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CAPTCHA Replacement Is A Mini Game
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 9:26 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Replacing CAPTCHAs with a mini game sounds a great idea, especially as so many CAPTCHAs are becoming unreadable.

CAPTCHA Replacement Is A Mini Game [venturebeat.com]
Websites need to verify that a visitor is a real person and not an automated bot. But the CAPTCHA test that they came up with where you have to type in the word that you see in a blurry distorted font image is extremely annoying and often leads to multiple failures.

So a Detroit-based startup, Are You a Human, is replacing the CAPTCHA with simple minigames instead. It is releasing its human authentication tool, PlayThru, to help companies fight spammers and bots that have begun to circumvent CAPTCHAs. Companies using it include Quicken Loans and Fat Head, and users have played nearly 2 million games to date.


 

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 9:47 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

These distorted things really annoy me. I have given up on several forms because of them. When I am submitting a form or making a purchase or whatever I want it to be easy. anything that takes any longer than five seconds is going

Personally I use simple validation questions like "What colour is coal?" with a drop down list. This is quick, requires no thought and it has worked for me for three or four years without a single automatically generated spam submission.

(The answer is BLACK by the way.) ;o)

londrum

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 9:56 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

i like the idea, but im not too sure about the demos on their site. they look a lot like adverts. when you finish the game you get a big advert for playthru come up.

at least captcha is obvious. you just type in the answer and press return, everyone knows what they are expected to do.

Squilookal



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 10:10 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anything that can consign those dreadful unreadable Captchas to the history books is welcome but as BeeDeeDubbleU points out, simple human readable questions are a lot simpler and work perfectly well.

topr8

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 10:14 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

>>when you finish the game you get a big advert for playthru come up.

yes but i assume that wouldn't happen when you deploy them.

personally i like the simple question and answer idea that BeeDeeDubbleU uses, however of course if it became universal bots would develop a way of answering the question (simple vast database of Q&A's for a start)

i also think there is a lot of room for deciding if it is a bot rather than a human by other means, the only problem is it wouldn't be an off the shelf solution and different sites would have different requirements ... eg general bot spotting and blockign techniques - and for instance i have a situation where i don't allow bb code or html in a small site i have where people can post, i just dump attempted posts that use either and regular posters can post hassle free - this obviously wouldn't work in other situations.

badbadmonkey

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 11:08 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Captchas are utterly useless nowadays. What you see on some forms just beggars belief. Do these web designers even test them out themselves? It's no exaggeration to say that some of them are just impossible, even for a normally sighted person, to pass. And even on the easy ones, the ambiguity of case (z or Z etc) makes them ridiculous.

If it's a special purpose website, in a niche market, it's easy to to come up with challenge questions that the average Russian hacker won't know the answers to even if they look at it manually. I think this is very positive, because it adds a fun challenge to the process. People always like a chance to prove their knowledge.

The problem is that these questions, and particularly the obvious generic "color of coal" variants, will become machine-solvable in time. In much the same way that OCR has progressed in effectiveness. Unfortunately, anything your web visitor can do, a machine can do... it's just an arms race.

badbadmonkey

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 11:20 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The other problem with this is that it requires JavaScript. Their demos don't even handle the failure with an error; the game just disappears. Oops.

A deal breaker really. You can't break forms if JS is disabled.

BeeDeeDubbleU

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 11:43 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem is that these questions, and particularly the obvious generic "color of coal" variants, will become machine-solvable in time. In much the same way that OCR has progressed in effectiveness. Unfortunately, anything your web visitor can do, a machine can do... it's just an arms race.

As I said earlier, I have been using this for years without a single auto submission. There is an infinite number of questions that can be asked and an infinite way of asking them. It would be one smart machine that could get past all of these. ;)

badbadmonkey

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 12:03 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm sure anyone with access to the Google Knowledge Engine could have a good crack already.

Just wait a few years.

jkwilson78

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 1:18 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

In the end this won't matter. Just Google for captcha solving services and you'll see what I mean.

All these services have to do is add these new attempts to stop spam to their "service" offerings. (if the Q&A solution becomes popular enough they'll add this as well.)

Never ending battle...

albo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 1:42 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've been hoping for a Captcha alternative for a long time. I wouldn't inflict this upon my users. There must be several Captcha generators. I find myself doing at least one "reload" on all of them these days. I find Google's Captchas utterly illegible: password re-entry is difficult, at best. A "kinder and gentler" alternative is in order, such as the question-answer I've seen. E.g. "What is 18 plus thirty three?"

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 1:47 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

all they need is a unique game per site that'll implement this and it'll be very hard to fool. Better get cracking on with their 50 million games....

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 2:25 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

I dunno, I don't think the game would be appropriate everywhere.

I use a kind of plugin (Really Simple Captcha) that works with another plugin (Gravity Forms) that provides a random simple arithmetic problem - like 7+2=_ And I've never had a problem with spam entries. And people don't seem mind it.

As I get older, I have more and more trouble with deciphering traditional captcha images, and less and less patience. I dunno if it's because I'm older or they're getting harder to read. Probably both.

SenorLoco

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 4:53 pm on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Another thing to consider when adding a Captcha game, or a question is making it easy for people who don't speak English.

I like netmeg's math solution the best.

r4bet

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 6:49 am on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

lol i several time did the game it says u'm a bot !

Kendo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 7:16 am on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

especially as so many CAPTCHAs are becoming unreadable


Yes, Captcha has become unreadable to us humans, but spamming software can still read it. So it has become illegible yet we are still losing the battle. Third party Captcha services have advanced to the point of being useless. On one site today I had to refresh 20 times before I could read the Captcha, and it's the same one that I see on most sites.

So forget Captcha and kill spam the easy way:

1. use referrer checking on your join and contact pages
2. use a simple question/answer instead of Captcha

Referrer checking should do the job on it's own because when anything lands on your page from a direct link the refering link won't be from your site, in which case you can redirect. I use this method on several sites and have had no spam since.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 2:43 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, I've used that one too. Another favorite is using a hidden field, and tossing out any form submissions that put something in the field.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 5:02 pm on May 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

More and more lately I find myself just giving up on figuring out what the Captcha letters are, and just move on.

About two years ago on our forum we replaced Captcha with a simple "type the 2nd letter into the box above" "WXYZ".

No increase in spam, big decrease in complaints.

motorhaven

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 3:55 am on May 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Another method is displaying a random picture of something and has a limited number of answers about what it is. For instance asking the user to type in what kind of animal a picture of a dog is. Possible answers could be dog, canine, bread of the dog (and close matches), etc. Have a couple of dozen of these and add a new one to the mix every few months... works great.

londrum

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4456329 posted 8:24 pm on May 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

i've just noticed today that AddThis have started using a good new CAPTCHA. instead of the usual distorted letters, that no one can read, they are showing really easy to read capital letters, but animated, so they are jigging about a little bit. i think it looks better than anything i've seen before.

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