August 11, 2012 | In: General

Captchas Are Getting Ridiculously Hard

OK – clearly this is not a post about the stock market or anything related to the stock market. In fact, this is not a post – it’s a rant. I visit a lot of websites on a daily basis and I post a comment if I like what I read (regardless of whether I’m in agreement with the author or not) – no, make that I try to post a comment if I like what I read.

The thing is many websites use captchas right now and these captchas are getting ridiculously hard – it sometimes take me 10 refreshes to find a one that I can actually read! I mean, if spam bots that decode captchas are getting better than us reading them then the whole concept of a captcha is flawed and should be substituted with something else. This spam prevention method no longer works – it’s becoming more annoying and it renders the commenting functionality barely usable.

Take a look these captchas and see if you can figure the letters on any of them (Note: I have generated these captchas in sequence – I haven’t selected the ones that are unreadable – I’ve just selected 5 captchas in sequence):

Unreadable Captcha #1

Figure 1: Can you read this? (Oh, and shall I include the semi-column in the second word?)

Unreadable Captcha #2

Figure 2: Or maybe this? (Funny first word – I wonder whether Google filters words from these captchas)

Unreadable Captcha #3

Figure 3: How about this one? (I can make a few letters from the second word, and what’s that beneath the first word)

Unreadable Captcha #4

Figure 4: Perhaps this one? (Is the first word detatel or detated? Either way they both don’t make sense!)

Unreadable Captcha #5

Figure 5: This one is a classic – the only letter I can make from the second word is “U” – and I don’t know if it’s uppercase or lowercase.”

What I have noticed that most catpchas have at least one unreadable word – where you try to guess what the letters are.

I think we have reached the point of nonsense when it comes to spam protection – we don’t need this – there must be a better way to protect us from spammers while ensuring that the website’s usability is not affected.

In case you’re wondering who you should complain to for this captcha product (it’s called recaptcha), then it’s none else than Google – the Internet king. Good luck with that! I find it very weird that Google, despite all its efforts to make the web a better place, insists on keeping this product that should be flushed down you know here.

Perhaps I’m slowly, but surely becoming dyslexic – because I’m sure I was able to read these captcha words a few years ago – but now I can’t. I honesty can’t!

Oh, by the way, a response to the captcha people telling us to read books – we are reading, that’s why we’re trying to comment!

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