Monday, March 29, 2010

Captcha’s & Word Verification

I am still fairly new to the blogosphere. While I understand the need for those anti-spam word verification boxes on web pages, I often wonder if they have to be so hard to read? I mean the letters and nonsensical words will wrap, twist and run into each other like they are under water; or worse, written on a wilting stick of butter. It’s enough to drive you mad – or at least to drink!

These popular little goodies are known officially as “Captchas”. They are designed as a quick ‘challenge test’ so a website or form knows it is being accessed by a live person rather than a computer program or spam-laden ‘crawler’. These webmasters however, have to be sensitive to oldsters in training like myself though. I can barely spell REAL words much less these made up consonant and vowel pairings of letters that are generated willy nilly. That is the problem you see, if the verification query would at least randomize real words, then I might have a chance.

Last week, I was happily perusing a Spanish website and they offered up a genuine Spanish word for verification when I wanted to leave a comment. See I don’t even write 'en Espanol' very well but I can sure as heck recognize the difference between ‘tostados’ and ‘txlwnze’. Another site had the audacity to challenge me with a math problem Captcha? This was not something like ‘2+4’ either, it was a long series of addition, multiplication and subtraction. Who thinks this is a smart way to get followers back to their site, by proving immediately, that your readers are truly, DUMBER than a 5th grader?

I know things are changing for the better though. I ran into a website with word verification that asked me to answer a common question instead of requiring a transcription of letters. The question was “What color is snow?” Boy this site was lucky that I had not finished off that 64 ounce Big Gulp of Mountain Dew. My answer might have been WRONG if I had dropped that drink and made an off-colored mess.

Happily technology keeps advancing and continues to become easier all of the time. Today I came upon a British company with a Captcha that had a little audio button by the challenge word. When you push the icon, your computer reads aloud the ‘single’ word that is required to verify your entry into the website. Sadly the system is STILL not yet foolproof - I never did get into this site. Apparently over there, they’re still working out a few ‘Captcha kinks’ on their software? Hmmmm, where’s my double Mountain Dew on the rocks when I REALLY need it?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your submission to the Seventy Ninth edition of the Blog Carnival: Blogging. Your post has been accepted and its live: