CAPTCHA insanity?

This is from Rapidshare:

Believe it or not, I’ve been trying to download a file, and have failed for 5 consecutive times because of these insane CAPTCHAs!

I think it was very much intended to be like that, to lower the stress on their servers. If you’re downloading a file of say, 100MB, their system lets you wait 3 minutes (through a counter) before letting you download it. Since I’ve failed for 5 times, this is 15 minutes more relief to their servers. Multiply that by thousands or hundreds of thousands of requests ( ranked #12 in Alexa) and it would make a huge difference to their servers.

Dude, you need WebVisum. : )

[B]WHY do sites insist on torturing people with Captchas and stupid idiotic questions to answer?

When one has to be online and is suffering from a vicious migraine headache, is lying down in the dark using a trackball to surf because he/she is too miserable to even sit up, has a rotator cuff injury in one shoulder and the other hand and wrist is unusable because of a scaphoid fracture and a big clumsy contraption immobilizing the arm from the elbow down for the purpose of preventing movement, pressure, or anything else that could interfere with healing of the fracture, to be demanded to try to see captchas with vision that has been sabotaged by the effects of migraine, reach up wiith a shoulder that emits excruciating pain when lifted, and type captchas and answers to stupid questions when every movement of that one usable shoulder and arm hurts so much you want to scream, is NOTHING LESS THAN PURE TORTURE!!!

There are a number of sites I will never return to because of the way they tortured me with captchas and nonsense questions while I was in so much pain. And for anyone who says to use audio captcha alternatives offered by some sites, well, you must not know how a severe migraine affects the senses, making bright light, sound, certain scents, and some other things excruciatingly painful due to the hypersensitivity that migraine can cause. I endure migraines for a few days every month, but sometimes I cannot avoid having to work on things and do searches on the web.[/B]


LOL That’s what I hate with captchas - I have no problem whatsoever with those easy to read words, but most captchas simply aren’t feasible to read!

I can’t read your captcha! that’s plain awful captcha images. x(

Great screenshot and I think this sort of CAPTCHA is a madness. I think for people with disabilities, they will put audio version where people will have to count “meows”

On a serious note, hitting “enter” with the forms of Rapidshare does not work. You need to click on the download button only, which is again poor usability.

Ive seen a lot worse than that. It always takes me about 3-4 attempts on yahoo pool. Every time I fail it gets a little bit more readable.

I agree, the CAPTCHA process I’ve been through for some sites was far too annoying for me to care about what I was trying to get to.

Oh, it’s worse than Yahoo. Here, it isn’t just a case of reading the letters, it’s a case of knowing which ones to ignore too. You’ve got to pic the ones with animals on, so the solution is not 4VT352O, but rather, V32O. Tricky to tell which symbols are cats and which are dogs.


Wouldn’t it be better if some sort of agreement was brought in with regards to CAPTCHA. If there was an agreed standardisation across all providers of this service there wouldn’t be a problem. I find some of them very difficult to read as I’m dyslexic and also find it frustrating if there isn’t some form of audio backup.
My preferred systems are those that ask questions where a simple answer is given either as a sum or a word.

I thought it was V320 :x

I don’t really understand why they continue with Captcha’s, as it is something a computer can eventually beat. Why not ask questions where it requires an intelligence that computers never can have (within 100 years ofcourse)? Maybe it should also be questions that you have to make up for yourself, instead of centrally generated questions. Because you need only one script for lots of site when they all use exactly the same method, I guess.

My mistake :blush:

The problem with actual questions is that if you make the questions difficult, the number of ways to phrase the answer gets really big, so you have to write a program which can understand natural language to work out if you answered correctly or not. If you can do that, then you are most of the way to writing a program that can answer arbitrary questions, and then the whole method becomes useless.

On the other hand, if you make the questions simple, with clear cut answers, for example, “How many letters are there in the word ‘cat’?” then you have to build a database of thousands of questions, and it’s plausible that the people trying to break the captchas could either learn all the questions, or steal the database of questions, and then you’re back at the beginning again.

The fun with the image based captchas, is that you can have 5 characters, 26+10 different characters to choose from, so you have 60 million * the number of ways you can deform the image, questions you can ask, each with a specific correct answer which a computer can easily understand. The guys breaking these captchas clearly have ways of breaking down the problem, for example if you can work out how to break the image into individual characters, you go from 36^5 down to 36*5 possible questions.

And in reply to bloodofeve, if you could standardise these captchas, then you would just need one application to break all captchas, and it would be easier for someone to get a hold of the program to generate the captchas (since you’d have to share it with everyone if you wanted to make it a standard) so it would be easier to write that one application. It’s the same problem the music companies are having with DRM, the system is fundamentally insecure so it’s just a matter of time before it is broken.

For captchas to actually work, long term, you need a way to generate millions of questions, which can be answered in a simple, structured way, without including the answer in the question in a way that a computer can understand.

(Edit: and of course, this is all negated if you can find a way to get a human or two to solve captchas day and night for 1¢ a pop, which is happening already.)

My website has never been important enough for a bot to register. :smiley:

I saw a comic once. A person was at a computer, and it read “Are you human?” It was followed by a complicated captcha image. The character says “I always had my doubts, but this finally proves it.”

Yeah, that’s pretty bad. But as the OP said, I think RapidShare is doing it on purpose.

But at least it’s not as bad as this:


LOL – I love it! :rofl: :tup:

It reminds of the old joke from the TTY/CLI days: ‘Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue’. :slight_smile:

And the most rediculous thing about it is of course that it would be much easier for most bots to calculate the answer than for most humans.

On the other hand, it does provide a very useful concept in terms of CAPTCHA. Anyone who would use that site would obviously know how to perform the calculations. Likewise, one could use various questions for other special interests sites - for example, Sitepoint could use which HTML tag is used to mark up an image and similar questions. Even if the questions are extremely simple, with every site having a new set of questions, it would be very difficult to crack.

^ Good idea!

tbh CAPTCHAs should not be used at all! They create a massive usability barrier!

simsim - I think the captcha in your original post may be an attempt at equity for visually impaired users. It is so difficult to read that it doesn’t matter whether you have eye sight or not…everyone is equal :slight_smile:

What the hell is that? Its almost cant be read. It is something like a krypton code.hahaha

Wow, Kudos to the quantum bit one. thats great.
I ran a forum for awhile that didnt have a captcha and it really suffered, i got tons of spam. Then i added it and it took about 2/3 of it away… so there is definatly a war being fought over cracking these, even everyday programs now sometimes have them cracked, like IPB maybe?, which right in it mentions something like “Acting Human” so that it gets through ok.

I cant solve the first one either…

Ah man, the other day I failed on one of those like 10 times…drove me insane!! I think Rapidshare does that just to f*** with your mind so you will upgrade to a premium membership.

Maybe in the future it will be some kind of audio recognition and we will have to sing songs, La la la la la La La laaaaaaa.