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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Catchup(or Captcha up?)

So, you know how you have to prove you're a human being when posting comments by re typing gibberish? It drives me nuts because sometimes I can't read the letters and other times it says you've got it wrong even when you didn't. The other day, while waiting to be told I wasn't human, I followed a link to a page that explained how you were helping to digitise old books one word at a time. See, there are all these pre-digital age books they're scanning. And the thing about scanners and OCR(optical character recognition) is that sometimes OCR doesn't recognise words and replaces the word with gibberish. That has certainly happened to me, many times. So someone out there got the idea of using this system to not only make sure you don't get overwhelmed with spam, but to work out what these words are. I'm not sure how that works, because you have to type the gibberish, right? But it would explain why so many of those nonsense words look almost like real ones. And it's nice to know that while I'm bring driven crazy, at least I'm helping to make more books available on-line!


Anonymous said...

Word verification makes me insane also. It's pretty cool though that we're figuring out those scanned words!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yes, fascinating, isn't it? Who would have thought we were actually doing something useful while verifying?