Live Mesh: The version you can understand http://mashable.com/2008/04/23/live-mesh-simplified/ http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9925747-2.html http://www.news.com/8301-13860_3-9926229-56.html… Read more
You've been sent an e-mail, and it's critical the contents are safe from prying eyes. In the case of Gmail, and a handful of other popular Web-mail providers, your e-mail could be in a dozen different servers (albeit encrypted), or even be analyzed to try to sell you contextual ads.
The creators of Lockbin would like to help you avoid such security calamities with their closed system that will take any message and send it to someone in a highly secured manner. How secure? You can't even open it unless your recipient happens to have the "… Read more
I dig goofy T-shirts and this one stole my heart this morning. It comes from Web 2.0 invite service Crusher (review), and emulates the style of a captcha, which are those often times impossible-to-read pictures of warped and stretched words you need to translate to prove your humanity on most Web sites. Unlike real captchas though, solving this one won't help translate old books, or separate your Web identity from that of cold and calculating robots.
Related: Web Shirts: 20 rad T-shirt sites
Like many other suburban American males who grew up in a certain era, I [hearted] Led Zeppelin. And while my ardor's diminished considerably since adolescence, they're one of very few bands I discovered decades ago that I still enjoy today. (In contrast, I can't believe I actually own a half dozen Doors LPs.)
So when Led Zeppelin announced a one-show reunion (with their original drummer's son on drums) to celebrate the life of Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records cofounder who signed them, I expected it'd be popular. But apparently the registration site for tickets got … Read more
According to security vendor BitDefender, spammers have defeated a system designed to differentiate humans from machines when registering new accounts online. Known as Captcha (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart), the system won't allow users to advance until distorted characters in a box are correctly entered. BitDefender says a new threat, Trojan.Spammer.HotLan.A, is using more than 15,000 automatically generated bogus Microsoft Hotmail accounts to spread and is registering 500 new accounts per hour, suggesting the Captcha system has been defeated.
BitDefender says the Trojan horse accesses one of the free … Read more
Spam, zombie robots, and the rest of the dark underbelly of the Internet has led to one of the Web's big annoyances: the captcha. That's the barely readable block of random letters you must translate in order to prove your humanness, and it's supposedly the one thing that separates us from the machines. It's also used in nearly every site registration process--and more recently at site logins. The bottom line is that it's annoying but also utterly necessary to keep evil at bay.
Enter reCAPTCHA, a project of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. A mix between disease-curing Folding@Home, and MyCroft [review], reCAPTCHA requires users to solve two jumbled words: one is the actual captcha, the other is just a word that needs to be translated into text. These words come from various scanned books and documents residing on the Internet Archive. Many of those books were written before computers and in their current state (PDFs and image files) are just glorified photographs--a medium that is still hard to sort through. Once complete, they'll be digital text, and completely searchable.
Words for translation are not just chosen by random. Documents that have been scanned, get checked by an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine, which is able to pick up many of the words. Those that are misspelled by OCR, or are impossible to read, are plucked and put into the ReCaptcha word pool. Sites can implement ReCaptcha several ways. There are plug-ins for WordPress, MediaWiki, phpBB, and PHP.
I've embedded a sample ReCaptcha below. You'll notice both words look similar, as ReCaptcha is using both words from the same source, so you can't tell which one has already been solved.
Other people have previously seen this block, though we don't hear about this very often. If you manage to set off Google's filter, it should be a pretty innocuous block. Enter the text, and you should be back up and googling in no time.
I recently signed up for a trial of SmartSheet (review forthcoming), and it took me three tries to get past the "captcha," the distorted numbers and letters I had to type to prove to the sign-up system that I was a human.
I'm a person, dammit. You can tell because I'm cursing at the screen. If you make the text any harder to read I'm going to take my personal business elsewhere. Then you'll have nothing but the robots to keep you company.
Related: I also tried to get my new laptop setup on … Read more