C is for Captcha

History is full of examples of traditions gone awry. Rules and guidelines that were to serve a purpose; but over the years have been perverted and have become social road-blocks. Rani Karnavati sent a rakhi to Humayun, so that he would be emotionally black-mailed into saving her city; today the next door girl ties rakhi on your wrist, so you don’t letch on her. People in Spain started speaking Spanish with a lisp to please their king; now they can’t speak any other way. Today we take a look at one such modern tradition that has become a monster unto itself.

Captcha is a term which is used to describe a small test which is put in online registration forms, so that the website can confirm that you are a human (filling a form out of you own free will), and not a drone (coded and enslaved by a geek in a dark sweaty room in front of a blue CRT). It’s an acronym and supposed to do what its says “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”.

Source: soniamagazine.blogspot.com
Source: soniamagazine.blogspot.com

It was all well and good when it started out. There was an image, and there was some text on it, and you had to enter what you saw. Simple and straight forward right. Yeah well soon you had words so twisted and stroked, that it was difficult to say whether I was supposed to use a mirror or read it upside down. What more they also started using words which made no sense, now you can’t use your vast vocabulary to identify what that black smear that looks more like a musical note reads.

A sample showing different convulated Captchas
Source: http://www.simfatic.com

Soon enough they were bored with these petty games, and in came backgrounds. The words were spaced and in black (no twisting, no turning), it can’t get easier right. Wrong because behind that simple 4 letter word is most deep shit crazy network of lines that you can think of. It almost feels as if Captain Hook did a number on that one and then handed it over to Wolverine for good measure and then left it Mr. Scissor Hand to take it to the frame. Is that a ‘t’ or an ‘l’, and even if it is a ‘l’ you sure it ain’t an ‘i’.

Another Difficult Captcha
Source: robservations.ca

Then some really got smart. They started using math questions (cause computers are really bad at it you know). Once again they were simple to answer, and I thought Captcha had taken a turn for the better, until one fine day I saw this:

An impossible to sove Math Captcha
Source: cityofbyroncity.com

You know how faulting on a Captcha feels like, it feels like you are the stupidest dumb quack on this planet. More than once I have tried using the “Audio Captcha”, and I would let you know I am fit and able 6’0″ 92 kg dude with no health problems. Even more often have I “refreshed Captcha” until I get an easy one. Is it not insulting enough already that Google tells us what to search for (Did you mean this dumbawad, cause I searched for this), that now we have to fail even the most basic of Human validation.

A meme about Captchas
Source: memegenerator.net

But you know what gets me the most, is when I fill a long scroll of a form, reach the end, misspell my Captcha, and the whole form resets. Yeah that really get my gears going.

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30 thoughts on “C is for Captcha

    • Yes A-Z challenge does a better job than Facebook and Twitter when it comes to meeting fellow writers…I am glad you liked it…and btw we loved your poetry too..
      -Ayush

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  1. LOL πŸ˜€ You have filled a lot of CAPTCHA forms for sure!! Are you serious about maths question?? Have never seen this one! Though have seen a lot of convoluted and twisted alphabets and numbers but not a maths question!

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    • Right, because people don’t create scripts which automate comments….
      but this is 100% brain generated….Corinne….I am human.

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    • Thank god, and here I was thinking, I was the only one who struggled with those cross between musical notes and text.
      -Ayush

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  2. Hey Ayush,

    OMG! I hate Captcha and had no idea what it was called. Great post! I thought it was just me due to my vision from keratoconus, but everyone hates this thing I guess. You can’t tell letters from numbers–it’s all a mess! Why is the world so stupid and frustrating? I can’t believe the one that looks like physics–back to physics again.

    Alisa πŸ™‚

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    • I don’t hate Physics, almost did my major in it. But then Integration happened, and I picked Computers instead. But yes the Captcha….I do my research against my enemies…

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  3. I hate physics, but that talk was with Akhil way back. Really, I never studied it much as it looks too scary, but my step-dad (physician) watches DVDs of PhD level physics courses for fun. Odd? He probably secretly invented Captcha in some laboratory. Hahaha. πŸ™‚

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