Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Security and the Sexy Social Network

Steve Lacey points us to a nifty little application of social network type applications.

You've used CAPTCHA before. It's the name given to those spam-id verification services that make you type in a string of semi-garbled, non-machine-readable characters to verify you are a human. Leave a comment on this blog post to see an example.

The problem is, they are a pain to use - at best they are tedious - and sometimes they are unrecognizable. (If you are like me, these unrecognizable ones lead you to a moment of wondering whether you are ones of the machines yourself!)

Anyhow, Steve points us to Hot Captcha, from the same folks that made Hot or Not (oh, come on, admit it, you've been there). Hot Captcha replaces the string of characters with a row of nine pictures of people. Three of those are hot, six are not. Pick the right three, and you are human.

As Steve points out:

They have provided a webservice that uses the collective intelligence of humans to put together a question set that is almost impossible for a non-human to answer. Pretty cool.

Pretty cool indeed.


Unknown said...

This still will fail using the porn password technique... The spammer has a fake porn site that proxies the authentication in exchange for a 'password'.

Still an interesting idea.

About a day after hotornot came out I sent the owner of the domain a mail like this..

You are brilliant for hotornot.

The owner responded with just..

"I know"

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