Ghost invades Peaches Geldof's selfie?

When the daughter of British rock star Bob Geldof took a photo of herself and her son Astala, a ghostly interloper seemed to get in on the act.

An unexplainable image of a mysterious hand appeared on socialite Peaches Geldof's shoulder when she took the photo of herself and her son in the bath. When she posted the photo on Instagram she wrote:

"Close up shot of the mystery ghost hand in pic I took of Astala and me in the bath!! And no that isn't my hand -- one of mine was round his waist to hold him during the photo, the other holding the camera to take the shot. Also the hand is around my shoulder so totally weird angle if I did it myself!! How terrifying!!" … Read more

Ghost hunter

Marvel Illusions specializes in software optimized for paranormal investigations. Their ParaTracker Ultimate is a modular package designed to give field investigators a comprehensive yet easy-to-use tool for recording, compiling, and analyzing paranormal investigations. It has searchable Documents and Research Notes databases for collecting data entered on a variety of preconfigured forms. It also packs an image, video, and sound recorder; witness statement module; and reporting and printing options, including PDF and Excel.

We've tested some unusual software, but a ghost-hunting utility sets a new standard. Or maybe "ghostbusting," since ParaTracker's job is to collect and manage … Read more

The 404 Podcast 515: Where we look to our hands for inspiration

Today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast features a pink Ouija Board, the newest Facebook meme, search engine profiling, and Google's latest mapping feature that waves good-bye to your shopping privacy.

The infamous Ouija Board is still just as popular as it was when Hasbro first unleashed it in 1967. In fact, it even got extra publicity with a flaming cameo in last year's horror flick Paranormal Activity, but angry Christians aren't happy about Hasbro's latest idea for a Pink Ouija Board. Who knew that a pink square of cardboard and a magnifying glass could get so much controversy?

First there was Doppelganger Week, then Urban Dictionary Week, and now we finally have a Facebook meme that The 404 Podcast can get behind: Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback? In less than a week since its genesis, the Facebook group already has more than 100,000 members, but it still needs your help to get beat out Nickelback's 1,392,481 (and growing) fans.

This next story might make you think twice before ducking into the back room at your local video store. Google's latest "Store View" is as yet unconfirmed (but not outright denied), but the service will ideally let users check out the inside of any participating retailer through Google Maps. Imagine browsing the Web for a supermarket and then virtually inspecting the interior for the best way to route yourself through a grocery store and you can see why we don't quite understand the point of Store View.

Those stories and more on today's 404, plus a meaty Calls From the Public and more of your sticker picture submissions! Keep sending them to the404(at)cnet[dot]com and we might just feature it on the show! Much thanks to Derrick for sending us a pic of the cubicle dressing you see up top.

EPISODE 515 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Psychic terminology database

MB Psychic Dictionary provides definitions for a wide range of words and symbols in the psychic world. While its layout was nothing special, its dedication to education was impressive.

The program's interface initially disappointed us since it consisted of nothing but words and a lot of white space. However, this made learning the program a lot simpler, especially because we were unable to get much from the online Help file's brief descriptions. Fortunately, the program took next-to-no training to master. We were able to scroll through an alphabetical list of hundreds of terms ranging from the 23-Day Cycle … Read more

Paranormal movie succeeds with abnormal online marketing

I once asked a happy couple I knew why they loved horror movies. "It's exciting to be scared," the wife explained. So I suggested three large henchmen would be arriving shortly with all sorts of farming implements in order to slice them both into small, but even pieces. They didn't seem to find that exciting at all.

Still, people seem so able to divorce their fantasies from their realities that one should not be agog that "Paranormal Activity," a movie whose sole purpose seems to be to part your nervous system from the solar … Read more

The 'Tweance': Talk to dead stars on Twitter

If you have been trying to tweet Michael Jackson over the last few weeks without even a squeak of success, might I sing you a song of hope?

A remarkably forward-thinking psychic has decided to hold a seance on Twitter. A "Tweance," if you will.

According to the Sun newspaper, Jayne Wallace, who claims to have been a psychic since she was (at least) 7 years old, will be available to every member of the world's tweeting population on October 30, between 10 a.m. and noon British Miserable Autumn Time (that's 3 a.m. to … Read more

The 404 443: Where what's done is done, the future is now

Wilson and I both saw that new movie "Paranormal Activity" over the weekend, and although it's being touted as the new Exorcist, we both think it's more like an uncreative, boring version of The Blair Witch Project. Lots of build-up and suspense for a pretty vanilla ending, but I'm not sure what we expected out of a $10K movie. Maybe we've all just been completely spoiled by blockbusters like Roland Emmerch's upcoming disaster movie, 2012. Jeff's not a huge fan, per usual, but watch this insane clip and TRY NOT TO PANIC.

We've seen and played with our fair share of ridiculous iPhone apps before, but the new Puff! app is the latest Japanese game that might raise some flags...amongst other things. Dancing the line between SFW and not, the program allows you to literally blow up the skirts of women, a la Marilyn Monroe. The app uses the iPhone's microphone to sense the virtual gust of wind that "gives the onscreen character a brief moment of embarrassment."

Speaking of inappropriate things, Marge Simpson just scored the cover of Playboy Magazine. In what seems like the worst business plan ever, the November version of the popular men's magazine will feature a 3-page pictorial with "implied nudity..." we're not even sure what that means, but we can't imagine hordes of teenagers flocking to the nearest liquor store to pick up this issue. Besides, we would rather see Lois Griffin on the offense, Margie.

EPISODE 43 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video

Video coming soon, check back later today!… Read more

'Psychic' Uri Geller reaches copyright settlement

Controversial "paranormalist" Uri Geller has settled a lawsuit claiming he misused copyright law to squelch criticism. But much like Geller's mysticism, the legitimacy of his legal dispute remains rather ambiguous--the terms of the settlement are mostly confidential.

The legal battle began when Brian Sapient, a longtime skeptic of Geller's, used footage from a NOVA documentary to create a 14-minute video on YouTube debunking Geller's powers. Geller's company, Explorogist, sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to YouTube because some of the NOVA material--about 8 seconds--was under copyright owned by Explorogist. YouTube suspended Salient'… Read more

Report: Spielberg's spooky social site

Who wants to believe? TechCrunch reported Monday night that Steven Spielberg is developing a new social network where people can talk about their encounters with the paranormal and extraterrestrial.

Spielberg, creator of sci-fi classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., Men in Black, and the War of the Worlds remake a few years ago, is reportedly himself a believer in paranormal phenomena. In creating a social network for fellow enthusiasts as well as people who claim to have encountered the otherworldly, Spielberg is tapping into a lifelong passion.

But its exact ties to tech and entertainment are … Read more

'Psychic' Uri Geller sues over video clip on YouTube

Early Wednesday we told you about a lawsuit that the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed against so-called psychic Uri Geller over allegedly misusing copyright law to silence critics on YouTube.

Now it turns out that there's a second lawsuit afoot, also filed this week. Geller's company, London-based Explorologist, filed a copyright lawsuit on Monday against a critic who is trying to debunk claims that the self-described psychic really is one.

Geller's company had sent YouTube a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice taking issue with the Randi video, and claiming under penalty of perjury that it owned the copyright … Read more