Cussed by Captcha

Spam is still a pervasive issue and judging by a recent debate on the uk-netmarketing email discussion forum highlighted the problem isn't just a plague on inboxes, competition forms, surveys and any other web form is a target.

One solution to this issue is using a Captcha, as suggested by many posters and the most popular of these is reCaptcha, as Vero Pepperell from pepsmedia, points out in a post dating from 2007,

If one must go for the horrors of Captchas (aka "what word is this?"), I suggest at least going for the world-bettering reCaptcha which is used to help digitise literature from the olden days while making your comments area spam-free. You'll just feel that halo shining above your head.

Some other suggestions include this from Ty Roberts from Addicted2TV include,

Quick fixes include adding an invisible 'blank input field' to your entry form; if this field is filled in by an automated script then you can see immediately in your reports because it should be empty and therefore you can see what entries were made by bona fide people (excuse my non techy description)

and a time constraint from Richard Kershaw at QuanlityNonsense,

Have you considered setting a minimum time that the form must be open before it's submitted; no human completes a multi field form in 0.1 seconds ;)

Unfortunately, as Richard points out, Captcha's in themselves are not invincible,

...trouble is, a few smart people *have* found ways of making machines recognize CAPTCHA codes.

reCaptcha has one of the friendliest interfaces including audio prompts to make the process more accessible. Sadly, there's no settings to help determine which words get selected for us and sometimes even classic literature throws up some oddities. The image below was sent in by a generous soul pledging support for Hammersmith and Fulham Credit Union.


A statement on the current state of the economy? Or bad luck. You decide!


Oh dear...

Sam, there's clearly an i between the c and k, making it Fucik.


Thanks @Lee, you're probably right, although I still can't tell. Could be a 'T'. Either way, it still prompted a quizzical, rather than angry, email from the potential pledger.