I’ve always been bothered by the idea behind captchas (those weird looking things you have to type in to create an account on some sites). I resent that they make us, the good guys, prove that we’re good guys (or that we’re human, in this case). I feel the same way about having to lock my car, but after being repeatedly robbed, I have given up on that ideal. I’ve even had to use captchas on a few systems I’ve worked with myself (and I’m particularly proud of the catchpa on WebTwenny.com).
The reasons captchas are bad have been well explained by people smarter than myself. I’m no fan of spam, but I find myself oddly delighted to see spammers using the very technology developed to limit spam, to actually defeat spam-prevention systems. Recent spam emails have been including captcha-like images that are presumably intended to confuse spam-detection systems.
Oh, and the images are cartoon penises. Hold your mouse over (or click on) the grey image to see the delightfully horrifying image I received in my inbox.
Note: I’ve obscured the image by default not because of prudish sensibilities, but because I just couldn’t have those little guys staring at me from my own weblog.