Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Captchas, a bridge too far?

I was just trying to open a new gmail account when I encountered the unsolvable captcha. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was written in that horrible mangled imagine of what i can only assume were standard roman-alphabet letters. I can only assume that I am in fact illiterate and that would explain why I couldn't read it.

Thankfully, google have a second option. They have a little link which reads out the captcha for you. It turns out that I can't understand english either. I couldn't make out a word of what was said. So, if anyone out there can speak english, could you please decypher this for me:

http://monotorrent.com/GoogleSucks.wav

8 comments:

Lex Y. Li said...

I fully agree with you that sometimes it messes up. I think most people cannot extract the code from the noise in the audio. Who invented that?

Bet's On said...

WTF...?

What's with the need to scramble the audio captcha? Why not just have randomly generated sentences instructing the listener what characters are necessary?

Then spammers are going to have to get Natural Language Processing down before cracking that...

Alan said...

I think the worst thing is that the original captcha was letters, but the voice is calling out numbers. Neither my attempt at the letters or my attempt at the numbers was accepted.

WorldMaker said...

I've been against CAPTCHAs from very early on... I seem to fail about 1 in 5, across all sites that use them, and sometimes I wonder if maybe I'm a robot and suck and passing for a robot, and then I remember these things are created by flawed scripts in the first place...

There are better tools for "human" verification than CAPTCHAs and at this point I believe that scripts are better at CAPTCHA OCR than humans are at solving them.

Anonymous said...

I got this from the audio:

5 5 7 40 0 6 7 7

Foltz said...

I've setup several email accounts with google - so here's a tip. If you can't read the captcha image, just type in some random characters, submit the form, and it will redisplay the form with another image - that is may be a little more readable.

Chris said...

LOL That's horrible!

Alberto said...

That's why chaptchas are inaccessible (not only for people with disabilities) and why audio alternatives for blind people are not the solution.

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