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About Rob LeFebvre

Rob LeFebvre Anchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture 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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Watch Dogs’ scary app puts the power of the NSA in your browser

It's pretty, but all kinds of creepy, too.

It’s pretty, but all kinds of creepy, too.

If you think that the conceit behind Ubisoft’s hacker-themed video game Watch Dogs isn’t real enough, be sure to take a look at this website.

Watch_Dogs We Are Data takes real world, publicly-accessible location-based data and parses it into a display ripped directly from the video game of the same name. You can visit Berlin, Paris, or London, and zoom on down into the various regions of each city to see where mobile phones are, read tweets originating from specific spots, and see icons that represent CCTV feeds, traffic lights, and more.

If this doesn’t freak you out even just a little, then more power to you.

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The Zero Theorem trailer shows off Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi, techie roots

Terry Gilliam giving instructions. Photo courtesy The Zero Theorem

Terry Gilliam giving instructions. Photo courtesy The Zero Theorem

A brilliant computer programmer living in a future dystopian totalitarian state must prove the Zero Theorem, in which 100 percent equals 0, or all is nothing. He’s got a touch of social anxiety (“We do not like to be touched!”), a seriously bald head, and a variety of future-weird outfits that he wears in each scene. Sound like fun?

If you’ve seen any of Terry Gilliam’s similar work, like 12 Monkeys or Brazil (or even if you just dig Apple’s similarly themed 1984-esque commercial by Ridley Scott) you’re going to want to check this one out. The gloriously wacky and edgy trailer is below.

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Pretty pop music is perfect soundtrack to Battleborn’s heroic bloodshed

Battleborn_2014_07-08-14_002

The deep synth pad from M83’s “My Tears Are Becoming A Sea” fills the air with an ethereal sound in this new trailer (below) for an upcoming video game. We watch a strange winged creature land on the ground just in time for a lithe foot to strike nearby. It’s a elf-like warrior archer, and she’s running for her life.

Saved by a golden steampunk robot character, the archer gets up and re-takes her place in the battle against hordes of robotic enemies, alongside a bunch of other heroes, including a blood-red dual-sword-wielding elf-dude with long hair as well as a massive dude with a gigantic gatling gun, like something out of Team Fortress 2.

All of this takes place in cinematic-styled slow motion, with M83’s music as the perfect match to the trailer’s action. “This is something to take seriously,” the trailer seems to say. “This is a game you’ll want to play.”

This is Battleborn, the upcoming “hero-shooter” from 2K games and Gearbox Software, the publisher/developer team behind the highly-successful Borderlands series.

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Destiny pre-orders get early beta access on PS4 and Xbox One

Destiny Beta

Arguably the most-anticipated game for the new generation of consoles, Destiny aims to be a sci-fi first-person shooter from the same folks who all but created the genre with Halo back in 2001.

Today, Bungie put out the call: pre-order the game now (which is set to launch to retail in September) and get early, exclusive access to the Destiny beta.

PlayStation 4 owners will get to play first, with a July 17th beta launch date, while Xbox One gamers will get to play just a week out on July 23rd. The beta itself will terminate on July 26, with a special event for all gamers who show up on the games servers before the end of the day.

Check out the trailer below for some gorgeous visuals along with a few details.

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5 crazy Borderlands 2 Easter eggs you’d never find on your own

Borderlands 2

First-person shooter Borderlands 2 offers up a ton of guns and a huge, open-world map with more in-jokes and Easter eggs than you can shake a boom-stick at. With the help of our friends over at Aspyr (publisher of the Mac version of the game), we’re going to share with you four of the hardest-to-find secrets from within the post-apocalyptic sci-fi video game.

Plus, read till the end and you’ll get a special deal exclusively for Cult of Mac readers who want their own copy of the Game of the Year edition of Borderlands 2 (the one with all the DLC packs along with the basic game) at a heavily discounted price.

