Cassette tape sales had their best year since 2012

Nielsen Media Research released its annual Music Year-End Report for 2017. It found that audiences are increasingly turning to on-demand streaming to get their music, while sales in physical media is declining. But some formats are experiencing a boost: sales of cassette tapes have increased, hitting their best year since 2012.

Cassette Tapes are in the midst of a revival: Nielsen reported last year that sales rose 74 percent to 129,000 units sold. That uptick was led by albums such as the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, which featured the classic cassette tape prominently in the 2014 film. This year, those numbers rose further: Nielsen says that retailers sold 174,000 units, up 35 percent from last year’s numbers.

Nostalgia seems…

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Thousands Were Saved Between 1990 and 2012 as Air Pollution Declined

Clearing the Air

When it comes to climate change, it can be difficult to remain optimistic about the fate of the planet. We are already feeling impacts such as increased forest fires and sea level rise, and as global temperatures continue to rise we can only expect more. People and most governments around the world are accepting that battling our changing climate is a matter of survival.

But, while countries like the United States seem to be dismissing its threat, we all still face the same brutal reality of our warming planet. However, amid a series of worrying projections, one recent study stands out as a silver lining. It finds that the amount of gases derived by the combustion of organic matter, such as fossil fuels and forest fires, decreased in the United States from 1990-2012. The dip in what scientists call “organic aerosols” averted 180,000 deaths that would typically be associated with their exposure.

Globally, exposure to these gases is estimated to cause over 4 million deaths every year.  The researchers believe that by tracing back the causes of the recent emission decline, we could inform policies that would save many of those lives.

Long lasting improvements

David Andrew Ridley and his colleagues isolated the trend by analyzing the concentration in the air of organic aerosols and black carbon, the sooty dark fumes created from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass.

Soot can come, for example, from old diesel cars, wood burning or cook stoves and is particularly dangerous for the lungs and heart.

The research team found that between 1990-2012, organic aerosols and black carbon decreased by 40% and 55%, respectively. Overall, this is a 30 percent decrease in particle pollution in the U.S.

These findings are particularly impressive, considering that the increase in the number of wildfires should have contributed to this type of pollution. But other sources of aerosols were so drastically reduced that the negative impacts of forests burning was eventually offset.

The study’s authors believe that the encouraging trend could be a byproduct of the Clean Air Act, a federal law introduced in 1970 that regulated the emissions of hazardous pollutants.

As environmental protection is rolled back in the U.S. and fossil fuels are promoted as a means to create jobs for the poor, the study comes as a reminder that good environmental governance is not just a matter of politics: it can deliver concrete, long lasting benefits.

The post Thousands Were Saved Between 1990 and 2012 as Air Pollution Declined appeared first on Futurism.


The TouchArcade Show Rewind: A 2012 Interview With Zach Gage

I’m in London right now for the Clash Royale world championships, and had planned on doing this real cool podcast focusing on mobile esports based on my experiences here… Then the reality of hotel WiFi kicked in. I’m currently rocking around 50% packet loss, which has made even posting these week-ending posts borderline impossible. So, we’re running a rewind. This one is a cool one though, originally posted back in May of 2012, we sat down with Zach Gage who most recently is responsible for the fantastic Flipflop Solitaire [Free]. What I think is particularly fascinating about this episode in particular is that Zach is one of the exceedingly short list of indie developers who were around for the early days of the App Store who is still releasing successful games without really needing to diverge much at all from his original titles. He’s still releasing great puzzlers, and his entire catalog is still worth playing- even the old stuff.

Original show notes by Brad Nicholson are as follows:

On this week’s bonus episode of The TouchArcade Show, Eli and I hit up Zach Gage of Zach Gage fame. You should get to know him. He’s the brains behind one of the best words game on the App Store, and he’s a super opinionated guy who isn’t afraid to have a discussion about games as art or his current level of cleanliness. In fact, we dive into these two topics pretty hard during our conversation, if you haven’t guessed already.

This is easily our most laid-back discussion we’ve ever had on the show, but I think it’ll end up giving you a really good idea of who Gage is, how he approaches game development, and how things like his personality and background inform that work. We cover a lot of ground in a really short amount of time in this podcast, and even touch on what Gage is doing right now.

To give it a listen, just click on the links below. If you’d like to get these interviews and our regular show instantly, feel free to subscribe to us on iTunes or the Zune Marketplace.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-Bonus-037.mp3, 16.5MB

We’ll be back later this week with another regular episode of the TouchArcade Show.


