No. 557: On quantum speed, EV ports and Jane Austen – and to all, a good night

The Santa clause: The New York Department of Health has granted Old St. Nick a travel exemption for Christmas Eve. True story.


A toast: To family, friends, good fortune and a rapid end of this global pandemic – welcome to Dec. 23, dear readers, and the heart of the holidays.

It’s Wednesday out there, but this is, of course, the end of the workweek (and the work year) for many revelers – so Innovate LI raises its morning coffee to you and yours, with genuine gratitude for your support through this most trying year and warmest wishes for a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.

For the rest of us: Get out your pole.

Yule miss us, we’ll miss you: That’s also a gentle reminder, of course, that Innovate LI is taking a holiday break – regularly scheduled newsletters return Jan. 4.

Got a problem with that? Add it to your Airing of Grievances – today is Festivus.

D.C. debut: The Maryland General Assembly voted to cede land along the Potomac River to the federal government on this date in 1788, making space for the District of Columbia.

Pridefully prejudiced: Jane Austen’s “Emma” – a masterwork of romantic misunderstandings that still inspires imitators – was published in London on Dec. 23, 1815.

Point-contact: The mighty transistor – a semiconductor used to amplify and/or switch electronic signals and electricity – was first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories 73 years ago today.

Yes, you can: Castaway Alain Bombard.

Seaworthy: French biologist Alain Bombard staggered ashore in Barbados on Dec. 23, 1952, after 65 days adrift on the Atlantic Ocean in a lifeboat – a voluntary experiment designed to prove a person could survive a mid-ocean shipwreck.

True story: Fifty-three days in, Bombard – who left the Canary Islands on Oct. 19 – refused the help of a steamship that happened across him, turning down a ride and even a hot meal.

Twin peak: And it was this date in 1954 when Boston surgeons swapped a kidney between twin brothers Ronald and Richard Herrick – the first successful long-term transplant of a human organ.

Kidney disease victim Richard lived eight additional years with his brother’s donation.

On the factory floor: British tinkerer and textile industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) – who heralded factory-based manufacturing with his own powered-machine inventions – would be 288 years old today.

Follow me: Walker, also the first American woman to self-make millions.

Also born on Dec. 23 were Vermont native Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844), “founding prophet” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and murder victim; German submarine pioneer Sebastian Wilhelm Valentin Bauer (1822-1875); hair-care innovator Madam C.J. Walker (1867-1919), among the first self-made African American millionaires; spaced-out American geologist Harold Masursky (1923-1990), a leading moon mapper; and soap opera standout/entrepreneur Susan Victoria Lucci (born 1946).

The TCP/IP of Khan: And take a bow, Robert Elliot Khan – the American electrical engineer and primary architect of the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, backbone of the Internet’s open architecture, turns 82 today.

Wish the computer-networking pioneer and all the other Dec. 23 innovators well at, where story tips and calendar events always stuff our stockings with joy. Ho-ho-ho!


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Virtual virtue: Surgeons and their patients can benefit from expanded telehealth services, according to researcher Aurora Pryor.

Surgical precision: Even surgical practices can benefit from improved and increased telehealth practices, according to a new study published in the Annals of Surgery.

“The Impact of Telemedicine Adoption on a Multidisciplinary Bariatric Surgery Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published this month by the peer-reviewed journal of the surgical sciences, recorded patient volumes at Stony Brook Medicine’s Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center between February and April, broken into “pre-telehealth” and “post-telehealth” categories – before and after the practice incorporated telemedicine services as per state pandemic guidelines. After telehealth implementation, new visits for surgeons decreased by 75 percent, but there was also a 27 percent increase in visits with the practice’s non-surgical practitioners.

According to Stony Brook Medicine, that indicates patients were able to continue a high degree of pre- and post-surgical care via remote healthcare. “Embracing telemedicine has been extremely effective for our practice,” noted Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center Director Aurora Pryor, a Renaissance School of Medicine professor of surgery and the paper’s lead author. “In-person care is not necessary for certain aspects of patient care and follow-up … telemedicine saves time and reduces exposure risks for patients and providers alike.”

