Saturday, February 18, 2012


Some of my old friends have been complaining recently that they are finding it hard to read those verification words that you have to type in to publish a comment. Those words are examples of a CAPTCHA which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. And that's the point. It's to prevent robots from filling up our comments with spam.

Anything which poses a problem that humans can easily solve but which standard automated software does not recognize can be used as a captcha. Maybe the robots are getting smarter because it seems that Google has recently made the captchas used in Blogger somewhat harder to read. Especially so for my old friends it seems.

I wonder if they would prefer a captcha like this...

And they should certainly be grateful I don't use a captcha like this...


O Docker said...

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O Docker said...

Not at all.

I think I've figured out the perfect format for getting around Blogger's spam filters.

Think about it. Doesn't all spam that makes it onto comments pages today look like this? And regardless of whether Captcha is turned on or not?

I'm considering buying up a truckload of replica watches and starting a new career.

Joe said...

Damn it Oh, I wanted to get into the replica watch business. Shoot, I'm always a day late and a dollar short. I guess I'll sell coffee mugs and tee-shirts instead.

JP said...


Tillerman said...

Interesting. Yesterday I turned off the word verification option for comments on my most recent posts. Since then, there were 13 attempts to post spam to my comments but all of them were recognized as spam by Google and diverted to my spam folder. Usually I only find one or two items per month in the spam folder.

So it seems that the captcha has been blocking a lot of spam, but if Google catch it another way then I may be able to live without the catpcha. Of course traffic is lower on the weekend so I may well see more spam on a typical weekday.

So far so good.

O Docker said...

BTW, I think JP's answer is right, since - as all sailors know - the derivative of a constant is zero.

But any robot could have solved the problem he did, so that Captcha would be useless against spamming robots.

Whatever Google's new defenses are, they seem to block all spammers except those who speak broken English.

Tillerman said...

I think JP's answer is right because he went to the right university.

JP said...

Three key facts:
1) d/dx of sin(x) is cos(x)
2) cos(-pi/2) is zero
3) Tillerman went to the right university too

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