Wednesday, April 16, 2008

CAPTCHA Killer and MySpace

Here is - at least in theory anyway - an interesting tool for bypassing CAPTCHAs.

CAPTCHAs are images of words designed to block spam robots. The problem with CAPTCHAs is that they cannot be interpreted by screen reader software users, and so also block these people from registering with websites, commenting on blogs, and so on.

CAPTCHA Killer attempts to process these images and give visually impaired users a solution get to past them. Although before you all rush out to try it, from reading the comments on the website, it seems buggy at best. Much applause for trying to do this, and I hope a working version appears soon.

One other interesting thing I noticed on the CAPTCHA killer website - MySpace prohibit its use on their website. I'd like to know why. It does seem rather vindictive not just bar visually impaired users from the website by using CAPTCHAs in the first place, but to then stop them from using a solution to gain access to the website.

MySpace would be much better to follow the way that Facebook helps people with a CAPTCHA issue. When registering, someone can use their mobile phone to verify that they are indeed a person and not an automated spam program. MySpace has the resources to implement a similar solution, after all.

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