How to get desktop notifications for Gmail in OS X without using Mail

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You can use Gmail's web app and get Notifications in OS X with Aura.
You can use Gmail's web app and get Notifications in OS X with Aura.
Photo: Cross Coded

If you use Gmail – and let’s face it, most of us do – one of the biggest draws of using an external app, like OS X Mail, is being able to get Notifications when new emails arrive. Unfortunately, many email apps don’t support Gmail’s best features natively, like labeling, search or automatically filtered inboxes.

If you’d like to get Notifications when a new Gmail comes in, but continue to use the Gmail web app instead of a dedicated client, here’s how.

Escape Amazon’s evil Kindle empire with the cheeky Kobo Aura

Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Kobo's ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.

I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.

The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.

Get To Sleep – And Wake Up – Perfectly Using The Withings Aura [CES 2014]

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Cult _of_Mac_CES_2014_80x80

If you’ve ever had trouble falling asleep, or you’ve felt crappy waking up, it might be worth your while to check out the Withings Aura, the new app-enabled sleep machine from the folks that brought you other fitness gadgets like the Wi-Fi Body Scale and the Pulse.

The Aura, then, uses special light colors and wavelengths along with special music programs and a mattress sensor to measure your sleep and program the ideal go to sleep and wake up experience. According to the company, it will track your movement in bed and wake you up at a time that’s best for your personal sleep cycle.

The Withings Aura should release this coming spring, and retail for $299 at your favorite retail outlet, like Best Buy or Apple.