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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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Here’s how Apple should reinvent the address book

There's got to be a better way. Photo: Frank Costa

There’s got to be a better way. Photo: Frank Costa

The address book is outdated. On the iPhone, while most of my contacts reside in the Contacts app, I rarely go in there. Instead, I connect with people on Facebook, via SnapChat, WhatsApp and more.

Product designer Frank Costa feels the same way, but he went one step further than simply banishing the Contacts app to an unused folder on his Home screen and designed this address book replacement concept, something he calls an Invisible Address Book.

While having a list of phone numbers might be silly, he says, there is benefit to having information about the people we contact frequently in one place.

“Therefore, as a design exercise,” writes Costa on Medium, “I elaborated on a couple of ideas to turn that seemingly static list of people into a slightly more ambitious project.”

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5 new iOS games you should play right now

You'll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

You’ll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

There are tons of new games out every week, and it’s hard to decide which ones to purchase, let alone which free games to download. We’re here to take some of the guesswork out of your decision, though, as we’ve scoured the best games that have come out so far this year.

From time wasters to deep strategic gems, this list will have you gaming in no time. Grab your copy of these five great –and brand-spankin’ new — gaming experiences today and you can thank us later.

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Girl turns boring LEGO juice bar into awesome robot

Would you like extra protein powder in that smoothie? Well, WOULD YOU?! Photo: fickle/Imgur

Would you like extra protein powder in that smoothie? Well, WOULD YOU?! Photo: fickle/Imgur

There was a time when LEGO brick sets were anything but prescriptive. You’d be lucky to get a wheel or axle part, or maybe even a door or window piece in your giant set of loose bricks.

These days, of course, LEGO typically means putting together a complicated model that just doesn’t need glue (though you can certainly use it to make things permanent).

Imgur user “fickle” put up this photoset showing what a couple of enterprising young women did with their toy juice bar, from the LEGO Friends set.

“It was supposed to be a juice bar,” they wrote on the photo sharing service, (but) “a set of ED-209-inspired power armor is far better!

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7 useful ways to resurrect your old iPhone from the junk drawer

Still plenty of life in the old thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Still plenty of life in the old thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

If you’re like me, you’ve got a junk bin full of old technology. It’s just the way we’re made; there’s nothing better than sifting through the detritus of technology that you loved.

I’ve traded in my iPhone for the last five generations, from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 5, or passed them along to my kids or significant others. The first generation iPhone, however, was something special, so I kept it.

As I was looking for ways to let my daughter listen to music at night without the temptation (or networked connection) of her more modern mobile phone, I chanced upon this lovely little rounded gadget from 2007 in the plastic bin I lovingly refer to as my Dead Technology Museum.

I figured I’d add some music to the thing, and that would be that. But the more time I spent messing around with it, I realized that I could make it into a pretty great little device; even though it pales in comparison with the iPhone 6, there’s still plenty of use in this baby.

Here are seven things, then, that you can do with your own old iPhone to make it just a bit more useful, whether it’s an original iPhone or an even more modern model.

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ICYMI: Baking the perfect cookie at CES 2015

We're getting hungry over here. Cover design: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

We’re getting hungry over here. Cover design: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

The Cult of Mac team spent the past week sweating it out in Las Vegas and gathered up a ton of hands-on looks at some of the hottest products heading down the tech conveyor belt to you in the near future.

We’ve got the two guys who’s gadget can help you bake the perfect cookie, a self-adjusting belt for when you’ve eaten too many cookies, and a sexy sci-fi car that will help you feel better about not having your futuristic flying vehicles, yet.

Be sure to click on through and see this week’s top stories, and subscribe to our free weekly digital magazine right here.

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Play more than 2,000 ancient DOS games in your browser for free

Travel carefully, friends. Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC)

Travel carefully, friends. Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC)

Older games that we all loved and played relentlessly as kids tend to disappear as the old operating systems that we played them on are sent out to pasture.

The Internet Archive, a free library of millions of free books, movies, websites, and other media, has also archived thousands of older MS_DOS games, like Maniac Mansion, Prince of Persia, and–yes–Oregon Trail, and has given us all access to them for free.

Turns out, you can still get dysentery while traveling to Oregon, even if you haven’t kept your old PC or Mac to play the seminal educational game on.

“The collection includes action, strategy, adventure and other unique genres of game and entertainment software,” writes Jason Scott, the Software Librarian for the Internet Archive. “Through the use of the EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator, these programs are bootable and playable.”

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Jurassic Parks and Recreation has Chris Pratt-falling with dinos

Please forgive the awful pun in the headline. Photo: Parks and Recreation

Please forgive the awful pun in the headline. Photo: NBC Universal

When we first saw the new Jurassic World trailers, we were stunned and excited. Then, after it sunk in that the actor that plays doofus Andy Dwyer on NBC’s hilarious Parks and Recreation would be fighting dinosaurs, we sort of imagined a mashup of the two.

Apparently, Thanks Mom Productions had a similar thought, as they’ve taken footage of Chris Pratt from both the movie trailers and the TV show and edited them together for a funny video that’s all kinds of awesome.

Check it out.

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Daredevil climbs 1,500 feet to change a light bulb

I can't even. Photo: PrairieAerial

I can’t even. Photo: PrairieAerial

Imagine walking five street blocks in a city like, say, New York. Then think about climbing that distance straight up.

That’s what Kevin Schmidt does for a living: changing the airplane warning lights at the top of super tall TV towers.

This drone from PrairieAerial caught the guy in action as he climed the now-defunct analog KDLT antenna in Salem, SD. Watch the whole thing as he grabs a vertigo-inducing selfie at the top.

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One man’s progress bar is another man’s artistic expression

This indecision's buggin' me... Photo: Viktor Hertz

This indecision’s buggin’ me… Photo: Viktor Hertz

That other man being, in this case, freelance graphic designer Viktor Hertz, who spends some of his time making fun little art pieces out of Macintosh progress bars.

He calls this project his “work in progress bars,” and you can see his whole collection on his main page, as well as some of his other illustration work over on Behance. Continue below to see a few more tasty treats from Hertz, who calls it “a quick and silly little side-project of mine.”

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ICYMI: How to avoid your biggest online security mistakes

Learn how to stay safe on the internet with these tips. Cover Design: Stephen Smith

Learn how to stay safe on the internet with these tips. Cover Design: Stephen Smith

Happy New Year to all of you wonderful Cult of Mac readers. This week, we’ve yet again compiled our best content right in one place for you to enjoy over the weekend.

We’ve got the top security tips for getting online safely, a sweet little story about using Siri to wrangle those pesky resolutions, the best games of 2014, and plenty more. Check them out below for the full scoop, and head on over to subscribe to or download the latest issue.

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