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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre Anchorage, 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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The Meme Awakens with hilarious remixed Star Wars trailers

If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube

If Wes Anderson was making The Force Awakens, the trailer might look a lot like this. Video Frame: Jonah Feingold/YouTube

We’ll admit it: we were all squeeing like fanboys when we saw the official trailer for the upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We may have watched it quite a bit more than once, but the YouTubers below have taken their fandom to another level, with some really well crafted remixes of the official short film.

Check out trailers below starring the cast of (and scenes directly from) the original trilogy, the trailer as Wes Anderson would do it, and a bizarre rendering of it all with pets in place of human actors. Oh, and there’s also the obligatory Lego version, as well, so be sure to scroll all the way down.

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ICYMI: Build a hot gaming hackintosh on the cheap

Let's make us a hot gaming rig for super cheap. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Let’s make us a hot gaming rig for super cheap. Cover design: Stephen Smith

This week, we’ve got an amazing bunch of content for you, all cleverly bundled together into one fantastic high-quality digital magazine. It’s like all the best Cult of Mac stuff you might have missed crammed into a delicious metaphorical pastry that’s just brimming with sweet goodness.

Check it out below, and enjoy!

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You’ll love playing The Impossible Room but you will never beat it

The Impossible Room is so hard, no one has beaten it yet. Photo: Maruf Nebil

The Impossible Room is so hard, no one has beaten it yet. Photo: Maruf Nebil

Though he’s toyed with escape games for years, Turkish developer Maruf Nebil didn’t get hooked on the genre until 100 Floors hit the App Store in 2012. When The Room Two upped the ante with gorgeous 3-D environments a year later, Nebil set himself a devilish task: To create an unbeatable game that was also undeniably beautiful.

“I decided to make my game the hardest of all of them,” the 25-year-old developer said, with perhaps an evil laugh. “It’s like all 100 floors in a single room.”

While some games in this genre are about as fun and fulfilling as one of those “spot the hidden object” puzzles from a Highlights magazine, others prove truly challenging.

Some might say this type of game is purely for masochists, but others get lost in the obtuse challenge of finding hidden objects and solving maddening puzzles, all while trapped within a virtual room.

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Lego Bill Gates’ fave reads of 2014 will surprise you

Can Bill Gates get any cuter?

Can Bill Gates get any cuter? Photo: Bill Gates

In a delightful little video from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the tech billionaire and philanthropist talks about the favorite books he’s read this year. It’s an eclectic collection: Thomas Piketty’s volume on income inequality, Capital in the Twenty-First Century shares equal space with fiction novel The Rosie Effect as well as a book from the late 1970s, Business Adventures, by John Brooks. It’s a rare insight into the mind of one of our biggest business and cultural leaders of the last several decades.

Check out the video below for the whole list, and a charmingly presented stop-motion Lego film starring Bill Gates himself.

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How to keep those annoying phone calls off your iPad or Mac

Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

Seriously, I don’t want to have to ignore your call on three devices. Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

I love the idea of being able to answer a phone call on my Mac, or even on my iPad. The convergence of this communication technology seems like it has great potential.

In reality, though, I end up getting three rings for every call, each slightly time-shifted from the rest, as I sit in my office/living room with my iPhone, iPad and Mac. You’d think that such an intelligent system would know that I had all three devices in one room, and only ring through to one specified device. Until Apple figures that out, maybe in an iOS update or OS X 10.11, there’s only one thing you can do: Disable the heck out of it.

Here’s how.

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5 new comic book series you should start reading now

Legendary game Grim Fandango gets a glorious makeover

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Classic adventure game Grim Fandango is getting a brand new coat of paint, with a newly restored version of the noir/Day of the Dead mashup coming to Mac and other gaming platforms in January.

The game will have all-new advanced lighting effects, high-resolution textures, and remastered audio for today’s high-end gaming devices. It wall also have all the charm and cleverness of Tim Schafer, the designer who created many other classics of the genre first at LucasArts, and later at his own company, DoubleFine Productions.

Grim Fandango is one of the more influential games of the late 1990s, with 3D environments and a high quality level of writing and plotting that is rarely seen in video games. This new version will bring the legendary title to a whole new generation of gamers, letting them experience the genius alongside those who just want to re-live the joy of the original game on a machine that they currently own.

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This bacon looks so delicious you won’t believe it’s not real

Bacon is delicious, even if it's fake. Photo: Side Effects Software

Bacon is delicious, even if it’s fake. Photo: Side Effects Software

What does the bacon above have in common with The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Both were created with 3D animation software called Houdini by Toronto-based Side Effects Software.

The newest release is coming next month, and, as you can see in the stunning video below, it’s going to further revolutionize the world of 3D animation in movies, TV and video games.

Check the video out below, and try not to lick your screen when the bacon shows up.

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Spoiler alert: Possible Star Wars: The Force Awakens details leak

The sheer volume of leaked rumors is staggering. We want to believe while still hate being spoiled. Photo: Disney

The sheer volume of leaked rumors is staggering. We want to believe while still hate being spoiled. Photo: Disney

Just like The Force, the Internet has both dark and light sides. How you see the possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that just leaked is mostly a matter of perspective.

If you read on, you’ll be exposed to an embarrassing wealth of spoiler-y plot and character details about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film. But be aware: Whether true or not, the sheer volume of close-up detail and conflicting information will change you.

If you want to go in unspoiled, read the following rumors at your own risk.

As for the supposed insider who leaked the information? Who knows their motivation? Even the Sith think they’re doing “the right thing.”

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How to create an HTML Signature for Apple Mail

It's not super intuitive, but you can make your own HTML signature for Apple Mail fairly easily. Screengrab: Cult of Mac

It’s not super intuitive, but you can make your own HTML signature for Apple Mail fairly easily. Screengrab: Cult of Mac

We all like our email signatures to look fantastic, of course, and Apple Mail has always let you do so with an HTML-style email signature feature, starting back in OS X Lion.

The process has only gotten more complex, unfortunately, and takes a bit of patience and a sturdy sense of adventure, but it’s not too difficult.

If, then, you choose to jump right in and create your own HTML signature for Apple’s Mail app on OS X Yosemite, keep on reading.

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