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Brilliant. Evil. - Elf M. Sternberg
Brilliant. Evil.
You're familiar with CAPTCHAs, those random squiggly collections of words and phrases that websites use to test for your humanity, right? The main purpose of those is for you to demonstrate some skill robots have not yet developed: the ability to fill in partially perceived words.

The company Solve Media has come up with what must be the most evil use of CAPTCHAs yet: CAPTCHAs as advertisement canvas. Instead of randomly chosen strings, you may be required to type in a brand slogan, a tagline, or some other phrase related to an advertising campaign. Sick, twisted, and offensive. I'd much rather help read a book.

Current Mood: evil

6 comments or Leave a comment
dossy From: dossy Date: September 22nd, 2010 04:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Damn, I wish I'd thought of it first ...
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 22nd, 2010 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
It'll be interesting to see if that's random enough to be an effective bot filter (even regular CAPTCHAs let a few bots through now and then). Advertisers will definitely want their fancy logos and typefaces to be clearer than CAPTCHAs are now, and the extra context provided by a repeated slogan cuts way down on the entropy of the system.

I think what'll have to happen is that the advertisement will be an extra hoop we have to jump through, in addition to a standard CAPTCHA equivalent. The same as RECAPTCHA now, although for different reasons. Fun fun.

Number 127

Edit: On the other hand, it'll be a lot less annoying than the thirty-second video ad I just had to sit through to get to the CAPTCHA to make this post...
autopope From: autopope Date: September 22nd, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, that' pretty evil.

Websites that use that trick are not going to benefit from my wallet.

And I'd like to encourage everyone else to do likewise.
elfs From: elfs Date: September 22nd, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Between this, the "Upgrade your Account, Upload Yourself!" ad campaign from a local bank, and the kids at the mall trying to entice passersby to stores in other buildings of the complex with face-to-face conversations, I sometimes think our future isn't just the one with the black president and the flying killer robots, it's Jim Munroe's future.

The bank isn't offering introdus, thankfully, just a wi-fi enabled video camera. But to those of us who've read enough Egan, it is a touch creepy.
neoteny From: neoteny Date: September 22nd, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
CAPTCHAs == ever-evolving Turing test?
From: codeamazon Date: September 22nd, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is brilliant!
6 comments or Leave a comment