You know those little grids filled with squiggly numbers and letters that youre supposed to copy into a box at the bottom of commercial Web sites? Theyre called captchas (an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, after mathematician Alan Turing, in case youre interested), theyre designed to determine that youre not a spambot, and theyre almost universally annoying. Almost.
In the interest of making Web security more fun, several clever programmers have recently built applications that turn captchas into games that let you pick out three things that will prove youre a human. kittenauth.com offers a cutesy version that presents a grid of fluffy animals and asks you to pick out three of a kind.
Hate cats? Try hotcaptcha.com, a Hot-or-Not mashup developed by Web 2.0 group FrozenBear. This variation shows you a series of pics of real people and asks you to choose the three hot ones. There are male and female versions, and if you like what you see you can click Meet Me to access the persons profile. Sounds funny, but—like Hot or Not—it's kind of mean-spirited and also highly subjective, which makes it useless, security-wise. Case in point: Apparently FrozenBear and I have very different tastes in men, because every time I submitted my picks the response was Wrong! Die, bot, die. —Carla Thomas
Link via kittenauth.com; Link via hotcaptcha.comRelated:
Caloric or Not
Youre walking down the street, and you know something isnt right. People keep giving you that look. Is your fly unzipped? Hilarious Kick me sign taped to your back? Perhaps people are just staring at your brand-new video belt buckle.
Yes, thats right. No longer is the giant brass Texas-shaped clasp the pinnacle of belt-closure fashion. Now we have the EgoKast—a belt-mounted video player that displays music clips, slideshows of photographs or ripped DVDs on a 3.5-inch screen mounted right above your crotch. The wearer of the EgoKast (Disclaimer: This gets more attention than some people can handle, warns the devices Web site) can load video, music and photographs via the built-in SD-card slot. If you're feeling a bit more modest, unclip it and use it as a standard portable music and video player.
I personally cant imagine someone walking down the street with a color LCD screen on their belt buckle broadcasting highlights from the recent family vacation to SeaWorld. But rocking a waist-mounted 50 Cent video in the club? That just might work. —Carla Thomas
Related:The Goods: July 2006