Hello for the month of June 2007.  To those who complain about the paucity of material: I remind you, this is a free service!  Send me on assignment to another country, I’ll post once a day.

There was a good article in the paper today about CAPTCHAs.  These are the dumb little visual puzzles you have to solve when you want to do something online to prove you’re not a spam robot.  (I sometimes have one on my site, but all you have to do there is check that box.  Big woop.)  Usually the puzzles are some screwed-up word with lines going through it or funky colors.  The paper was pointing at that the spammers are catching on and getting smarter all the time, so these puzzles are now to the point where it might be too hard to solve them.

So the first interesting link is to a site where spammers brag about beating the puzzles.  It includes visual examples and humorously bad commentary about how weak the puzzles are.  Example: “Work for one hour if work not too fast.”

The other interesting idea was, why not put people to work and have them solve these puzzles as a way to help deal with the problems of digitizing books?  (We all know how everyone feels about stealing books.)  Since scanning technology can’t read everything perfectly, and people solve these millions of times a day, the idea is a good use of otherwise wasted labor.

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2 Responses

  1. Claire says:

    I commend your glorious return. I thought I was going to have to study there for a minute, but then you posted. Thank god.

    P.S. I am not a spam robot. But I am thinking of a career change.

  2. Justme says:

    Greetings from Justme
    Let’s talk about something really interesting:
    From the Columbus Dispatch:
    Mrs. Coleman (wife of Mayor Coleman) checked herself into an in-patient alcohol-treatment center that the mayor’s office didn’t identify, asking that her privacy be respected.
    “Today is one of the toughest of our lives, but Frankie and I are dealing with it together,” the mayor said in a statement. “I am proud of Frankie for accepting responsibility for her problem.”
    Mrs. Coleman served three days last year in an Akron jail staffed by a treatment center. She pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving charge after the car she was driving hit a parked truck in Bexley in 2005.
    I think someone should introduce Mayor Coleman to Hillary Clinton. These two have “stood by their spouse,” when most others would have walked (if not ran away.)
    If Frankie had taken responsibility for her problem after the wake up call in 2005, she wouldn’t be having this problem now.
    I wonder if she too, will cut her hair like Brittany Spears before checking in to rehab?
    They say the population is growing older and that new business should focus on the needs of old people who don’t wish to act of be seen as old.
    I really think the money is in rehab centers.