The 404 1112: Where we put a spell on you (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Instagram 3.0 adds infinite scrolling, lets you plot on a Photo map.

- How to control which Instagram pics show up on your Photo Map.

- Hipstamatic lays off all but six employees.

- Hipstamatic becomes the first third-party app to officially post photos to Instagram.

- Buzzfeed invites you to rub Ryan Gosling. Learn the Moonwalk from MJ too, while you're at it.

- From a visual perspective, RubGifs still don't compare to cinemagraphs.

- Google US map shows regional stereotypes by autocompleting "Why is ____ so..."Read more

eBay to ban sales of spells, hexes, magic services

Sorry, Harry Potter fans, you're going to have to double double toil and trouble somewhere else besides eBay. The online auction giant has just issued category changes and updates for the fall. Spells and potions are on the dump list.

Discontinued categories include Tarot readings, spells, and potions. Not only are some categories magically disappearing, but those items will go onto eBay's prohibited list along with hexing, curses, conjuring, blessings, psychic readings, and the catch-all "magic services."… Read more

Can you stay alive long enough to complete your mission?

Spellsword is an excellent and almost blindingly fast-paced arena-combat arcade game with addictive RPG elements, super-cute 16-bit fantasy art, and often hypnotic chiptune sound.

At first glance, Spellsword shares some similarities with another great game, Super Crate Box: Both have you dodging enemies and chasing powerups around a satisfyingly cramped playscreen--but Spellsword adds a couple of twists, with a mini RPG-style purchasing system (you collect "rupees," which you can then use between levels to buy equipment and make your powers more effective) and a unique take on power-ups with "spell cards." As you bounce around the (… Read more

Find words to topple the tower

Spelltower is a well-made word-puzzle game with a stylish feel and enough built-in variants to justify its price tag.

The gameplay should be familiar to word-game fans: you find words on a grid of letters, which you can trace over horizontally, vertically, or diagonally (even overlapping the path that you trace) to form words and remove the letters. Spelltower's innovation is stacking its grid in a tower--so that when you create a word, you remove all adjacent letters, dropping down all the letters above accordingly. This adds another satisfying layer of think-ahead strategy, as you're looking for not … Read more

Hands on with Sony's Wonderbook: Not a book at all

LOS ANGELES--Call it a toy, call it an experience, but I'm not sure you should call it a book. The J.K. Rowling-created "Book of Spells," the launch title for Sony's Wonderbook platform announced at E3 2012, was originally touted during the kickoff Sony press conference as being a way to bring reading to life.

I had a chance to check out the Wonderbook at Sony's E3 booth, and I'm not sure reading really entered that much into the equation. It is, however, a fun augmented-reality toy with some beautiful animations. … Read more

Save it with Clipboard Help and Spell

Clipboard Help and Spell is a free tool that saves and stores your text Clipboard entries, letting you search, filter, and open just the right entry among many. It offers hot keys, text formatting, image capture, and more options than we could describe, even if that's all we did in the allotted space.

Clipboard Help and Spell has a main window that we could open from the program's system tray icon, but most of the time that tray icon is the program's primary interface. Clicking it calls up a handy menu of common operations like opening clips, … Read more

Be ready for the bee with Spelling Test Practice Free Edition

Spelling Test Practice Free Edition is a free program that helps you with your spelling by letting you record and hear the words in your own voice. It's suitable for all who want to brush up on their spelling (or diction) or prepare for tests and spelling bees. It's case-sensitive and can randomize word lists and print reports such as lists of misspelled words, as well as user vocabularies and test grades. To use Spelling Test Practice's voice recording feature, you'll need a microphone for your PC, though many laptops have built-in microphones. It's free, … Read more

Scrabble is better when it's bigger

Scrabble for iPad is a faithful adaptation of that classic board game much beloved by logophiles, with tons of cool extras and several easy options for multiplayer games.

What Scrabble for iPad does best is simulate the look, feel, and even sound of the original game, with sharp HD graphics, gratifying sound effects (letter tiles pop into place with a subtle click), and an interface that will put Scrabble-lovers right at home, including a virtual tile rack that lets you rearrange letters. (And in party play mode, individual players can even use their iPhones and iPod Touches with the free … Read more

Play hangman online!

Hanging with Friends is a fun online multiplayer word game for iPhone where you can match up against your friends to play a unique version of Hangman. From the makers of the popular game, Words with Friends, this fun game lets you register an account or connect with Facebook to play against people in your friend list or other players who also own the game. You also have the option to pass-and-play on one iPhone.

Hanging with Friends has a colorful and cute interface in which avatars of you and your opponent hang from floating balloons above lava. If you … Read more

Play hangman online!

Hanging with Friends is a free, ad-supported multiplayer Hangman app from Zynga, the makers of Words with Friends and Chess with Friends.

Like many of Zynga's apps, Hanging with Friends is a slick, social machine, making it easy to play multiple, asynchronous games with many friends, whom you can quickly pull in through Facebook. (You can also play random online matchups.) The core game is fun, easy to learn, and fast-playing. And while Hanging with Friends mostly follows the traditional Hangman word-guessing format, it adds a few clever innovations: you choose four- to eight-letter words using a set of … Read more