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Where Do People Still Use Cassette Tapes?

The answer: in prisons, where CDs are routinely banned because they can be shattered and the shards refined into shivs.

MP3 players are unavailable in most prisons, as are, one imagines, turntables. California-based entrepreneur Bob Paris got the idea five years ago to sell cassettes by mail to the 2.3 million people locked up in federal, state, or local prisons across America. Now he finds himself with a thriving analog business in a digital music industry beset by piracy and plummeting sales. See this Reuters article for more details, including Paris’s best selling albums.

Recent years have seen the resurgence of vinyl record sales (outside of prisons, of course), and even punch cards seem to have been saved from the dustbin of history. The telegraph lasted until 2006 before the medium finally died, but its clipped vernacular lives on in text messaging.

Are there other examples of media that should have gone extinct but found a nice niche in which to survive?

(HT: BoingBoing Gadgets)