A Windows Gadget for Skeptics – Spirit Detector

Okay, all you Linux/Apple-friendly skeptics, bear with me, but this article is about Microsoft Windows.  Unenlightened computer users like me are still in its thrall.  The latest Windows OS, Vista, has a desktop feature called the Sidebar on which you can load Gadgets, which are functional icons like clocks, radio channels and RSS feed readers.  The Windows Live community site offers downloadable Gadgets.  As I was trolling through the offerings, I came across the Spirit Detector Gadget.

I take it that the developer, ShaunNZ, is a fellow skeptic.  The Gadget looks like a simple, green radar screen on a black background with an arm that sweeps every five seconds … and, not surprisingly, that’s about it.  The Settings menu has the following parameter options and instructions:

Detect the Presence of:

  • Elvis
  • John Lennon
  • Great Uncle Fred
  • Easter Bunny
  • Santa

Sensitvity:

  • Very High
  • High
  • Moderate
  • Low
  • Very Low

Notes:

Lowering the sensitivity will help eliminate the possibility of false positives.  However, it may fail to activate when the spirit signal is very weak or masked by other signals.

Spirits can be quite tricky, often hiding in awkward locations, so don’t forget to check under the desk, behind the curtains, in the next room, even outside on the street.

To date, my detector has not gone off, although I have not taken it out to the street yet.  I now have it set for “Easter Bunny” and will do an emergency update if something happens next weekend.  To milk the joke some more, have a look at the reviews.

Reviewers who got it:

sweet_laura
WOW!!! how amazing! it just told me im dead and its right lmao

She Says with an Evil Grin
It works so good, its scary!!! This thing went crazy, Started buzzing and flashing then it sucked my roommate into the monitor!!!! Anyone know how to get her out?????? HELP!!!!!

Reviewers who didn’t get it:

Jayce McCormick
Well, it is entertaining but fake. It can’t really detect spirits so don’t be scared if it tells you elvis is by your desk.

Patrick
Like it. BRILLIANT! But i’ve had it on my computer for about a mounth and it still hasn’t done anything.

Spidey
objective? somebody knows what do this spirit detecter gadget??, i have run it all day and nothing happens :S
 

16. March 2008 by barry
Categories: Ghosts, Topics | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. THEY SPELLED DETECTOR WRONG ON THE GADGET! SPIRIT DETECTER :P

  2. yeah been sitting in all day watching the spirit meter but no luck :( i think this house is spirit free. i did feel a cold wind down my back tho which made me think somebody or something was behind me .. but soon realised that the window was open :-*

  3. When I powered up a few minutes ago, my spirit detecter (sic) showed a picture of John Lennon and said something like “It seems that the spirit of John Lennon has been spotted in the neighborhood.” No blips on the radar, though. (: Has anyone seen it do anything exciting?

  4. [quote name=]THEY SPELLED DETECTOR WRONG ON THE GADGET! SPIRIT DETECTER :P[/quote]
    The most acceptable way to spell it is as they do in the gadget.
    Your version “Detecter” is an alteration of “Detect” and not really an independent word.. see here;
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detecter
    See how it says; “This word doesn’t usually appear in our free dictionary, but the definition from our premium Unabridged Dictionary is offered here on a limited basis. Note that some information is displayed differently in the Unabridged.”

    If you google “Detector” as they spell it in the gadget this is what you come up with from Webster;
    de·tec·tor/diˈtektər/
    Noun
    A device or instrument designed to detect the presence of a particular object or substance.

  5. [quote name=]THEY SPELLED DETECTOR WRONG ON THE GADGET! SPIRIT DETECTER :P[/quote]
    The most acceptable way to spell it is as they do in the gadget.
    Your version “Detecter” is an alteration of “Detect” and not really an independent word.. see here;
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/detecter
    See how it says; “This word doesn’t usually appear in our free dictionary, but the definition from our premium Unabridged Dictionary is offered here on a limited basis. Note that some information is displayed differently in the Unabridged.”

    If you google “Detector” as they spell it in the gadget this is what you come up with from Webster;
    de·tec·tor/diˈtektər/
    Noun
    A device or instrument designed to detect the presence of a particular object or substance.

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