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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre Anchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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New iOS Game Bonsai Slice Turns Your iPad Into A Sword

bonsaislice2

If you’ve ever wanted to slash and hack your way around a party full of your friends, now may be the time. Bonsai Slice is a new free-to-play multi-player iPad-only party game that has you using your iPad as a sword, slicing and dicing your way through a bunch of wacky objects. You’ll collect new swords, chase high scores and crazy combos, and compete with your friends in real time and online.

You can even play in single-player mode, but where’s the fun in that?

Check out the video below for a taste of the sword-swinging action.

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9 key takeaways from Apple’s surprising earnings call

Photo: Alex Washburn / Wired

Photo: Alex Washburn/Wired

Apple turned what could have been a deathly boring financial ritual into an occasion for celebration Wednesday, posting record numbers and making headlines with some unexpected moves.

Here’s our take on everything you need to know from the latest quarterly earnings call.

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Apple Bares Bottom Line: Live Coverage Of Q2 Earnings Call

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook will put his iPhone on speaker this afternoon to tell the world how much money Apple has made selling us insanely great gadgets, and we’ll be liveblogging the call.

During the quarterly earnings report, which starts at 2 p.m. Pacific, Cook and company will share details about Apple’s Q2 financial performance with investors and the rest of the faithful.

Some analysts predict a yawn-inducing “business as usual” earnings report, but you never know – Cook might have to sing some fancy arpeggios if the numbers don’t jibe with predictions made last year, when he crowed about exciting products in the Apple pipeline.

Whether Tim’s talk leads to boos or a standing ovation, Cult of Mac will brave the recital of all the mind-numbing money-speak to help you tune in to the true meaning behind it all. Keep this page open as we post all the interesting bits.

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Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve Is Full Of Understated Style [Review]

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Not everyone has a fancy computer backpack or messenger bag. Some folks just have non-techie backpacks, bags, or luggage, and they’re perfectly fine with that.

13-inch Macbook Sleeve by Mujjo
Category: Macbook Cases
Works With: Macbook Pro, Macbook Air 13-inch
Price: $69

However, most of those folks would benefit from a sleeve or two to cover and protect their precious technology. And, if you’re going to go that route, you might as well go all the way and get something that’s special.

The Mujjo Low-Key Macbook Sleeve is angling for just that “all the way” look and feel.

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How To Disable Noise Cancellation On iPhone [iOS Tips]

noise cancellation

Some folks find that the iPhone’s noise-cancellation feature causes a weird, uncomfortable sensation. It’s a product of the way the technology works, as Apple Discussion member KiltedTim says, linking to HowStuffWorks:

“In order to cancel out background noise, the sound is not “eliminated” from the audio stream you’re hearing. It is countered by a second audio stream that basically eliminates your ability to hear it.

Since the sound and the “counter sound” are still hitting your eardrum, this can result in an odd sensation. Your ear is processing the sound, but your brain isn’t registering it. Since the inner ear controls balance, this will produce a dizzying effect in some people.”

If this is bothering you, here’s how to turn off the noise-cancellation feature, which Apple added to iOS 7. (Originally exclusive to the iPhone 5s, noise cancellation is now available to older devices in iOS 7.1.)

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How To Add To, Hide And Reorder Those Pesky Sidebar Items [OS X Tips]

Sidebar

The OS X sidebar, introduced in Mac OS X Panther (10.3), has gotten an increased set of features over the years, including the most recent changes in Mountain Lion, which let you Hide and change the order of your Sidebar items.

These changes carried over to Mavericks, and it’s possible some of us forgot that we could do these things, if we even knew it in the first place.

In the spirit of showing you how to do do stuff you may have missed, here’s how to add things to your Sidebar, hide them when you don’t want to see them, and then move them into a different order over there on the left-hand side of your Finder window.

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How To Enter Extensions For Conference Rooms In Contacts App [iOS Tips]

extensions

We’ve all had to do it: make those conference calls to services that require you to enter in a code, or a room number, or what have you.

If you call these numbers frequently and want to save a little time, you can enter in the extensions and codes into your Contacts app, but you’ll want to code in the bit of wait you’ll need for the conference call system to recognize it.

It’s easy to do, and you can do this right on your iPhone.

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How To Enable And Customize Video Subtitles [OS X Tips]

photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

photo Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Many videos that you purchase these days via iTunes or other sources have subtitles, those little words beneath the screen that were created to help caption videos.

These can be useful for someone with a hearing impairment, or who reads a different language than the one being spoken in the video, to watch these during a movie.

In OS X Mavericks, you can easily get subtitles going in any supported video, and you can customize the way they look, as well. Here’s how to find out if your video supports subtitles, how to turn them on and how to change their look and feel.

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Hearthstone Is Our iOS Game Of The Week [Editor's Pick]

Hearthstone splash screen

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft came out on iPad this week, and I can’t seem to stop playing it. The amazingly well-balanced digital collectible card battling game has got its hooks in me and won’t let up.

This is the same game as the one that came out on Mac and PC last month, but in an easy to transport and play iPad version. The touch controls are well suited to the gameplay, and you’ll find quite a bit of depth once you figure out the basic card game itself.

I spent a little time recording this free-to-play game and chatting about it in the video below.

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Better Security On That Macbook: Turn Off File Sharing, Enable AirDrop [OS X Tips]

Airdrop Top
When you travel with a Mac laptop, whether a Macbook Pro or Air, you may be leaving it open to malicious users to get into your machine.

One of the things you can do to keep them out of your precious files is to turn off File Sharing completely. Then, if you still want to share files with other Mac users, you can use AirDrop, which is more of a temporary opening of the security gates than File Sharing is.

Note that you can indeed improve security while using File Sharing on and setting up your Firewall with specific ports, but that’s the subject of a different tip.

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