Google faces UK class action lawsuit over 2012 Safari privacy settings bypass scandal

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Google faces the prospect of paying out compensation to iPhone owners in the United Kingdom if an attempted class action lawsuit goes against the firm, with a group taking the search giant to court over its bypassing of privacy controls in Safari that took place from 2011 until 2012.
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Apple to Exchange Qualifying 2012, 2013 MacBook Pros with Newer Models

Due to a “severe constraint” of replacement casings with integrated battery systems for some older-model MacBook Pros, Apple on Monday issued an internal memo to its in-store Genius Bars and Apple-Authorized retailers allowing them to replace customers’ battery-depleted Mid-2012 and Early-2013 MacBook Pros with newer, functionally equivalent models. Alternatively, Apple and its authorized service providers are allowing customers the option to wait until its stock of casings are replenished, in exchange for a free battery replacement service, which would otherwise cost $ 199 out of warranty.

According to Apple’s internal directive, a copy of which was obtained by MacRumors, the casing/battery system for the aforementioned MacBook Pro models will likely persist until at least September of this year. And even though the shortage has been going on since around March 2017, the directive doesn’t identify the reason that it persists.

Rather, as a temporary solution, Apple is offering eligible customers one of two options: they may choose to delay battery replacement until stock becomes available (and receive a courtesy battery replacement), or, for those unwilling or unable to wait it out, Apple appears to be allowing some customers to swap out their eligible MacBook Pro units for a “functionally equivalent” model.

Unsurprisingly, it seems that an increasing number of affected customers have been opting for the latter solution, with some sharing stories about how Apple has essentially swapped out their older, 2012-2013 MacBook Pro models with significantly newer ones. Reddit user NoTNoS, for example, said that even despite having to wait 10 business days, Apple replaced his Mid-2012, 15-inch MacBook Pro with a brand-new, Mid-2017 MacBook Pro with OLED Touch Bar. He even claims that Apple allowed him to keep his old MacBook throughout the duration of the process; however, he still had to pay the $ 199 battery service fee.

Other Reddit users, however, have shared stories about their unsuccessful attempts at resolving the same issue, although there have nevertheless been dozens of others who’ve shared similar experiences as NoTNoS — with the majority reporting that they received refurbished, Mid-2015 MacBook Pro models as replacements, and others indicating that they were given even newer, Late-2016 or Mid-2017 models.

Do I Qualify?

In order to potentially qualify, you must be the owner of a Mid-2012 or Early-2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display that requires battery service.

To verify if your MacBook Pro is eligible, you’ll want to check into the machine’s “Health Information”.

  1. Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your macOS menu bar.
  2. Click on ‘About This Mac’.
  3. Click ‘System Report’.
  4. Finally, Click ‘Power’.
  5. Under the 
”Health Information” section of the report, you’ll see the machine’s battery cycle count, which should be under 1,000. You’ll also need to make sure the report says to ‘Service Battery’ under the condition section.

NOTE: An eligible “consumed battery,” as per Apple’s definition, is one with a full-charge capacity below 80%. You can use a utility like coconutBattery 3.6.2 to verify if yours meets the criteria.

Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible, you can go ahead and book an appointment with Apple’s in-store Genius Bar, or take your MacBook Pro into an Apple-Authorized retailer, at which point your representative will run a diagnostic test to determine if the battery is indeed in need of servicing. Keep in mind, given the varying accounts from customers, some of whom were successful and some of whom were not, each customer may receive a different offer based on a number of factors including battery mileage and warranty status. Likewise, Apple could decide to stop honoring the terms of this policy at any time, and not all employees may be aware of its existence. So if you feel your qualifying MacBook Pro is eligible, we suggest having your MacBook serviced as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, given the varying accounts from customers, some of whom were successful and some of whom were not, each customer may receive a different offer based on a number of factors including battery mileage and warranty status. Likewise, Apple could decide to stop honoring the terms of this policy at any time, and not all employees may be aware of its existence. So if you feel your MacBook Pro is eligible, we suggest having your MacBook serviced as soon as possible.

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‘Waking Mars’ , 2012 Game of the Year, Gets Update for 64-Bit Compatibility

There is going to come a day very soon where many classic iOS games are going to disappear because they aren’t updated to 64-bit. The good news is that we’re seeing a wave of games getting 64-bit maintenance updates. One of the more notable games out there that has been saved is Waking Mars [$ 4.99], the 2012 TouchArcade Game of the Year. Thankfully, Tiger Style Games has gone ahead and updated Waking Mars to support 64-bit, and fix the support for Japanese-language text.

This means that most of the recent TouchArcade Games of the Year are all good to go for the future until some random iOS update surely breaks them. 2009’s Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor [$ 1.99 / $ 1.99 (HD)], 2010’s Space Miner – Platinum Edition [$ 3.99], 2011’s Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP [$ 3.99], and 2012’s Waking Mars. 2013’s Ridiculous Fishing [$ 2.99] needs an update for 64-bit compatibility.