Thursday, 5 December 2013

CAPTCHA This, You Guys

Wow, how to feel stupid.

Logged on to an artist's site and wanted to leave an encouraging message about an upcoming show.
Fine so far.

And then there was the captcha, the ubiquitous challenge response test to ensure that something, another computer, for instance, isn't up to no good in cyberspace. The captcha seeks to ensure that the respondent is human because we can read distorted text and a machine can't. Let's hear it for the humans winning out on this one.

It's bad enough when these things are scribbles upon scribbles, upper and lower case, all over the place, or worse, the audio ones that sound like a zombie trapped in a foot locker under the sea (Oh that poor Nigerian cook in that capsized boat at the bottom of the Atlantic!) and it's a crap shoot as to whether one will be successful in breaking the code.

However, until today. I've never seen a captcha that requires math skills. Imagine all the people left out on this one.

So how was I made to feel stupid?  The math question was  14 + 7. Ah, piece of cake.
I know my seven-times tables.

The only thing is, the captcha didn't. For some reason, it reversed the numbers and told
me I got it wrong.

"Here, try again," it encouraged. What is 10 + 2?

Why that would be the 21 I put down initially but but which somehow got reversed. So the answer, which was already filed in stood as the correct one.

Whew, it was tense for a moment.

My message got sent.

An example of a captcha. The best thing here is
the tiny message, Stop Scam, Read Books.