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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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ICYMI: Happy 60th birthday, Steve Jobs

Steve would have been 60 years old this past week. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Steve would have been 60 years old this past week. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Steve Jobs would have been 60 years old this week, a sad fact we didn’t want to let pass unnoticed. Luke takes a look at this milestone year for the late Apple co-founder and ultimate savior. Buster tours the 300 racially diverse emojis Apple added to the latest iOS update, and then gives you an inside peek at the grueling hiring process all Apple employees must go through to work for our favorite company. Rob shows you how to find your lost iPhone–even when its battery is dead, and then takes a quick peek at the stunningly gorgeous new remastered version of stealth game République.

Be sure to hop into this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine for all this and more!

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Stealth game République Remastered gets even more gorgeous on Mac

You are her only Hope. Photo: Camoflaj Games

You are her only Hope. Photo: Camoflaj Games

République Remastered is the gorgeously rebooted Mac and PC version of Seattle-based Camoflaj’s intriguing episodic stealth video game that originally came out for iPad and iPhone in December of 2013.

The development team took the opportunity to completely revamp the game within the updated game engine, Unity, moving the entire project from Unity 4 to Unity 5. By making this the first game release ever with the Unity 5 engine, they got early access to the engine in return for documenting their process.

“When Unity 5 was announced we saw our chance to make good on our two-year old promise to make a PC and Mac version of République,” writes the team on the Unity blog. “In addition to spending months completely reworking the game’s controls and UI, we knew we’d benefit from an increased wow factor on this new platform. From our dumpy office in downtown Bellevue (surrounded by industry titans like Bungie and Valve), we’ve put our heart and soul into this ambitious and at times, difficult, project.”

Check out the official game trailer below to see how they succeeded in making this already stunning game even more gorgeous.

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Epic Batman: Arkham Knight trailer thrills and chills

Batman may have met his match. Photo: Rocksteady

Batman may have met his match. Photo: Rocksteady

Get ready to watch the epic slow burn in the official trailer for the upcoming conclusion to Rocksteady’s Arkham video game series, Batman: Arkham Knight. Scarecrow is uniting all of Batman’s enemies — Penguin, Two-Face, the Riddler, Harley Quinn, Poison, Ivy, and the Arkham Knight — to take Gotham City and take down The Bat.

Sure, there’s a little bit of Bane-like incomprehensibility in the Scarecrow’s voice-over, and (barring a miracle) the Joker won’t be in town this time around, but this game is looking pretty amazing. The in-game shots of Batman plunging down the skyscrapers of Gotham City, the brutal combat animations, and the just plain high-resolution glory of the fictional city and it’s lone hero make us want to play Batman: Arkham Knight right now.

Check out the epic trailer for the June 2, 2015 game below.

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Happy Birthday, YouTube: 10 years in one brilliant edit

YouTube celebrates its tenth year running with this massively entertaining edit. Photo: YouTube

YouTube celebrates its tenth year running with this massively entertaining edit. Photo: YouTube


Grumpy Cat, T-Shirt-guy, Leave Brittany alone! Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Bill Gates. Music videos, TV episodes, vlogs, and — of course — PewDiePie.

That’s just a small sampling of the amazing video compilation edit you can see right now on YouTube, created by Luc Bergeron, director and video editor for YouTube, to celebrate ten years of the Google-owned video portal.

Take a look at this amazing edit of 198 YouTube videos below and be ready to thrill to all the video memes you already know, plus a ton you might have missed.

Can you imagine a time without the ubiquitous video service, available on every video device you have, from your iPhone and iPad to Mac to smart TV? YouTube has re-defined the way we create and consume video from the moment it came into being, and we love this retrospective for reminding us.

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How to find your iPhone’s last location even after the battery dies

Lost that iPhone again, huh? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Lost that iPhone again, huh? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Picture this: You’ve lost your iPhone somewhere, but it’s run out of juice and it’s not ringing or vibrating when you call it.

You might think you’re out of luck, but there’s one function you can enable (or disable if you’re into privacy) that will keep track of your iPhone’s last location, even when the battery’s dead.

