Search results for: “captcha”

  • Captcha Madness

    I tried to leave a comment on a blog but was challenged with the following captcha:


    I defy you to tell me what those letters are.

    Oh, and the blog went commentless…

  • Please, Don’t Use Captcha

    Please, Don’t Use Captcha

    Please, don’t use Captcha. The traffic you save could be your own.

    Update. Unfortunately xtranormal is no more…

  • CAPTCHA: Just to prove you are a mathematician

    I’ve ranted before about impossible CAPTCHAs. This one takes the cake pi.

    It’s gotta be a joke, and a good one a that. :-D

    Hat tip: Baekdal.

  • Twitter Spam

    Spam is hitting Twitter. Correction: spam is hitting Twitter users.

    Spammers know they get one chance to spam: Twitter sends an e-mail to each person that a spammer follows, inviting them to check out the spammer’s profile. The spammer’s profile likely has a single tweet containing a single spam link. Spammers set up multiple Twitter accounts and follow thousands.

    There are available solutions to the problem:

    • Watch who’s getting blocked. I block all spammers who try to follow me and I’m not the only one. After an account has been blocked X times, Twitter should review it. I believe Twitter is already doing this.
    • Make it more difficult to follow someone (more clicks, captcha, solve a math problem, etc.) Make it so spammers can’t use bots. For that matter, use something like Asirra or myVidoop’s login procedure. Easy for a human to do, but takes a little human time, increasing the cost.
    • Allow users to autofilter or autoblock people. For example, I’d like to block without receiving notification anyone who is following more than 1,000 people and has less than 50 followers. Allow me to modify those numbers so spammers don’t have a known system to game.

    Twitter should choose its anti-spam tactics carefully. Spammers’ responses could make future spam detection even more difficult. For example, limiting the number of follows or follows per day has no impact on the number of followers a spammer could do per day — it only limits the number of followers per account. (After all, nothing limits a spammer to having a single active Twitter account.) As a consequence, a spammer account would have fewer follows, making them harder to detect.

    Update. Twitter responds to spam.

    Hat tip: Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb.
  • Brutal Blog Readers

    Catch My Attention. I read a bunch of blogs. So many that I don’t really read them — I skim them in my RSS reader. If something about your post catches my eye (the title, a graphic, bolded headings) I might actually read it. Provide only partial feeds and I’m likely to pass on by. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. Give me a reason to read your post or I won’t.

    Don’t Disappoint Me. Sometimes, it would be better if I don’t read your post. Because I continue to add new blogs to my reader, I’m always looking for an excuse to dump a feed. Disappoint me too many times (or once really bad) and that post may be the last I read.

    Give Me a Say. Invite my comments and make it easy. (Those of you with captcha; I’m talking to you. Find another way to prevent spam.) Send me updates when someone else comments and I’ll keep coming back.

    What Say You? Are you a brutal reader? What makes you read a post? What makes you never come back?

  • Year in Review: Favorite Posts

    Here are my favorite posts of 2009. I learned a few things from writing this post.

    1. Many of my posts are boring, even to me. Before pressing publish I should make sure my eyes are not glazing over. If so, delete it.
    2. The posts I like best are long-form blogging about family, food, and vacations, with a few rants thrown in.
    3. I like the many of my “link blog” posts, but they’re not my best posts.
    4. I posted a lot of family vacation pictures this past year.

    Take a quick glance. Do you have a favorite?

    Miscellaneous and rants

    Social media


    • Vegetarian Chili. A recipe we’ve enjoyed many times. We enjoyed some last week.
    • Gazpacho. Another favorite summertime recipe.
    • Pasta Salad. A great picnic food recipe. I’ll try not to notice the snow outside my window while I type this.
    • Creamy Red Potato Salad. I’m hungry just thinking about it (and missing summer picnics).
    • Vegan Tomato Basil Bisque. It’s not every recipe that mentions Charles’ Gas Law.
    • Update: Healthy veggie soup, or is it stew? Okay, I didn’t write this, and it’s not even on my blog, but this soup/stew is wonderful and I want to be able to find it in the future.

    Family pictures

    Warning: These posts are unlikely to be interesting to outside my family.

    I didn’t use a scientific method to create this list. These are simply the posts I like best. Through some quirk of Google, “Where in the World is North Korea?” is my post with the most page views. Although it’s a few years old, it remains the most hit post each and every day. Does that make it my best post ever? I hope not. My post, “Craigslist Buyer Scam E-mail” has the most comments. I don’t think it’s one of my best posts, either. That’s why I went with the unscientific “what I like best” method. :-)



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