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General Technology

Using ReCAPTCHA

Most of you probably know that I’m not a big fan of CAPTCHAs. In fact, earlier this month, you could have quoted me saying, “I hate CAPTCHAs. They unnecessarily inconvenience commentators by adding yet-another step to the commenting process and are sometimes difficult for even humans to decipher.” But, I have come to the conclusion that CAPTCHAs are necessary in some cases. I am not a fan of having to solve CAPTCHAs for frequent tasks such as submitting forum posts or blog comments, but I can live with only having to solve a CAPTCHA once or twice during my entire use of a website. To that end, there are now no more than two implementations of reCAPTCHA in the MacManX Universe.


Music Program Notes prevents wiki spam and promotes accountability by requiring a valid e-mail address before a user can edit or create a page, but this doesn’t prevent wiki spam bots from creating bogus accounts. reCAPTCHA has now been implemented on the “Create an account” page to prevent just that. If you’re interested in becoming a contributing member of Music Program Notes, you’ll only have to solve this CAPTCHA once.

Much to my disgust, I have begun to receive spam through this blog’s contact form. I have decided that I’m done with contact forms since they basically say, “Look, here’s a valid e-mail address,” to almost any advanced spam bot out there. To that end, I have decided to mask my e-mail address with some encryption wizardry, courtesy of reCAPTCHA Mailhide. I have displayed my e-mail address in such a way that you might be able to guess it before attempting the CAPTCHA, but if you can’t, just click the ellipsis labeled as “Reveal this e-mail address” to solve the CAPTCHA and reveal my full e-mail address. Judging by most modern-day e-mail clients, you’ll probably only have to e-mail me once before my address is permanently saved somewhere.

Why reCAPTCHA? reCAPTCHA is relatively easy for humans to decipher, it uses real words instead of a randomly generated string of letters and numbers, it features an audible option for the visually impaired, and solving the CAPTCHA contributes to the Internet Archive’s ongoing effort to digitize books.

For those of you who still hate CAPTCHAs with a passion, I’m sorry, but please understand why I chose to do this for these two instances. I hope it’s not too much of an inconvenience.