Charge in the air: Just in time for your (ill-advised) holiday trip, the largest publicly accessible fast-charging station for electric vehicles in the entire Northeast has officially opened at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The 10-port charging station is compatible with all current fast-charging EV models and is available to motorists traveling to and from the Queens airport, as well as “local EV drivers,” according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office (buses, taxis and ride-share drivers welcome). Located just off the Van Wyck Expressway in the sprawling airport’s West Cell Phone Parking Lot, the 150-kilowatt chargers complement medium-speed chargers already located in JFK’s parking garages and arrive along with four new 62.5-kilowatt chargers installed in an adjacent lot, reserved for the exclusive use of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey electric buses carrying passengers between terminals.

A joint initiative of the Port Authority and the New York Power Authority, the charging stations mark another big step toward a clean-energy economy and the state’s ambitious decarbonization goals, Cuomo noted. “We are directly reducing emissions and helping forge the path towards a greener future,” the governor added. “Reducing emissions from transportation is a priority in our historic Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”



Chiller theater: A Stony Brook-based startup will operate in the coldest temperatures science can create, on a mission to speed up quantum computing.

Santa secret: For the innovation team that has everything, consider individual Innovate LI newsletter subscriptions – one size fits all!

Innovation in the Age of Coronavirus 12 Days of Christmas: Twelve PPE innovations, three extra months to pay sales taxes and a Moderna vaccine … in a pear tree? The lords leap, the ladies dance and Long Island’s one-and-only pandemic primer rolls on.



Here’s an early Christmas present: Innovate Li is proud to unwrap the newest ace contributor to our amazing Voices lineup, invention and technology expert Mitch Maiman, who starts off with a learned prediction on where tech will go after the pandemic.



Storm front: The remote-work era requires a new way of thinking about brainstorming sessions. Fortune considers.

Shields up: A space barrier created (accidentally) by very low frequency radio transmissions is pushing deadly radiation away from Earth. ScienceAlert monitors.  

Workforce wellbeing: The distinctly human traits of courage, judgment and flexibility still rule in a world of “extreme dynamism.” Deloitte separates survivors from thrivers.



+ Deepwave Digital, a Pennsylvania-based, enterprise-level sensor-solutions developer, closed a $3 million seed funding led by Northrop Grumman and Jumpstart NJ Angel Network, with participation from Robin Hood Ventures, Ben Franklin Technology Partners and Lehigh Valley Angel Investors.

+ Superpedestrian, a New York City-based transportation robotics company, raised $60 million in funding. Backers included the Citi Impact Fund, OurCrowd, Winthrop Square Capital and others.

+ Epirus, a California-based tech company developing military and commercial high-powered microwave applications, raised $70 million in Series B financing led by Bedrock Capital, L3Harris Technologies, Piedmont Capital Investments, 8VC, Fathom Capital and Greenspring Associates.

+ AIStorm, a Texas-based developer of high-performance AI-in-Sensor processors, raised $16 million in Series B financing. Backers included AsusTek, Egis Technology, Knowles Corp., Meyer Corp. and Senvest Management.

+ Sourcepoint, a NYC-based privacy-compliance platform of record for the digital marketing ecosystem, raised $17 million in funding led by Arrowroot Capital.

+ Locanabio, a California-based RNA-targeting gene therapy company focused on severe neurodegenerative, neuromuscular and retinal diseases, raised $100 million in Series B financing led by Vida Ventures and RA Capital Management, Invus, Acuta Capital Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Temasek, Lightstone Ventures, UCB Ventures and GV.


BELOW THE FOLD (Last-Minute Gifting Edition)

Card trick: The old plastic two-step.

Pick: Niche streaming services may be perfect for the culture snob on your list.

Pay: The delicate art of buying gift cards with credit cards.

Wrap: Putting a bow on 2021 small-biz cybersecurity.

Gifted: This New Year, please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI – including New York Tech, one of the great packages under Long Island’s innovation tree. Check them out.