I’ve always had a strong dislike when a site requires you to enter in a CAPTCHA code to verify you’re not a spam bot or something. Why do I not like it?
Mainly because I can’t read it sometimes. It’s so encrypted that you can’t even read it. Then you have to enter in a different CAPTCHA, and then sometimes you have to do it again. It’s an amazing waste of time is what it is. Here’s an example of one of those stupid CAPTCHA’s.
Really, can anyone guess what the code is? I have none. I tried bcqr3 and got it wrong. What a joke. Instead, there’s been some newer technologies that do better than this. Such as reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is developed by Carnegie Mellon University as a way to help digitize books, at the same time keeping bots off the sites. The text is much more readable than conventional CAPTCHA’s, and has proven to be more safe. It also helps with the book digitization system. Here’s a typical reCAPTCHA from Dopplr:
Can you read it? It says now unbeaten. Makes perfect sense now, doesn’t it? It also lets you choose another reCAPTCHA just in case you couldn’t read this one. There’s also an audio option, along with a help button. It’s a great solution, and I wish the Live team would go for this system instead of the old way.
There’s another way of human verification developed by MSR called ASIRRA. Instead of text, it’s images that you have to identify. Like for example on their site, there’s 12 pictures, some with cats, some with dogs. You’re suppose to hover over all the images, and select them if they’re cats. When you select, they get an outline around them. The site claims that systems like reCAPTCHA among others "have a common weakness: they use relatively small image databases". I don’t know if this really makes ASPIRRA any safer, but it’s just as easy to use. I just wished they would limit the amount of images that comes up (no more than 6 please), and make sure the photos are clear enough to distinguish. Here’s a screenshot:
Anything would be better than the usual junky CAPTCHA in the first image.