People Apparently Still Buy CDs, Larry King Tweets by Dictation, and More…[Tech News Digest]
Also: the amazing safety feature in new table saws, Google and Intel team up with Swiss watch maker TAG Heuer, the feature no one noticed is missing from Apple Watch, and Slack finally releases a Windows version.
Streaming Earned More Than CDs For The First Time in 2014
— Financial Times (@FT) March 19, 2015
When was the last time you actually bought a CD? For me it’s been at least 10 years, and I’m sure most of you can say the same.
But here’s the crazy thing: 2014 was the first time that streaming services, like Spotify or Rdio, generated as much revenue as CD sales. Streaming services generated $1.87 billion, while CDs still accounted for $1.85 billion according to The Verge. If you add other physical formats, like records, streaming services still lose out. Digital sales are another category altogether.
Think about that: after a decade of declining CD sales, and growth in streaming services, streaming generated less money for the music industry than physical music sales alone in 2014. Transitions like this take a long time, apparently.
We still think that Taylor Swift is wrong about Spotify , but we’ll admit these numbers help explain her point of view. Expect artists and record companies to demand better compensation from Spotify and similar services in the next few years.
Larry King’s Magically Convoluted Twitter System
Broadcasting legend Larry King has 2.6 million Twitter followers, but apparently doesn’t use the service the way you or I do. As a Washington Post profile points out:
When Larry King wants to tweet, he doesn’t log onto the Internet. He pops open the flip phone stored in the shirt pocket between his suspender straps and calls the number for a voicemail set up specifically for this purpose. Then he dictates a thought that will be picked up by an assistant and transcribed onto his @KingsThings Twitter account.
It’s elaborate, sure, but be thankful: without this system we’d be deprived of all sorts of insights.
— Larry King (@kingsthings) March 18, 2015
I kid, of course: obviously Larry King is a great interviewer who long ago earned the right to talk about whatever he wants to on Twitter (however he sees fit to do so).
New Table Saw Saves Lives Without Self-Destructing
And now: table saws!
You might think that this isn’t a technology story, but you’re wrong. As Gizmodo reports the safety feature inside modern table saws is mind blowing. For around a decade such saws detected when the blade touched human flesh – prompting a kill switch. If you touch the blade, it retracts, a feature that has surely saved lives.
The problem: this retraction completely destroyed the saw. Yes, not losing a limb or your life is nice, but breaking your saw is pretty expensive.
Which brings us to the REAXX Portable Jobsite Table Saw, which can be quickly repaired after such an incident. This video demonstrates the new tech, and will also get you really pumped up about table saws.
I need to somehow make this music the soundtrack to my life.
Google, Intel and TAG Heuer Join Forces For Connected Watch
Swiss watchmakers’ reactions to Apple’s upcoming wearable device have been mixed. Some say it’s not a threat, and that analogue watches are too unique to be threatened by a mere gadget.
High end watch makers TAG Heuer, on the other hand, are jumping into the fray. They’re joining forces with Google and Intel to compete with Apple in the space.
The watch will apparently hit shelves later this year, meaning the high-end smart watch market is going to get crowded.
The Apple Watch Has No Browser, And No One Noticed
Speaking of watches: former Apple employee Paul Canetti pointed out something interesting yesterday: the Apple Watch doesn’t have a browser, and no one seems to have noticed.
Imagine if Apple Watch had no Messages or no Weather or no… Uber!!! People would riot. But no Safari? No problem.
It’s not likely that a web browser would be much fun to use on such a tiny screen, but this does bring up questions. Does the future of wearable technology simply not include the open web, as seen through a browser? Perhaps.
Slack Releases Windows Version
I’m not sure MakeUseOf, as you know it, would be possible without Slack – it’s how our globally scattered team communicates throughout the day. But there’s been one consistent complaint about the service: despite clients for iPhone, Android, and even Mac, Windows users are stuck in the browser.
Not anymore: Slack released a Windows version today. The new version means anyone who uses Slack with multiple teams can do so without keeping separate tabs open, see native Windows notifications, and minimize Slack to the system tray.
Linux users are left out, as always, but there’s an unofficial Ubuntu Slack client if you know where to look.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you use streaming services, or are you one of the people propping up the CD market? Is it because you forgot to cancel your Columbia House membership?
Do you think a Swiss watch can compete with Apple in the smart watch category? Have you ever been saved by a power tool’s safety feature?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.