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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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How to enable that sexy new iTunes Notification Center widget

Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Quicker than switching to iTunes, for sure. Screengrab: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The advent of iTunes 12.1 gave us a sweet new widget that lets you control iTunes from the Notification Center’s Today section, without ever having to switch to the app itself. You can even favorite songs and buy currently playing tracks if you’re listening to iTunes Radio.

Unfortunately, this widget doesn’t seem to appear by default. To enable it, you need to drop into System Preferences. Here’s how to get it up and running.

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’50 Shades of Buscemi’ trailer is like a giant fake phallus in your face

How can you not love this? Photo: Sony Pictures

How can you not love this? Photo: Sony Pictures

What could possibly make the treacly, soft-focus trailer for the upcoming movie Fifty Shades of Grey any better than Steve Buscemi?

Nothing, that’s what. Unfortunately, even the googly-eyed, wacky-toothed character actor can’t save the awful trailer, as we can see here in this fan-made recut of the original Fifty Shades trailer.

Called “50 Shades of Buscemi,” even a shot of Buscemi waggling a big rubber dildo at someone off-camera (below) can’t make me want to see the film.

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‘Albums still matter': 20 records you should savor end-to-end

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

These things are still important. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

When Prince presented the Grammy for best album this week, he made an impassioned case for a musical format that many seem ready to write off as dead.

“Albums, remember those?” he said. “Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.”

That’s how you present an award, folks.

Albums are collections of musical pieces that work together to create an auditory gestalt larger than the individual songs themselves. With the massive growth in streaming audio these days, many people might be missing out on this incredible old-school experience.

Here’s the cure: a list of amazing albums you should listen to in their entirety, even if you don’t do vinyl. iTunes might have helped kill CDs, but it’s still a great place to buy albums rather than shortchanging yourself with a bunch of singles. There are dozens of other albums you should explore, depending on your musical tastes, but this list should remind us all how awesome albums are as a concept. You can thank us later.

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$700 billion and counting! Apple is world’s biggest company ever

This just keeps getting higher and higher. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

This just keeps getting higher and higher. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Boom! That’s the sound of AAPL stock hitting yet another all-time high Tuesday, making Apple the first $700 billion company in history.

Microsoft made history in 2000 when it became the first company to close at $600 billion, so this feat must make Tim Cook and the entire Apple team incredibly proud.

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5 hot Raspberry Pi projects for Mac geeks

Photo: Lucasbosch/CC Wikimedia

The tiny Raspberry Pi computer can power many cool DIY projects. Photo: Lucasbosch/Wikimedia CC

The credit-card-size Raspberry Pi has taken the tech world by storm. Thousands of geeky kids and adults use the tiny, low-cost computer boards to learn about coding and create fun projects like motion detectors, birdhouses that tweet when birds are present, and mini weather stations.

You, too, can use this sweet little nerdy device to reproduce some of the cool things your Mac can do, without dedicating your entire computer to the project. Let’s take a look at what kinds of things might be interesting to an Apple fan with a new $35 Raspberry Pi 2.

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10 hilarious memes that prove Brian Williams can’t escape the Internet

Maybe TV anchor Brian Williams just mis-remembered this. Photo: ‏@robx_d/Twitter

Maybe TV anchor Brian Williams just mis-remembered this. Photo: ‏@robx_d/Twitter

Brian Williams may be waiting for the brouhaha to wear off his “mis-remembering” of which helicopter he was in during the 2003 war in Iraq, but the internets will just not let it go.

He might have conflated his experience as a reporter with that of the actual soldiers who were fired upon, but the meme police are making sure this faux pas lives on forever, creating hilarious photo “evidence” that not only was Williams at Gettysburg, but also present for the first moon landing and riding along with O.J. in his white Bronco slow roll.

Check out some of the choicest photographic “evidence” of the disgraced news anchor below, from some of the funniest minds on the interwebs.

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Peek inside the most expensive puppet ever created: Jabba the Hutt

It took two to three people to work the monstrous Star Wars character. Photo: Lucasfilm

It took two to three people to work the monstrous Star Wars character. Photo: Lucasfilm

Galactic crime lord Jabba the Hutt may just be the most costly puppet ever made.

“I knew that he was expensive in that with the full crew involved,” says puppeteer Toby Philpott in a new video, “it would be about a dozen people.”

In this new documentary from London-based Jamie Benning, you’ll get a literal inside look at how this immense, multi-person operated puppet was put together and performed by the two to three men inside the Hutt, as well as the various people controlling the eyes via radio control outside.

Take a look at the video below to peek inside the creature.

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Take the headache out of calendar syncing with these quick tips

Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

Fantastical 2 uses iOS calendar settings to sync with Google. Screengrab: Flexibits

As many of us use Google calendar to manage our daily lives, it’s an important thing to get this wondrous scheduling solution on our iPhones and iPads to better able to access it on the go.

Several third-party calendars, like the ever-useful and visually stunning Fantastical 2, use the iOS system for connecting to and synchronizing your calendars from Google to your mobile device.

Usually this works without a hitch, especially with newer iOS versions; you simply add an account and the calendar events you input on the web will show up on your iPhone, and vice versa.

When that doesn’t work, however, the settings you need to tweak can be a bit unintuitive. Here’s what they should look like for the best two-way Google to iOS sync.

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The beta nerds of Silicon Valley are back in Season 2 trailer

Photo: HBO

Photo: HBO

Silicon Valley, HBO’s half-hour comedy series about a bunch of nerds trying to change the world with code, is headed back to your television screen in April. HBO posted a trailer for the hotly anticipated Season 2 premiere on its Facebook page Friday to let everyone know.

Check it out below for a ton of slow-motion shots of all your favorite characters with the whole geeky gang back for another run.

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ICYMI: 8 awesome features in Apple’s new Photos for Mac

Photos is out, and we've got the lowdown. Cover Design: Stephen Smith

Photos is out, and we’ve got the lowdown. Cover Design: Stephen Smith

It’s time for another weekly dose of all the great stuff from our intrepid news hounds and reporters within the digital confines of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Buster has the lowdown on eight of the hot new features in Apple’s upcoming Photos for Mac, and he also takes a good long look at the mysterious vans owned by Apple that have been spotted around the San Francisco area. If you need to protect your precious new iPhone, Stephen drops a video spotlight on five cases you’ll want to consider for your fancy Apple smartphone. Rob digs deep into a new digital comic — companion to the Midnight Star video game — and how the award-winning team brings the game world to life. Jim drops in on a hip retro gaming shop in Portland, too, coming back with some stunning pictures of this old boys (and girls!) club.

All that and more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine – check out our top stories below, and then click on through to get your own copy for free.

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