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True Blood is an unapologetic killer with ‘Fire In The Hole’

Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

Sookie is the bait in this trap. Photo: John P. Johnson/HBO

True Blood’s seventh and final season continues tonight with the third episode of the season: “Fire In The Hole.”

Death comes to us all, and that’s no empty promise with this series. Reverend Daniels calls it out: “Death is a dark and blinded motherf-cker, whether you see it coming or you don’t,” he tells Sam Merlotte.

This week’s episode is all about love. Sookie’s unequal love for Alcide, Pam’s love for Eric, Sam’s love for his lost fiancee and unborn child, Reverend Daniel’s love for Lettie May, and Andy’s love for his daughter Adilyn. All the characters act out of love and sometimes lust, but even the good guys are going to need more than blind faith in each other to survive.

Spoilers below, so consider yourself warned.

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Mega-pedal serves up soaring vocal harmonies, impressive guitar effects

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’ve been playing music for coming up on 30 years now, and I’ve tried a ton of music gear. These days, I run a fairly bare-bones setup, with a smaller amp for those close venues, a couple of dual-effect pedals (Visual Sounds’ Route 66 and H2O), and a Boss VE-20 vocal harmony box to thicken up the background vocals in my disco band.

I’ve always had a thing for multi-effect boxes, though, running through my share of a few complicated ones that never quite gave me what I needed in terms of both effects sounds and onstage ease-of-use.

When I heard about TC-Helicon’s new VoiceLive 3 mega-stomp box, with a huge range of guitar effects and amplifier modeling, an amazing vocal-harmony processing system and a stage-quality looping feature, well, I had to try it out.

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Now you can slay Monster Hunter’s epic beasts right on your iPhone

So pretty. So many monsters.

So pretty. So many monsters.

Imagine if you were actually a hunter of massive, dangerous creatures. You’d need to gear up, make sure you have all the weaponry and armor you’d need, enough ammo for your ranged weapons, and you’d have to be sure your giant swords are sharp enough to cut through touch monster hide.

You’d need to practice, for sure, and you’d probably get better over time, able to aim your sights at even more deadly monsters, because the bigger the baddie, the better the payoff.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is exactly this. While hunting monsters is a ton of stressful fun, full of dodging and attacking and slaying, the rest of the activities in-game — choosing weapons, farming, hiring chefs and companions, crafting and buying better weaponry and armor — are equally as satisfying.

And now? It’s on your iPhone (or iPad), with some really excellent touch controls and better visuals than ever.

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Elementary! Sherlock returns for fourth season plus Christmas special

Sherlock

The official BBC One Twitter account had a surprise for fans of its hit show Sherlock Wednesday with a tease that the oft-delayed series about a modern Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick John Watson will be returning.

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At last, Wonder Woman lassos another female writer

David Finch draws, Meredith Finch writes the new Wonder Woman this November. Photo: David Finch/Twitter

David Finch draws, Meredith Finch writes the new Wonder Woman this November. Photo: David Finch

For a comic book character that’s been around since 1941, it’s surprising how few women (five) have written DC Comic’s biggest female protagonist. The character is as least as popular and visible as DC’s other superstars, Batman and Superman, but it’s not until recently that we’ve seen her potentially coming to the big screen, while the other two have dominated DC’s movie output in recent years.

It’s exciting, then, to hear that the comic book itself is getting some new creative energy: Meredith and David Finch, a husband and wife writer/illustrator. While David has some serious comic book cred, from Ultimate X-Men (with Brian Michael Bendis) and Batman: The Dark Knight, Meredith Finch has some chops as well, as seen in her short stories for Zenescope Entertainment. This will be her first lead comic writing gig.

Meredith reminds us that having a female writer for one of the most iconic female superheroes is important. “It makes sense if you’re going to try to attract that female market that you appeal to them on every level,” she told USA Today, “– your writing demographic reflects the demographic of your readership.”

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