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CRAPCHA
April 28, 2013 11:10 AM   Subscribe

CRAPCHA CRAPCHA stands for Completely Ridiculous And Phony Captcha that Hassles for Amusement. It doesn't keep spammers out. It doesn't crowdsource book scanning either. CRAPCHA's only job is to baffle users, and you can add it to your site today. [via mefi projects]
posted by xingcat (28 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, I wasn't expecting it to, but that cracked my shit up.
posted by Mizu at 11:16 AM on April 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Excellent.
posted by mykescipark at 11:33 AM on April 28, 2013


This is joy.
posted by alms at 11:34 AM on April 28, 2013


This has made me laugh harder than I have in weeks. Thank you for making this, thomaspark! And thanks for posting it to the blue, xingcat!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:41 AM on April 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


There should be something like this with math formulas. "Typeset the expression here so we can make sure you're not a robot or a human who doesn't know LaTeX."

(Anyone who used \eqnarray would also fail, of course.)
posted by Ralston McTodd at 11:44 AM on April 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


Should I make it into the wordpress module? More to the point: Should I install this on my client's sites?
posted by maxwelton at 11:45 AM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


[golfclap] Well played, sir ... well ... played. [/golfclap]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:45 AM on April 28, 2013


I know this is beside the point, but it annoys the hell out of me that the craptcha characters are visible in HTML. Even though I know this is a joke, you've made your fake captcha website badly. I want my fake captcha sites to be impervious to scrapers or bots, or really - what is the point.

Attention to detail please. I cannot laugh without an inordinate and painstakingly useless amount of accuracy in my web component based jokes.
posted by zoo at 12:10 PM on April 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


zoo: "I know this is beside the point, but it annoys the hell out of me that the craptcha characters are visible in HTML."

I consider it a touch of verisimilitude, there are real captchas with the same problem.
posted by idiopath at 12:16 PM on April 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


A real captcha once asked me to enter the maximum norm of alpha. Roughly: ||α||.
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2013


I rather like the HTML characters in the source. It's a CAPTCHA that's hard for humans to solve, but easy for robots. Nice.
posted by Nelson at 12:50 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


This makes me want to get a website just to post it. Also, the carboncostume site linked from there is quite good too.
posted by arcticseal at 12:53 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want my fake captcha sites to be impervious to scrapers or bots, or really - what is the point.

There's only so much you can do. I know somebody who was working at Yahoo when they implemented their captchas. Of course, the problem was that spammers were signing up for zillions of Yahoo email addresses automatically, using each one for a few minutes, and then tossing them away, tarnishing the reputation of Yahoo.

So Yahoo put in captchas. Robots can't read these images, so that should fix the problem, right?

Wrong. Within days, spammers, working with their colleagues in the porn industry, figured out that they could have the robot sign up for an email account and when Yahoo presented the captcha image they could grab it and put it on a high traffic porn site, where some person there would have to solve it to see the porn. Then they took that person's answer and sent it to the robot.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:40 PM on April 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Within days, spammers, working with their colleagues in the porn industry, figured out that they could have the robot sign up for an email account and when Yahoo presented the captcha image they could grab it and put it on a high traffic porn site, where some person there would have to solve it to see the porn.

using a mechanical jerk?
posted by ennui.bz at 1:48 PM on April 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


For completeness, now we need the audio-captcha counterpart. It could serve up files spliced together from scat singing, birdsong, and sped-up geophone recordings. Maybe some babbling brooks.
posted by hattifattener at 2:20 PM on April 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


This isn't just a joke. I've entered a radio station contest and gotten the pi sign or words that are upside down as part of the Captcha. You have to hit refresh until you get something you can enter more easily. I always figured it was there to weed out the people using bots to enter contests.
posted by stray thoughts at 2:34 PM on April 28, 2013


Within days, spammers, working with their colleagues in the porn industry, figured out that they could have the robot sign up for an email account and when Yahoo presented the captcha image they could grab it and put it on a high traffic porn site, where some person there would have to solve it to see the porn.

I've always heard this as an at-least-second-hand anecdote. Did it really happen or is it a plausible-sounding ("porn's always at the leading edge of technology dontchaknow") industry urban legend?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:34 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


As I said in the Projects thread, I'm not sure I could reliably distinguish between one of these and a real captcha!
posted by threeants at 2:50 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awesome, it's an honor to have my project promoted to the MeFi!
posted by thomaspark at 2:58 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whad,K: The oldest reference I've found to it is this BoingBoing post from 2004 which starts with a very urban-legendy "Someone told me that…". The closest thing I've found to evidence of it happening is this IDG article from 2007 about a virtual-stripper app, but even there the basic citation is to some unnamed security researchers claiming something.
posted by hattifattener at 3:02 PM on April 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


threeants: "As I said in the Projects thread, I'm not sure I could reliably distinguish between one of these and a real captcha!"

Well, these are easier to figure out. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 3:45 PM on April 28, 2013


re-CAPTCHA is amazing: you are helping digitize books.

About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that's not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into "reading" books.

To archive human knowledge and to make information more accessible to the world, multiple projects are currently digitizing physical books that were written before the computer age. The book pages are being photographically scanned, and then transformed into text using "Optical Character Recognition" (OCR). The transformation into text is useful because scanning a book produces images, which are difficult to store on small devices, expensive to download, and cannot be searched. The problem is that OCR is not perfect.


https://www.google.com/recaptcha/learnmore
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 5:11 PM on April 28, 2013


These days reCAPTCHA also does some amount of digitizing signs and things for Google Street View / Google Maps. It's not all about OCRing public-domain books.
posted by hattifattener at 5:23 PM on April 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


The closest thing I've found to evidence of it happening is this IDG article from 2007 about a virtual-stripper app, but even there the basic citation is to some unnamed security researchers claiming something.

That NYT article actually does name somebody: "They're using human beings in semi-real time to translate CAPTCHAs by proxy," said Paul Ferguson, a network architect at Trend Micro. The person I heard it from was a security programmer at Yahoo, but I don't know if he was just relaying company legend.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:15 PM on April 28, 2013


Personally, my favorite is Greater Greater Washington's captcha system, which asks users to read the map of the DC Metro. Yes, you'd be able to defeat the thing with a very simple AI, but it apparently does a great job of preventing blogspam, and is so, so, so much better than the completely unreadable captchas that most blogs use.
posted by schmod at 10:00 PM on April 28, 2013


This is my favorite CAPTCHA (previously) - if you refresh the page you can see different tests.
posted by exogenous at 7:24 AM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


There should be more intelligence-based CAPTCHAS.

Who attended the soireé and is Pierre's friend?

The correct answer is the sardonic Prince Andrei Nikolayevich Bolkonsky, husband of Lise

This question filters out robots, and also people who haven't read Tolstoy.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:47 PM on April 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This question filters out robots, and also people who haven't read Tolstoy.

This is the first I've heard that there was now a way to distinguish between people who read Tolstoy and robots. (I knew I was behind on the literature, but the field moves so quickly.)
posted by maxwelton at 3:25 AM on April 30, 2013


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