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

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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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New Withings Aura helps you make the most of your sleepy time.
New Withings Aura helps you make the most of your sleepy time.
Photo: Cult of Mac

CES 2014 bug LAS VEGAS — 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 comes from the folks that brought you other fitness gadgets like the Wi-Fi Body Scale and the Pulse.