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Keeping the needle on the record: Vinyl’s unlikely comeback



In a music buying industry now dominated by iTunes and music streaming sites such as Spotify, Napster, Pandora and Jay-Z’s recently released Tidal, the CD and physical music store are reportedly in sharp (and potentially terminal) decline. But a curious development in music consumption has seen vinyl, the format ostensibly rendered extinct by the compact disc with its “perfect” digital sound, make an unlikely — but significant — cultural and commercial comeback.

In an era in which even digital album sales have fallen, vinyl has bucked the trend. In 2014, record sales grew by more than 50% to hit more than a million, the highest since 1996 — and the upward curve has continued in 2015. Read more…

More about Music, Albums, Digital Music, Vinyl, and Vinyl Records

1940s nightclub served a side of horror with its martinis



A lady standing above an underground skeleton.

Image: Ralph Morse/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

America’s Most Unique Night Club.

Thrills and Spills for Jacks and Jills
Be Insulted and Like It.

A view showing the brightly light exterior of the Catacombs nightclub

Image: Ralph Morse/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Located in Columbus, Ohio, Catacombs nightclub was a delightful pocket of horrors. Opened in August 1940 by hotelier Albert Pick, the venue was presented as 300 feet underground. Guests entered by an “elevator” which, while not moving at all, was shaken about so as to appear to descend that distance.  Read more…

More about Features, Nightlife, History, Lifestyle, and Work Play

Google Ready To Unleash Thousands of Balloons In Project Loon

jfruh writes Google has figured out how to produce an Internet-broadcast balloon in a few hours, and is on the verge of unleashing Project Loon onto the world. The project, which will work with ISPs to beam LTE cellular signals to remote regions that don’t have Internet access, will be working with local ISPs rather than selling broadband directly to customers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

6 improvements for filing your freelance taxes next year



Now that tax season is behind us, the last things you want to think about are itemized expenses, 1099s and 1040s. However, starting to plan now is the best way to ensure things go more smoothly next year, and you don’t pay more taxes than you should.

It’s not easy being a freelancer or small business owner around tax time; you need to make sure you have correctly filed each form, itemized each deduction and have sufficient records to back things up, should you be audited.

Whether this was your first year filing as a freelancer or your 15th, there’s always room to improve. Here are six common areas to consider as we move forward in 2015: Read more…

More about Taxes, Small Business, Cpa, Entrepreneur, and Freelance

6 types of glasses that do more than correct your blurry vision



The days of being called “four-eyes” are long gone. There are some new cool kids on the glasses scene

Eyeglasses are an old invention — we can trace the simple but vital accessory back as early as the 13th century in Italy, according to the Museum of Vision. The true inventor of glasses is unknown, and early models were held by hand or balanced on noses by monks and scholars

But we’ve come a long way in terms of eyewear technology (cough, Google Glass). Eyeglasses have evolved from their original function into totally new and innovative ones, and we don’t mean high-tech virtual reality glasses. Read more…

More about Features, Home, Gadgets, Lifestyle, and Health Fitness

12 gorgeous record stores worth raiding on Record Store Day



It’s Record Store Day, which means you have an excuse to obsess over beautiful record stores

Since 2007, Record Store Day has been a widely celebrated event for lovers of vinyl. Shops all around the world participate, while hundreds of musicians release limited-edition vinyl for the occasion. Some of the most coveted highlights include releases from MC Lyte, The Doors, Bob Dylan and Chet Atkins, Record Store Day founder Chris Brown tells Mashable. Quirkier releases include drops from the Residents, A-Ha and GWAR.

More about Photos, Features, Vinyl, Record Store Day, and Entertainment

The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

StartsWithABang writes Before there were planets, galaxies, or even stars in the Universe, there really was light. We see that light, left over today, in the form of the Cosmic Microwave Background, or the remnant glow from the Big Bang. But these photons outnumber the matter in our Universe by more than a-billion-to-one, and are the most numerous thing around. So where did they first come from? Science has the answer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Adds Handwriting Input To Android

BarbaraHudson writes: The Reg is reporting on the release of Google Handwriting Input for Android smartphones and tablets: “The Chocolate Factory’s research arm says handwriting recognition is needed because touchscreen keyboards remain modestly effective and while ‘Voice input is an option, but there are situations where it is not feasible, such as in a noisy environment or during a meeting.” The Google Research Blog notes that it allows recognition both on-device and in the cloud (by tapping on the cloud icon) in any Android app.
It works as advertised on my smartphone, so now I can type, speak, or scribble my searches, texts, etc.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Golf cart in revolt is first sign of impending robot apocalypse



Machines are getting tired of being our pawns.

A golf cart at Loyola University Chicago is fed up with endless hours and zero pay. The frustrated golf cart rose up against its human creators by speeding into an endless backwards spiral.

If police had this much trouble with one, imagine what a whole army of angry golf carts could do.

More about Apocalypse, Watercooler, Videos, and Viral Videos Watercooler

6 apps to light up your 4/20



The greenest of holidays is almost upon us

Regardless of whether you plan on celebrating 4/20 with ice cream burritos or a trip to your local dispensary, your smartphone can provide a little extra assistance.

Connecting with like-minded people, shopping for strains or finding a local dispensary? These apps will help you get everything you need on that magical day. They aren’t all available everywhere so we’ve identified where each of these services can be had.

Check our our list below to see the apps you don’t want to leave home without. Read more…

More about Tech, 4 20, Apps Software, and Apps And Software