Social Question

ETpro's avatar

What's with the Captcha Widgets that won't Captcha?

Asked by ETpro (34208 points ) April 23rd, 2012

Are they designed to work in IE alone? I’m hitting more and more Web forms with a Captcha script that can never be satisfied. The characters may be easy enough to read. I check what I typed to verify it is what I see. I look to verify that the caps lock isn’t on. And still, way too many scripts always answer back that the input did not match, please try again. I’m down to 2 tries now. If a webmaster’s Captcha doesn’t let me contact them, I’m off to find somebody easier to deal with. How about you? Are you seeing this in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc? What’s your response to troublesome or unreadable Captcha Widgets?

Why not just design the form handler CGI script in a bulletproof fashion and simply delete emails submitted by spam bots?

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5 Answers

GoldieAV16's avatar

I don’t know if this is new, or just new to me, but I encountered a captcha the other day that was, “Spell out the following sequence of numbers, in text” followed by a random string of numbers, like 5 3 9. It was so EASY! No bizarre distorted images of words that are either obscure or not even real.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have had mixed success in all three browsers. Captcha is supposed to be browser neutral, and in my experience it is.

There are two major issues with Captcha, in my opinion:

a) the words to ‘decode’ have gotten far more illegible. I think that machine guessing has gotten better, so they have made the Captchas more intricate. The problem, from my standpoint, is that although I am wearing glasses and have reasonably good eyesight, the Captcha images are a whole lot trashier. So they’re inscrutable even to a human.

b) Worse than (a) above, web sites are using Captchas promiscuously. All the time even on things which need not be secure. It’s silly – like the web designer found a new toy and is going to play with it, needed or not. In some cases, it isn’t worth my effort to read a captcha – I would rather leave the web site (and not buy the product) if they put too many obstacles in my way.

My conclusion: it’s a gimmick and they got carried away.

marinelife's avatar

I hate them. Sometimes I can’t even read what’s there. A very few have an option to request a new one, but too many don’t.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

THat WERERERD
“write the words as shown”

or something like that

ETpro's avatar

@GoldieAV16 That can’t possibly last long. It would be a piece of cake to program a bot to do that.

@elbanditoroso Vinson isn’t a problem here. I am talking about ones that are perfectly legible to me. Just to be sure I wasn’t missing something, on one site I really dod want to use, I grabbed a screen capture, pulled it up in an image editor, and magnified it till I was absolutely certain I was entering the string EXACTLY as it was presented. Nothing doing. I asked for 3 different versions, and all of them failed. It certainly seems like their intent was to build a store with no door so they wouldn’t be bothered with the hassle of processing orders and shipping. You are SO right, most of the time there’s no sensible reason for having a Captahc Widget to begin with.

@marinelife Usually I can figure them out. I do appreciate the sites that let you request a replacement or hear it spoken. But I’m hitting an increasing number of them that refuse entry even when you duplicate the string to perfection. I can’t imagine why a Webmaster would want to do that.

@Tropical_Willie I keep waiting for the “Do what I meant, not what I typed” OS to be introduced.

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