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Power Rangers morph into a dark, R-rated fan film

Dawson and Starbuck in a gritty future war? Yes please. Photo: Adi Shankar/YouTube

Dawson and Starbuck in a gritty future war? Yes please. Photo: Adi Shankar/YouTube

What happens to a bunch of weaponized high school kids recruited to fight intergalactic bad guys? They become some seriously disturbed adults.

That’s the message in this stylish, high-concept fan film that reboots the popular live-action television show for kids that first aired in the 1990s, Power Rangers.

This film by music video auteur Joseph Kahn, produced by Adi Shankar, stars Katee Sackhoff of Battlestar Galactica fame and James Van Der Beek (who also gets a writing credit) from Dawson’s Creek as two former Rangers on different sides of the long-running intergalactic war.

Check out the dark film below (NSFW warning: there are boobs and lots of violent scenes), and you’ll never think of this franchise in the same way again.

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How to kill Facebook’s annoying app sounds on your iPhone

Tired of the new bleeps already? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tired of the new bleeps already? Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You may have noticed recently that the Facebook app makes sounds. Like a post? Chirp. Refresh the news feed? Swoosh. It’s like your iPhone got suddenly chatty and wants you to know that you’re tapping on the screen with every blip and bloop.

Surely you’d like to turn these things off. You could just mute your whole iPhone with the sound toggle button, but if you want to have other audio come through, like video, music, or (gasp) phone calls, you can dip into your Facebook app settings and soon experience the bliss of a blip-free Facebook browsing experience.

Here’s how.

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BusyContacts is the replacement contacts app you’ve been waiting for

BusyContacts is the best Contacts app replacement we've seen. Photo: BusyContacts

BusyContacts is the best Contacts app replacement we’ve seen. Photo: BusyContacts

Apple’s Contacts app is the worst. It’s slow, it has a hard time working with services like Google or Exchange, and it just plain doesn’t connect with Calendar. Even though it integrates into all our other apps, most of us would be super-happy to replace it.

BusyContacts, a new app from the folks behind BusyCalendar, is that replacement app, whether you’re an average consumer, a busy office manager or an entrepreneur looking to wrangle your contacts and busy schedule.

“Many people are frustrated with the shortcomings of the built-in OS X Calendar and Contacts,” said John Chaffee, president and co-founder of BusyCal, “which are very basic and don’t work well when syncing with non-iCloud services.”

BusyContacts (and BusyCal) are powerful alternatives to these built-in apps, giving users greater control and flexibility along with better compatibility with Google and Exchange, while still playing nice with iCloud.

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ICYMI: Top Features We Want To See In An Apple Car

What will the Apple Car even look like? Cover design: Stephen Smith

What will the Apple Car even look like? Cover design: Stephen Smith


An Apple Car? Yep, you know it! Cupertino is all abuzz with latest evidence that the fruit-flavored computing company is taking a run at the highway with a possible new iCar, and we’ve got Lewis with the features we’d like to see there. Plus, Luke spends some time with the exhaustive New York Times post on Jony Ive, design genius, Alex dives deep into your new favorite iPhone game (Alto’s Adventure), David chats about one auteur’s thoughts on the film completely shot on an iPhone 5s, and Luke gets the inside scoop on one 25-year-old who’s made 600 iOS apps without even knowing how to code.

All this, plus a ton more (see below) in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, ready for download at your pleasure.

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Coen brothers mashup is a creepy meditation on meaning of life

Look, man, just...watch the video, ok? Photo: Gramercy Pictures

Look, man, just…watch the video, ok? Photo: Gramercy Pictures

“Sometimes the more you look,” says Tony Shaloub as Freddy Riedenschneider in The Man Who Wasn’t There, “the less you really know.”

Which, of course, sounds like the main theme of almost any Coen brothers film you might have seen; the duo tends to pack even their more mainstream film work with quirky, interesting characters who muse on the meaning of life while behaving, well, oddly.

Steven Baxter, an author, broadcaster and filmmaker, has edited all the films from the Coens’ oeuvre into one stunning visual essay that focuses on themes present in many of the Coen films.

“…this essay has the characters talk to one another across the films so we can more clearly hear the Coens’ dominant concerns: identity, miscommunication and morality,” writes Baxter in the video description. “Taken as a trinity, these elements indicate that the Coens’ true subject is the search for value in a random and amoral universe.”

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