No. 68: Lumbergh-speak, Google poaching and a DiNapoli probe

I’M GOING TO NEED YOU TO GO AHEAD AND READ THIS: A study of more than 250K Enron emails found that company executives commonly used phrases made famous by Office Space boss Bill Lumbergh.

JOB SEARCH ENGINE: Engineers at Google’s map unit are being heavily poached by Uber, the NYT reports. Though less interested in cartography, Airbnb has also targeted Alphabet staff, recruiting more than 100 this year.

WE KNEW IT WAS A FAD: Social media usage may have finally peaked in the United States. A just-out report from the Pew Research Center shows significantly slower growth at Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram over the past year, no growth at Twitter and a 3 percentage point dip at LinkedIn.

SPYING WITH REAL PORPOISE: Hamas claimed this week that it had captured an Israeli spy dolphin off the Gaza coast. No comment from Israel’s defense department. The United States has used camera-equipped surveillance dolphins for decades, including during the Vietnam and Iraq wars.

Although the mammals are much less effective in sand.

THROWING HEAT: LaunchPad fielded pitches this week from four local startups – and one New Jersey interloper – at the chain’s new NYIT franchise. The winners, who get an appearance before the LI Angel Network, ranged from power shopping to wireless fuel tank management.

Related: LaunchPad NYIT hosts a one-on-one with Faith Paige Wall, head of licensing and retail development for the Shark Tank brand, Oct. 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., free but 120 seats only, register here.

CANROCK INQUIRY: NY Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has launched a probe into Brookville-based VC firm Canrock Ventures and its investment of state money in Canrock portfolio companies, Newsday’s James Madore reports.

LONG OVERDUE: Henry Schein has been awarded part of a $4.3B contract to modernize the military’s health records.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Our first-ever Innovator Awards breakfast – celebrating Long Island’s best and brightest ideas – is set for Oct. 21. If you’d like to nominate a deserving student, inventor, researcher, entrepreneur, startup or established company, shoot us the basics at or call 516-314-8982.

THE DEBRIEF: Kevin Law on Derek Jeter, innovation and that pesky balance of payments issue.

TOGETHER, SORT OF: North Shore-LIJ and Brooklyn’s Maimonides Medical Center have finalized an agreement for a future merger that starts off as “a comprehensive strategic partnership, with both institutions maintaining their independence and separate governance structures.” The pair have been talking since February.

CLASSROOM TEQ: Huntington-based Teq inked a big distribution deal for educational software, this time right here in New York.

Very close by: Bioinformatics startup Envisagenics, a tenant at LaunchPad Huntington, landed a $225K grant from the National Institutes of Health, allowing it to start staffing up beyond the cofounders.

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PEOPLE: Peter Skelos, former appellate judge and brother of you know who, has joined Uniondale’s Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz et al as a partner.

NO LINK REQUIRED: Applied DNA said it has signed a two year contract with a U.S. government agency. All other details are confidential.

HAUTE CUISINE, COLD BEER: Innovate beverage meister Jim McCune tours Brewology295’s Port Jeff gastropub.

Related: Three new laws signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo ease burdens on microbreweries, farm distilleries and retail enterprises engaged in the craft-beverage business.

WELCOME LUCA: Ending a month-long countdown, Luca Michael Picarella was the 100,000th baby delivered at Stony Brook University Hospital. Born to Katie and Mike Picarella of Rocky Point, the benchmark baby arrived late Monday and was announced to the world via the hospital’s Facebook page.

CLICKED IN: Top click throughs from last Friday’s blast: Coferon decamps for Florida, Mark Lesko on LI’s post-doctoral promise and that weird courtroom sketch of Tom Brady.

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ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, represents numerous emerging companies and venture capital funds. The firm advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.


BUFFALO WATCH: Synacor acquired Dallas-based Zimbra, a maker of open-source emailing and calendar and collaboration software, in a $24.5M cash and stock deal.

PARKING SPACE, THE FINAL FRONTIER: SpotHero, which lets users book discounted spots in parking garages, has raised $20 million. It will use the cash to add a GM and eight to 10 employees in NYC, its second largest market after Chicago, where the startup is headquartered.

THEN ON TO DIAMONDS, MAYBE? Researchers at George Washington University believe they’ve found a way to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to nanofibers that could be used to make bulletproof vests, sports equipment and other products. Better yet, they think they can lower atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels in as little as 10 years.

AND THE BREAD IS GOOD: More than 100 entrepreneurs gathered at a 16th-century castle outside Paris for the Proof of Concept 21 Innovation Camp, a six-week “extreme co-creation event that blends strategic design, prototyping, co-making and co-living.” Teams will be working on such projects as a $30 wind turbine, a pedal tractor and a smartphone-controlled greenhouse.

TAKING THE WORK OUT OF FINDING WORK: Planted is a website and a mobile app that helps recent college grads land jobs at innovative companies using a millennial-friendly, interactive interface.

MUCH SCARIER THAN ROBOTS: Scientists have found a way to change the structure of DNA using copper salts and an acid commonly used in shampoo, paving the way for computers built with human genetic material instead of silicon.


People who work more than 55 hours per week have a 33 percent better chance of stroke and are 13 percent more likely to develop coronary disease.

Not necessarily related: Men who father children before the age of 25 have a much higher chance of dying in middle age.

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GOOD LUCK WIT DAT: Bloomingdale’s is asking a shopper to return $17K worth of items purchased with a rewards gift card inadvertently emailed to some customers. The goods include a $10K pair of diamond earrings, a $5K watch and a Louis Vuitton bag. The store is offering a $100 gift card in exchange, according to BuzzFeed.

AND NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER: Hackers dumped 9.7 gigabytes of personal information from the Ashley Madison adultery site, including names, addresses, birthdays and credit card information. Oh, and bedroom preferences, including the comments of one male customer who said he liked the New York Yankees and large breasts.

Related: Check to see if you’ve been outed at

IT DID, AFTER ALL, START WITH AN APPLE: Playboy ranked NYC the sexiest American City, largely on the abundance of its nightlife. Detroit was voted least sexy because of its “crime, grime, lousy weather and supersized locals.”

SPOON FEEDING: Soupman, the brand made famous by the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld, is diversifying its menu to include sandwiches and organic options and will expand its supermarket business and add soup trucks, Crain’s reports.

PLEASE CALL YOUR OFFICE: New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater, America’s mostfamously missing man, mysteriously vanished 85 years ago this month. Last seen: Aug. 6, about 9:30 p.m., outside Billy Haas’ Chophouse on West 45th. Most recently searched for: Under the boardwalk at Coney Island.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. In France. Thanks for reading.