reCaptcha good, catCaptcha bad

In order to deal with a bunch of comment spam (which come in droves, always repeating variations on the words “viagra” and “slut”), I’ve found reCaptcha and have put its WordPress plugin on my blog. I think it’s an ingenious service: it forces you to write the correct spelling for two words. One is a word that the OCR readers working on digitizing old books can’t recognize; the other is a word that many reCaptcha users before you have consistently read a certain way and have thus provided the correct spelling for. So, if you get the second right, you’re likely to get the first right, too, because, well, you’re a literate human.

It’s the coolest form of work crowdsourcing since SETI@home (computer) and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (human). The site says it saves 3,000 man-hours per day.

From poking around the net, though, I found the worst captcha solution: something I’m calling catCaptcha, for the lack of a better word. Take a look (hat tip: Depressed Programmer). The Rapidshare folks must have said, “Let’s make a captcha so hard that even humans fail at it most of the time.”

The catCaptcha

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1 Comment »

  1. It’s so frustrating when you can’t read one fo these things. Ridiculous.

    Comment by PE — June 18, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

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