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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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Beautiful leather folio puts absolutely everything in its place

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

I’m a digital pack rat. I’ve got an iPhone, an iPad mini, a Barnes & Noble nook eReader, a space pen, several USB flash drives, and various earbuds along with a few charging and adapter cables.

I usually just jam all these things into my backpack as I head out the door, hoping they don’t get lost or tangled in the process. They get lost in my bag of choice, and I spend a fair bit of time searching around for stuff I need in any given moment when out and about.

Honestly, though, it hasn’t been much of an issue. I’ve been ok with taking the extra effort to find my headphones, say, and unwrap them from the unholy tangle they’ve become in my bag, for the simple fact that I’m not super organized.

This new leather folio case, however, has me re-thinking all that. What if I could keep track of all the little digital ephemera I carry with me in a more compact, organized way?

Turns out that I can, and look great doing it.

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Adorable puzzler Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake will keep you up all night

monsters ate my birthday cake

This is how my non-gamer girlfriend shows me which games are worth playing: She stays up until 3 a.m., wearing down the iPad mini battery to 22 percent while she tries to solve the next level.

This time, she bathed our dark bedroom in colorful reflected light while she moved Niko, Groggnar, Eek and Claude around on the screen in Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake. If it’s so important to solve environmental puzzles on the bright screen in the middle of the night, I know the game’s addictive.

This morning, still playing on the couch after charging up the iPad while she (finally) got some sleep, she told me like it is.

“It took me 15 minutes, but I finally got that level,” she bragged. “With three stars, bitch.”

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Orkut who? Google shuts down proto-social media site this September

Orkut

Back in the heady days of the early 2000s, early social networking services like Tribe.net, Friendster, MySpace and (yep) Facebook all offered similar features: connecting with other folks via the world wide web. Orkut, founded in 2008 and owned by Google, is named after the engineer who created the service as a 20 percent project.

Of course, once Facebook became the de-facto social network in the US, services like Orkut all but disappeared here. Even so, Orkut was huge in Brazil, and even migrated to servers based there in 2008. Heck, there was even an Android and iOS app.

Unfortunately for Brazilians and other hold-outs, Orkut is shutting down in September of 2014. As of July 30, new users won’t be able to create new accounts on the service, either.

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‘I Found You’ brings zombies, romance and mob justice to True Blood

The zombie-vamps are coming. Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

The zombie-vamps are coming. Photo: Tony Rivetti/HBO

Lots going on in this week’s episode of HBO’s vampire-romance television show, including answers on Eric’s whereabouts, more info on the infected, zombie-like Hep-V vampires, and a whole bunch of callbacks to the first season of the show.

If you missed last week’s recap, head on over and read up on the first episode of the seventh and final season of this HBO cult-hit, or read our massive recap of the first six seasons to catch up on the whole story, loosely based on Charlaine Harris’ bestselling novels, so far.

Be warned – there be spoilers ahead, so if you don’t want to know what’s going on in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, keep moving, folks.

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Bullets fly and monsters menace in over-the-top Space Hulk: Deathwing trailer

Be the librarian. Kill all the baddies.

Be the librarian. Kill all the baddies.

Warhammer 40,0000 is nothing if not crazily over-the-top, as this new trailer for a first-person shooter set in the far-future setting of the game universe shows.

This is the first video captured exclusively within the game engine, Unreal Engine 4, showing off all the lighting and texture effects in great detail.

In this game from developer Streum On Studio, you’ll play as a Librarian of the Deathwing, an elite force of hugely-armored badasses from the future who are trapped in a Space Hulk, a massive derelict space ship drifting in the outer reaches of the galaxy. You’ll take on hordes of Genestealers, the Alien-like enemies who are out to, well, kill you dead.

Check out the trailer below.

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VR goggles bring out the weird faces in all of us

Alone in a booth with a headset on. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Alone in a booth with a headset on. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

“Die, fish. Die! Die, shark!”

That’s what one goggled attendee shouts near the end of Sony’s new video (below) showing people’s reaction to its not-yet-released virtual reality headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo a couple weeks back in Los Angeles.

He and many other gamers got the chance to try out Sony’s answer to the Oculus Rift at the expo, and boy is it weird to watch them from the outside.

It’s hard to show what VR is really all about without, you know, actually having you wear the headsets. VR rigs like Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus have an uphill battle to convince the rank and file that VR is going to be compelling enough to shell out even more money for their gaming systems.

Sony opted to show us people from the outside, and I’m not sure it’s any more compelling than a 2D video of the VR games on offer right now.

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Creep yourself out with Hunger Games: Mockingjay trailer

Hunger Games

Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 is coming to theaters this November, and the propaganda public relations machinery is getting in its first swing.

In a new trailer posted on YouTube Wednesday and embedded below, you’ll get to see Donald Sutherland as President Snow, the creepy dictator-like leader of Panem, the totalitarian state that runs the teens-killing-teens Hunger Games as a way to control the means of production via fear and sweeping promises of security.

It’s a creepy trailer that looks like a propaganda film, with President Snow mouthing platitudes and a brainwashed Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson, standing at Snow’s right hand, staring up into the sky (or ceiling).

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Save big bucks on games so good you’ll stay inside all summer

Hotline Miami

With summertime here in the northern hemisphere, it’s definitely time to get outdoors and sample all that the world has to offer.

Of course, if Steam or GoG.com have anything to say about it, you’ll stay inside working on your pasty complexion playing all these amazing games for very little money.

Both gaming digital distribution platforms have their respective summer sales on right now, and you can grab some amazing games without emptying your wallet. All of the games below are playable on Mac or PC, so pick your poison.

Just lay off the sunscreen, ok?

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Crush your enemies like Churchill in Civilization Revolution 2

your days are numbered

The sequel to one of our favorite games is headed to iOS this July 2. Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution 2 will be a premium title for your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, so get ready to strategize your way to victory with new leaders Churchill and Kennedy on the go.

This is the first Civ game developed especially for mobile devices with new gameplay and controls that work well on touch screens. You’ll get the same core strategic and tactical joy the series is known for, but with more user-friendly controls and interface. You’ll also get some new historical leaders — like Churchill and Kennedy — who will take their place alongside favorites Ghandi, Lincoln, and Napoleon.

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‘Jesus Gonna Be Here’ raises the stakes for True Blood‘s final season

This is the end, my only friend, the end.

This is the end, my only friend, the end.

Sookie, Bill, Jason, LaFayette, Sam, and Jessica are back in the final season of True Blood, HBO’s killer vampire drama that’s in its seventh and final season.

We’re here to watch the writers and actors raise the stakes for the residents of Bon Temps as they try to make sense of a world terrorized by infected Hepatitis V vampires and the human bigotry of the small southern town in the series inspired by Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries novels.

If you missed the first six seasons, be warned: there’s a ton of spoilers here. If you want to catch up on the basics, though, head over to our monstrous six-season recap and then come on back, y’all, hear?

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