrialist and mining magnate William Dodge (1805-1883), American inventor and famed submarine designer Simon Lake (1866-1945), German-American microbiologist and groundbreaking molecular geneticist Max Delbrück (1906-1981) and conservative commentator Paul Harvey (1918-2009).

Destiny’s middle-aged woman: And take a bow, Beyoncé – the American singer and actress (known first as Beyoncé Knowles) turns 38 today.

Wish the popstar, the newsman and all Sept. 4 innovators a happy birthday at – and share the rest of the story, please and thank you, by sending some story tips and calendar suggestions.


About our sponsor: The Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy for 50 years by bringing together government economic-development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Long story: Champion surfer Joel Tudor is scheduled to compete in the 2019 New York Longboard Classic, this week in Long Beach.

No Barneys allowed: Get amped (“excited”), surfing fans! The world’s biggest professional-surfboarding association is riding its akaw (“awesome”) vibes all the way to Long Beach, where the World Surf League is staging a totally rad (“cool”) event this month.

While the crests (“highest point of a wave”) off Nassau County will never be confused with the bombs (“massive breakers”) off Oahu, the South Shore is not exactly limited to ankle busters (“waves that are too small to ride”). There are plenty of nugs (“good waves”) large enough to accommodate epic Eskimo rolls, bitchin’ helicopters and killer kickflips (“professional surfer moves”), according to the WSL – and with Hurricane Dorian churning out at sea, maybe even some extra heavy (“awesome waves”).

So expect plenty of Bennies (“non-local surfers”) in South Shore waters between Sept. 6 and 12, with the New York Longboard Classic projected to attract 100-plus professional surfers and plenty of hodads (“beachbound observers”) – a nice post-Labor Day lengthening of the regional tourism season, according to Empire State Development Corp. Acting Commissioner Eric Gertler, who trumpeted a “a unique, devoted global fanbase” supporting local businesses and “ensuring New Yorkers benefit from an extended summer season.”

Credit is due: The New York Jets (of New Jersey) have announced a new partnership with New York State’s largest credit union aimed at sacking bullies.

As the National Football League’s 2019-2020 season dawns, Bethpage Federal Credit Union has been named Gang Green’s “official credit union” – and the corporate sponsor of the Jets Tackle Bullying initiative, which is presented in conjunction with the national not-for-profit STOMP Out Bullying.

The campaign creates awareness about the national bullying epidemic by connecting with students and educators through school visits, educator symposiums and weekly programs that celebrate students who work to reduce bullying behaviors. “Jets Tackle Bullying is a cause we care deeply about,” noted Jets Senior Vice President for Corporate Partnerships Ian Lasher. “This partnership creates synergy on all levels to further engage Jets fans living on Long Island and throughout the entire tri-state area.”



Achievement award: Goes to NYIT, which this week hosts an international education conference designed to promote success among collegians.

Best in show: Goes to NYU Winthrop Hospital, which this week redefined “dog days” with a patient-soothing pet-therapy program.

Gold star: Goes to you, dear reader, for sharing this newsletter with your fellow innovators – and encouraging them to subscribe for free, truly an award-winning move.



Berry good: Food-and-beverage baron Ambrose Clancy returns with a bouquet to summer pudding – a seasonal (and year-round) treat, especially on berry-rich Long Island.



It’s sizzling now: But Forbes forecasts that Beyond Meat is beyond saving.

Temporary gains: Forbes examines the amazing rise (and virtually guaranteed fall) of the world’s hottest stock.

Job losses: Fast Company explains why a promotion is not always best for your professional (or personal) development.

Teller about it: Newsday celebrates the golden anniversary of the ATM, born 50 years ago at a Rockville Centre bank.



That blows: You’re busted, dog breath!

+ Hound Labs, a California-based creator of a dual marijuana/alcohol breathalyzer, closed a $30 million Series D financing round led by Intrinsic Capital Partners, with participation from NFP Ventures and Main Street Advisors and existing investors Icon Ventures and Benchmark.

+ Knotel, a New York City-based flexible workspace provider, completed a $400 million financing round led by Wafra (an investment arm of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Kuwait), with participation from Mori Trust, Itochu, Mercuria, Norwest Venture Partners, Newmark Knight Frank, Bloomberg Beta and Rocket Internet.

+ CodeCombat, a California-based maker of computer-science programs that teach students JavaScript and Python while they play games, raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Veronica Wu from Hone Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Extol Capital and OceanOne Capital.

+ Axonius, a NYC-based cybersecurity asset-management company, raised $20 million in Series B funding led by new investor OpenView, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, YL Ventures, Vertex, WTI and Emerge.

+ Advanced Farm Technologies, a California-based developer of robotic farming equipment, raised a $7.5 million Series A funding round led by Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory-Silicon Valley, with participation from Kubota Corp., Catapult Ventures and Impact Venture Capital.

+ Salaryo, a NYC-based fintech platform for U.S. freelancers and startups, raised $5.5 million in debt and equity funding. Backers included Ruby Ventures, which provided the debt financing, and Michael Ullmann’s investment group, which supplied the equity.



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