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For many years, tech blog Coding Horror used a radically simplified CAPTCHA that only required users to type the word "orange" into a box when posting. The CAPTCHA image never changed, and it was easy to read. That ridiculously simple step was apparently enough to stop spam from appearing in the comments there for a long time. I have heard that systems that pose a simple arithmetic problem ("What is 2 + 3?") are also surprisingly effective. Although it's possible to program a computer to get around either scheme, that turns out to take too much time and effort. The economics of spam don't work if the spammer has to intervene; spam is profitable only when great tides of it can be produced with the barest of human effort. Even the smallest speed-bump may be enough to make the spammers look elsewhere. My only objection to CAPTCHAs is that so many of the modern ones are only barely human readable, and it can take me several tries to get them right. Sometimes I give up. The "orange" system and the arithmetic systems don't give me any trouble, though.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2013 on TOP Comment Policy Change at The Online Photographer
Thirteen years ago, Free Software guru/zealot Richard Stallman wrote a short story about a future educational system and society based on leased knowledge and the DRM technologies and laws that go with it. And a lot of people laughed or ignored it. I think that future looks more plausible every year.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2010 on Leasing Knowledge at The Online Photographer
Some of us are stipulating that 10ms shutter lag figure could only be possible if the camera is pre-focused. But of course this is the case; it must be the case, it is always the case. It would be incoherent to include auto-focus time in a figure called "shutter lag." The time required to auto-focus any particular camera changes with the lens installed (in the case of interchangeable-lens cameras) and with the amount of light available (in all cases). Including focusing time in the "shutter lag" would raise more questions than it would answer. We should expect mirror-less cameras (or pellicle mirror cameras like some of the new Sony models) to have shorter shutter lag than SLR cameras. SLRs must flip the mirror up and wait for it to stop bouncing around before opening the shutter. Without the mechanical mirror, it's possible to open the shutter immediately.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on Fuji X100 Update at The Online Photographer
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Nov 24, 2010