Re: What is the issue with Captchas?

Gerald Levy

Have you ever tried to understand announcements aboard a New York City subway trains?  That’s how most audio captchas sound: garbled, distorted  and incomprehensible, even to those with normal hearing.

From: Angel
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2016 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: What is the issue with Captchas?
Perhaps frustration might be better used than anger to express the feelings felt.  We blind people were given modern technology.  Which we saw quite quickly would greatly improve our quality of life.  From what it was prior to its advent.  We could accomplish things we never dreamt we could.  We began believing we could do what sighted people did equally with them.  It seems to us, me particularly, the more advanced technology becomes, the more we realize we aren't quite equal with sighted people. Who, can just decide they want to accomplish a thing.  Then,  proceeding right to their goal.  It is exasperating to say the least, when we truly want to accomplish a task; almost completing it, and finding, we are thwarted by a silly string of garbled words or numbers.  When all wle are trying to do is to access what sighted people take for granted can   be accessed.  The whole process reminds us further, we are blind afterall, and are left behind once again.  When we find a program which solves captas for us successfully, a change is made.  Causing the solving of captas unsuccessful again.  There are few captas I have successfully solved alone.  Without sighted assistance.  This was only due to my ability to hear competently.  I can only imagine what such attempts must be like for those with cochlear implants.  A few years ago, I heard what sounds sounded like to a person with such implants, and it was a different experience to say the least. 
----- Original Message -----
From: Cindy Ray
Sent: Wednesday, January 06, 2016 10:57 AM
Subject: Re: What is the issue with Captchas?

I am not sure what post of mine you are talking about.

There has been a lot more anger than mine asserted here.




From: Brian Vogel [mailto:britechguy@...]
Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 9:53 AM
Subject: Re: What is the issue with Captchas?


Cindy Lou,

          I want to be clear that I was trying to state that your anger, which there was in that post, was entirely justifiable but that your assertion, "with image captchas whose value at thwarting hackers is dubious at best," was not.  The value of Captchas for that particular security purpose is incredibly strong and well documented.  It made a very wide array of bot based attacks vanish and stay vanished.  That was the focus of my comment to you.

          The rest was more general.  I can never understand the degree of frustration that has been expressed in this thread other than in the abstract because I do know that the issues you all have identified don't affect me.  But at the same time there seems to be an undercurrent of, "this is a plot against accessibility," which it most certainly was not.

          There are also a lot of Captcha imitators who, to put it mildly, have never even attempted to support accessibility.  I could post links to a number of web pages I know of that use the "image of distorted letters but with no alternate nor audio" verification method, and hasten to add that these are not Captchas, though I get entirely why the term Captcha has become generic much like Kleenex, Jello, Frigidaire, Xerox, and many others before it.  Everyone who holds the trademarks on these gets really upset when they become "the generic term" because those who are doing knock-offs are generally not doing good or faithful ones.  I just want to emphasize that the Captcha folks already recognize what a barrier even the "improved" version can be, hence the move to reCaptcha that I mentioned earlier.

          There really is, believe it or not, a genuine concern with accessibility and thinking about it ahead of time by most major companies these days.  Some are still caught with the technology (e.g., conventional Captchas) that they have until the next release of their development cycle catches up.  Others, however, really don't give a flying rat's patootie and should be pilloried for that.


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