National / International News

Pope Francis hints at 'brief' papacy

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:59
Pope Francis suggests he may resign his papacy like his predecessor Benedict XVI, rather than remain at the Vatican for life.

Wenger warning over Walcott talks

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:45
Arsene Wenger admits a deal to keep Theo Walcott at Arsenal beyond the summer of 2016 could be a slow process.

The music industry's cassette comeback

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:44

The way Popeye is about spinach or Jane Goodall is about chimpanzees is how Mike Haley is about cassette tapes. Haley’s got a podcast called Tabs Out and it’s all about cassettes. Haley lives in Wilmington, Delaware, and every few weeks or so he gets his friends together and talks tape.

“[We] sit around, and drink some beers, play some tapes, and ramble on about whatever dumb thing you can think about to critique a cassette tape, I think we’ve talked about it already,” says Haley.

While Haley features indie, quirky and unique artists who release cassettes, some big players are getting into the cassette game. Disney sold about 2,500 copies of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" soundtrack on tape, according to Nielsen. Then, there are indie labels like Burger Records, which claims to have sold more than 300,000 cassette tapes since 2007.

What’s driving this cassette tape renaissance? Well, tapes are cheap. Jessica Bordeaux is co-owner of Portland-based New Moss Records. Boudreaux says tapes are a low-risk gamble.

“We don’t know realistically how many people are going to buy [releases],” Bordeaux says. “And I think tapes do lend themselves to more creative packaging then … and a lot of the record stores aren’t going to sell your tapes, and so you can be more weird and creative.”

That creativity can help keep super fans interested in a band — and those super fans really matter for the $15 billion global music industry. According to Nielsen, which tracks music sales, about 70 cents of every music dollar comes from a super fan. So, if a band like Metallica puts out rare or hard to get material, there’s a good chance super fans will snatch it up.

If that material is on cassette — with its high profit margins — cha-ching.

For collectors, tapes are so much better than digital music, says label Kill Rock Stars' production manager, James Reling, since you can actually hold them.

“Things have become so disposable, when you see something that is so obviously not disposable, it has that much more appeal as something that is kinda precious or special,” Reling says.

That tangibility also has some data geeks are clamoring for these cassettes, as well. That’s because Sony, IBM and other hardware companies have developed tapes that aren’t your grandma’s tapes. They can store about 185 terabytes of data, the equivalent all the printed collected works in the Library of Congress times 18.5.

Graeme McMillian writes for Wired magazine, and he says cassette tapes are appealing for the same reason music collectors might like them — they exist in real life.

“If you have a glitch with your digital storage, it could be gone,” says McMillian. “Whereas with tape, it’s tangible. It’s right there.”

So, does all this mean we really do have a cassette tape renaissance? Mike Haley thinks probably not, they're just a fad.

“Metallica, and Jeff Bridges are making thousands and thousands of tapes or whatever,” Haley says. “I think they’ll eventually figure out that this isn’t really working. I think that enough people wrote think pieces that cassettes are making a comeback, to make people think cassettes are making a comeback, when in reality writing about cassettes are making a comeback.”

Wait a minute ... writing about cassette tapes was once a thing?

This story comes to us from The Future of What, a new public radio program focusing on the music industry.

A man and his wallet, reunited after 65 years

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:44
The man reunited with wallet lost behind a bookcase for 65 years

Thousands march over Brazil scandal

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:29
Thousands of supporters across Brazil march to reject calls for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff over a scandal at oil company Petrobras.

CIA Chief Says Governing Is Too Big A Job For ISIS

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:28

Director John Brennan sees discord within the group, despite its great success at attracting new fighters.

» E-Mail This

Missing Irish game was tough - Brown

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:07
England full-back Mike Brown says missing the Ireland game due to concussion was one of the hardest experiences of his life.

Body found after empty kayak spotted

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:03
A man's body is found after an empty kayak was spotted floating in the Firth of Forth.

Can the world get richer forever?

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 14:00
Can the world get richer forever?

Long sentence for ex-Maldives leader

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:58
Former Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed is jailed for 13 years after he was found guilty of ordering the arrest of a judge while in office.

Lumber Liquidators Defends Its Products After '60 Minutes' Report

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:55

The flooring retailer says the tests used by its critics give a misleading impression of product safety. But Lumber Liquidators says it will pay for safety testing for customers who want it.

» E-Mail This

Will peer-to-peer Isas get the go-ahead?

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:50
Will peer-to-peer Isas get the go-ahead?

Nurses Have To Translate When Medical Devices Fail To Communicate

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:47

Medical technology can make patient care better and more precise. But the gadgets and computers can cause trouble, too. One big problem is that most of the devices often can't talk with one another.

» E-Mail This

Univision Incident Reignites Questions About Diversity In Latino Media

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:45

Fashion critic and host Rodner Figueroa has been let go for offensive comments about First Lady Michelle Obama. Critics see the incident as an example of racism in Spanish-language broadcasts.

» E-Mail This

Drumbeat Grows Louder For Impeachment Of Brazil's Rousseff

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:32

The second-term president faces a massive corruption scandal at the state oil company that implicates her party, rising inflation and a tanking currency. Now, her popularity is at an all-time low.

» E-Mail This

US fraternity gets death threats

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:21
A lawyer hired by Sigma Alpha Epsilon to "protect the rights" of its members says the students are afraid to attend classes.

Ferguson Mayor Knowles Slams 'Hostile Language' From Eric Holder

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 13:13

Saying that he's trying to save Ferguson, Mo., Mayor James Knowles adds that he is frustrated and concerned by the tone of the attorney general's remarks.

» E-Mail This

Ikea closes Russia site over gay law

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 12:58
Furniture giant Ikea says it is closing an online magazine in Russia over fears it could flout the country's anti-gay "propaganda" laws.

Hardaker dropped amid police probe

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 12:25
Leeds Rhinos drop Zak Hardaker for Friday's Super League game at Warrington after confirming he is involved in a police investigation.

VIDEO: Selfie stick ban for Rome's Colosseum

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 12:23
The Colosseum in Rome has banned selfie sticks to protect the 2,000-year-old monument.

Pages