Splatforms and Captcha

Posted on November 29, 2010
Filed Under Splatforms | 3 Comments | Share this post via splatforms.com

According to Wikipedia, captcha is

… a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. Thus, it is sometimes described as a reverse Turing test, because it is administered by a machine and targeted to a human, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is typically administered by a human and targeted to a machine. A common type of CAPTCHA requires the user to type letters or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen.

Of the more widely used services for this purpose is reCaptcha, which adds a nice wrinkle to the process by making use of the human effort employed to respond to the captcha for a secondary purpose of digitizing text that could not be read by OCR software. To understand how they manage to pull that off, you can check out the explanation on their web site.

Many of the web sites that would be potential targets of *form data employ some form of captcha in an effort to prevent applications such as splatforms. com from submitting data in an automated fashion without direct user involvement in the process. This presents a problem, obviously, as involving the user in the transaction to respond to the captcha challenge violates the entire premise of having things happen effortlessly in an unattended mode. A *forms user cannot just fill out a *form, submit it, and be done if he or she has to hang around and deal with captcha images from such target web sites.

There have been a number of techniques employed to work around this issue, ranging from various approaches to bypass or disable the captcha to extracting the captcha process from the rest of the data entry process and paying third-party providers to answer the captcha challenges. We have looked at a number of these approaches, most of which involve some form of human intervention, either on the part of the original user or a paid surrogate, and we have decided to take a different approach all together: we just don’t do it.

Our justification for this approach is relatively simple and straightforward: people install these captcha features on their web forms because they do not want automated services such as splatforms.com submitting data without a real person intimately involved in the process. We respect that, and since what we do is set things up so that the user does not need to hang around once they fill out a *form, we do not add such sites to our list of potential destinations. After all, the Internet is a target-rich environment — for every site that employs some form of captcha on their input forms, there are a dozen or more just like them that do not. We have decided that, at least at this stage in our evolution, we are going to focus on the ones that do not, and let the rest go for now.

Comments

3 Responses to “Splatforms and Captcha”

  1. pligg.com on November 29th, 2010 12:52 pm

    Splatforms and Captcha…

    According to Wikipedia, captcha is … a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a compu……

  2. pligg.com on November 29th, 2010 1:22 pm

    Splatforms and Captcha…

    According to Wikipedia, captcha is … a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test whic…

  3. SERPD on November 29th, 2010 1:23 pm

    Splatforms and Captcha…

    According to Wikipedia, captcha is … a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. The process usually involves one computer (a ……