I’m a terrible typist. My fingers wander all over the keyboard and I’m slow. 40 wpm is the best I can do. Text messaging using my thumbs actually makes more sense to me.
Needless to say those new spam filters cause me endless trouble. The ones where you must type in the letters you see in the box before you; usually to check out of a website, but occasionally to check in. It’s supposed to keep other machines out. Well, it keeps me out, too. The first 3-4 letters usually make sense, but then they get funky. It’s like SEA-. Is that 4th letter an R or an A or maybe an I? I usually guess wrong. So, I have to repeat the exercise all over again, occasionally a 3rd time. It’s annoying.
So, of course, I had to look it up. I always need more information on annoying things like this. It took a few tries to find the right Google search. This is CAPTCHA, for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart. A program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests humans can pass but current computer programs cannot, according to the official website, http://www.captcha.net. If I can’t pass the test, I guess I must not be human. I do feel sort of out of place a lot.
The basic idea comes from the SETI program. I don’t think we’ll ever contact any aliens who don’t type well then.
If you’re a spammer with lots of resources you can outsmart a Captcha by using humans. The humans come along behind the autobots to work on those funky letters the autobots can’t figure out. That’s certainly not a job for me.
Humans create tests to outsmart bots created by other humans. Are we just chasing our tail here?
Got any good spam stories? I’d love to hear them even if you’re a bot.