Accelerate LI website launches
Accelerate Long Island, the nonprofit organization founded to nurture fledgling tech companies, has completed an entrepreneurial rite of passage of its own, and launched a website. The website, at accelerateli.org, debuted yesterday as former Brookhaven Town supervisor Mark Lesko begins work as executive director of the organization, founded last year as a project of the Long Island Association. The website is part of a broader effort to create buzz about Long Island as a breeding ground for technology companies, hoping venture capitalists will take notice. -- Joe Ryan
Manufacturing drops again
Manufacturing activity in New York State fell for the second month in a row, according to the Empire Manufacturing Survey, a monthly report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The general business conditions index fell to minus 10.4 this month, the lowest it has been since November 2010. A negative reading indicates that manufacturing has slowed. The new orders index also fell to its lowest reading since 2010, and in a negative sign for jobs, the index for number of employees fell 12 points to 4.3, indicating that hiring had slowed.-- Lisa Du
Air-bag safety probe expanded
U.S. safety regulators have added two model years to an investigation of an air bag problem with Hyundai Elantras that cut a car owner's ear in half. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will look into 2011 and 2013 Elantras in addition to those from 2012. The agency also upgraded the probe to an engineering analysis, a step closer to a recall. The agency started investigating 123,000 2012 Elantras in May, after an Elantra owner said a side air bag inflated in a crash and a metal bracket sliced the driver's ear.
Airline delays soared in July
The number of long delays in July involving planes stuck on airport tarmacs was more than the previous eight months combined, the government said yesterday. Twenty eight planes were stuck on the ground at U.S. airports for more than three hours that month, the height of the summer travel season. Eighteen of those were operated by U.S. carriers. Sixteen of the U.S. flights were going in or out of Chicago O'Hare on July 13, a day of severe thunderstorms. Overall, United Airlines had the worst on-time rate.
Crude oil prices slide rapidly
Oil plunged more than $4 per barrel in a short time yesterday afternoon, erasing the gains made last week when the Federal Reserve unveiled new steps to boost the U.S. economy. Benchmark crude fell $2.38, or 2.4 percent, to finish at $96.62 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the biggest percentage decline since July 23. Oil dropped below $95 per barrel during the rapid sell-off before recovering a bit. Traders were unsure of the cause of the price drop.
Google buys Snapseed service
Google has snapped up the digital photo editing service Snapseed as part of its effort to compete against Facebook's online social network. Snapseed is the centerpiece of Google's acquisition of Nik Software, which developed the service's photo-editing technology. The deal announced yesterday gives Google a popular service that competes against Facebook's Instagram, whose tools are widely used to display, touch up and share photos taken on smartphones and tablet computers. Facebook completed its $715 million purchase of Instagram last month. Google Inc. didn't disclose terms of the Nik Software acquisition. Snapseed could be used to increase usage of Google Plus, a social networking alternative to Facebook. -- AP