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We've all run into CAPTCHAs: those sometimes annoying, sometimes hard to decipher strings of characters and numbers that ...
appear online. They have to be punched in exactly as they appear when signing up for a free email account, posting a comment in a public forum and so on. But what are they and what purpose do they serve? Stacy Reed explains.
Tags:what is a CAPTCHA,butterscotch,Butterscotch.com,CAPTCHA,CAPTCHAs,challenge-response test,Stacy Reed,strings of characters and numbers,tech tips,tech tutorials
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What is a CAPTCHA?
Hello, I’m Stacey Reed and in today’s Butterscotch Tutorial we’re going to take a couple of minutes to explore the purpose of CAPTCHA’s. Let’s say you’re trying to create a new Gmail account and you feel that all of the information requested in the forum but before you can finalize the creation of your account you first have to pass the test.
The test is called a CAPTCHA and CAPTCHA is not in this dance floor completely automated, public during test to tell computers and humans apart. You’ve probably seen this test on lots of websites. The most common are images of distorted letters and in order to move forward you have to type the correct series of letters into the forum. If your letter is match the ones in the distorted image you pass the test.
Now you may have wondered why there is even a need for this test in the first place is because some people try to exploit witnesses in the server that runs the site. So for instance if Gmail did not incorporate the CAPTCHA into their account creation process someone could launch an automated program design to sign up for numerous free accounts and in an attempt to mass mail spam to millions of people.
The CAPTCHA ensures that the forum will be filled out by a human not by a computer program. Thereby protecting the integrity of the service they provide. So the whole idea is that CAPTCHA’s are test that human can easily pass but machines can’t that’s why you’ll see letters and numbers quash together slanted or even has through with lines or squabbles
However, there are many times when CAPTCHA’s are just about impossible to decipher which can be slightly annoying to say the list. Let’s take a look at the few different types of CAPTCHA’s. Some sites like Yahoo require the user to fill in alpha numeric string rather than words when you sign up for an account and if you can’t figure out the first code you can always click the button and get a new string.
The Gimpy CAPTCHA displays ten words but the user only needs to guess three correctly in order to pass the task another alternative is the audio CAPTCHA which presents visually impaired users with the series of spoken letters or numbers. Google’s Gmail utilizes one as CAPTCHA. You may notice that the speaker’s voice is often garbled or difficult to make out. This is an attempt to the thwart voice recognition programs so that only humans can pass through.
Most CAPTCHA applications are free and can be installed on your website by pasting a few lines of code into the html. Enclosing I want to tell you about another project called reCAPTCHA this serves a great of purpose. In order to archive human knowledge and make it more accessible throughout the world books that were written before the computer age are being scanned into photographs and then transformed into tax using article character recognition.
The problem is that the problem is that this process is not always perfect and some words can’t be read by the computer software that handles this task. That’s where recapture comes in. This can be installed into your website with a bit of code or by means of plugins. Then it presents words that cannot be read by the optical character recognition software to users in the form of a CAPTCHA, in this way human intelligence can help with the overall process of digitizing books by deciphering words that computers cannot while simultaneously serving the original purpose of the CAPTCHA.
It’s pretty cool right, you can find out more about this project by visiting re CAPTCHA.net. Until next time. This is Stacey Reed with Butterscotch signing out by for now.