Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here.
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Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here. Feature requests are closed.
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agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by agent00shoe »

What do you guys think about using something like this instead of those hard to read captcha graphics?

The pros:
-You can load as many validation statement/answer combinations as you want.
-Each statement can have as many correct answers as you need. For example, answers that are numbers can either be spelled out or numerical.
-Because you have 100% control over the system, you can make it as hard or as easy as you want, you can have fun with it, make the questions fit the theme of your site etc.
-Answers can be true/false, yes/no, numerical, a single word, or a phrase. It can be whatever you want.
-Everyone on the planet doesn't need to be able to answer every single question you pose. This isn't a universal fix. You can tailor the questions to match the subject of your website or forum since they're the only ones who need to answer correctly.
-The plain text makes it easier for screen readers to help people, eliminating the need for audio alternatives for the vision impaired.

The cons:
-It's plain text, possible for bots to read. But these validation statements require thought and bots aren't good at that.

I just wrote the script about 20 minutes ago and haven't played with it much. I'm just throwing it out there to see what others think about having something like this. Captcha's have been getting less and less user friendly with the aim of combating computer programs with other computer programs. As captcha scripts improve, so does OCR. I think the better way to approach the problem is to return it to more human terms. Bots probably won't be able to deal with such simple, human questions for a long time.


All feedback is welcome.
agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability

Post by agent00shoe »

Since captcha is about human interaction, what do you think about trying a simpler, more human approach and steering away from competing with bots and OCR, like this?
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DavidMJ
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Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by DavidMJ »

The validation statement was:
How many fingers do most people have?

You answered:
5

Wrong answer. You disgust me.
I fear such a system because it can be too open ended. Unless the questions are generated completely randomly, there is no real way to secure this at all, it is really easy to win against...
Freedom from fear
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Highway of Life
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Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by Highway of Life »

ugh.. I don't like it anymore than the CAPTCHA, for several reasons.
Every question is a new page.
Every question is the same, in the same order. A bot could be programmed to answer all of those questions, then search the internet for all phpBB boards using that MOD and successfully register.
I picked in Peter piper picked a peck of pickled what? "pepper", oh yeah... it's plural, duh.
Starts me over... too frustrated to continue...

See the problem?
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agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by agent00shoe »

DavidMJ wrote:
The validation statement was:
How many fingers do most people have?

You answered:
5

Wrong answer. You disgust me.
I fear such a system because it can be too open ended. Unless the questions are generated completely randomly, there is no real way to secure this at all, it is really easy to win against...

Fear? The questions are created by the forum owner, but displayed randomly. You can create as many as you want and change them when you want. I can guarantee the visitors to our forum would get more of these questions correct than some of the captchas that are in use. Not only that, bots can read better than they can think. The current captchas focus too much on the reading and zero on thinking. I'd like to know how someone would make a bot that can answer such random questions that are chosen by each webmaster. It would require human intervention to solve the questions, defeating the purpose of the bots in the first place.
Yawnster
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Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by Yawnster »

agent00shoe wrote: What do you guys think about using something like this instead of those hard to read captcha graphics?

The pros:
-You can load as many validation statement/answer combinations as you want.
-Each statement can have as many correct answers as you need. For example, answers that are numbers can either be spelled out or numerical.
-Because you have 100% control over the system, you can make it as hard or as easy as you want, you can have fun with it, make the questions fit the theme of your site etc.
-Answers can be true/false, yes/no, numerical, a single word, or a phrase. It can be whatever you want.
-Everyone on the planet doesn't need to be able to answer every single question you pose. This isn't a universal fix. You can tailor the questions to match the subject of your website or forum since they're the only ones who need to answer correctly.
-The plain text makes it easier for screen readers to help people, eliminating the need for audio alternatives for the vision impaired.

The cons:
-It's plain text, possible for bots to read. But these validation statements require thought and bots aren't good at that.

I just wrote the script about 20 minutes ago and haven't played with it much. I'm just throwing it out there to see what others think about having something like this. Captcha's have been getting less and less user friendly with the aim of combating computer programs with other computer programs. As captcha scripts improve, so does OCR. I think the better way to approach the problem is to return it to more human terms. Bots probably won't be able to deal with such simple, human questions for a long time.


All feedback is welcome.


Thing is this relies on randomness.. total randomness.. It involves users (admins in fact).. making up new questions..

Now, if you take a look at the support forum and you see how many people ask where they can change the yourdomain.com string.. you really expect people to configure that? Im afraid this is fatally flawed by the end users of this product, because obviously the default version can only hold X amount of questions a script can be written to recognize this X amount..

Also, how about localisation? If a user speaks russian, but the test is in English? I mean how would you use this on multi-national forums?

Nice idea, but flawed. Yawnster
agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by agent00shoe »

Highway of Life wrote: ugh.. I don't like it anymore than the CAPTCHA, for several reasons.
Every question is a new page.

This only stays on the page as an example. It would work just like captcha if it were used.
Highway of Life wrote: Every question is the same, in the same order. A bot could be programmed to answer all of those questions, then search the internet for all phpBB boards using that MOD and successfully register.

The questions are displayed randomly, not in order. Besides, each webmaster would create the questions themselves. There wouldn't be a universal set of answers.
Highway of Life wrote: I picked in Peter piper picked a peck of pickled what? "pepper", oh yeah... it's plural, duh.
Starts me over... too frustrated to continue...

I know you didn't do that because pepper or peppers will answer correctly. So will cat or cats. Plural answers were taken into account when I drafted it last night. You can set an unlimited amount of accepted correct answers for each question.
Highway of Life wrote: See the problem?

Not yet. ;)
agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by agent00shoe »

Yawnster wrote: Thing is this relies on randomness.. total randomness.. It involves users (admins in fact).. making up new questions..

Now, if you take a look at the support forum and you see how many people ask where they can change the yourdomain.com string.. you really expect people to configure that?

If they can type, they can fill out questions and answers. It's no harder than setting up phpbb.
Yawnster wrote: Im afraid this is fatally flawed by the end users of this product, because obviously the default version can only hold X amount of questions a script can be written to recognize this X amount..

It can hold a virtually unlimited amount of questions using the forum's database and they can be switched around over time.
Yawnster wrote: Also, how about localisation? If a user speaks russian, but the test is in English? I mean how would you use this on multi-national forums?

On Russian boards, they would use cyrillic just like they use for their forum, or whatever language they speak. It's not just localised to a language, questions can be localised down to the type of people who visit your board.
agent00shoe

Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by agent00shoe »

Thanks for the feedback guys. I really do appreciate the constructive criticisms. Even if something like this doesn't catch on, it's worth thinking about why captchas are failing. As they get harder to read for bots, they get harder to read for us too. I don't think it can continue like this forever. Making simple thought the method of validation would make it easier for people and much harder on bots. Ah well, that's just my 2 cents. :)
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Highway of Life
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Re: Captchas and Human Readability - Discussion

Post by Highway of Life »

Agentshoe,
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate your enthusiasm.
And of course, I'm all for persuing an alternative method to the CAPTCHA since it's very simple how that works.
If a bot can read it, a human can read it.
If a bot can't read it, a human can't read it.

But it does discourage bot registrations, so it is a must have, of course...

Have you considered one that does a CAPTCHA like picture... it would choose from a selection of pictures... say, animals or birds, for example.
Then the user would type in the name of the animal, and if they don't recognize the animal, can click a button that loads a new image/animal.
I don't know how feasable this would be, but it might be an idea to work off of.

EDIT: "Name one of the 3 stooges. " WHAT THE???? How am I supposed to know???
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