National / International News

Spain shaken up by anti-corruption parties

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 17:19
The emergence of two new parties has blown the Spanish political scene wide open, writes James Badcock.

Several Americans Possibly Exposed To Ebola, As Epidemic Smolders

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 17:15

This week an American aid worker contracted Ebola in West Africa and may have infected other people. No one else is showing symptoms, but one person is being flown to Atlanta for observation.

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Fraternity's Defense Lawyer Not Ruling Out Suing OU

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:56

Stephen Jones, famous for defending Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh, argues for due process. He says "every student deserves a second chance."

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Clarkson to 'move on?' - front pages

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:45
The saga of Jeremy Clarkson's suspension by the BBC rumbles on, with the Sun saying he "hints" in his weekly column that he could quit Top Gear.

Tobacco tax 'must help clear litter'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:43
Tax earned from tobacco sales should be used to help with the cost of clearing up cigarette litter, an MPs' report recommends.

'Bullies called me the world's ugliest woman online'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:31
'I found a video online calling me a monster'

The Democratic Republic of Style

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:27
The Democratic Republic of Style

Missing the old Gypsy orchestras

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:24
A lament for the Gypsy orchestras that once thronged Budapest

Gruesome Thatcher cartoons on show

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 16:18
An exhibition exploring cartoonist Gerald Scarfe's controversial depictions of Margaret Thatcher opens in County Durham.

VIDEO: Should museums ban selfie-sticks?

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 15:59
In this week's vlog, Will Gompertz weighs up the arguments in the “gizmos "non-grata"” debate.

VIDEO: Oil threat to mountain gorillas

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 15:37
The Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo has told the BBC the country is looking at redrawing the boundaries of Virugna National Park

New York trio denies 'IS aid plot'

BBC - Fri, 2015-03-13 15:28
Three New York foreign residents plead not guilty in a US court to charges that they attempted to provide support for Islamic State (IS) militants.

Lego Says You Can't Build That — Because Of Politics

NPR News - Fri, 2015-03-13 15:19

LEGO rejects submission of women Supreme Court justices as product, reflecting view that the high court has become political.

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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.

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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.