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3 points by akkartik 699 days ago | link | parent

Simple captchas are totally fine. My problem is with Google's ReCaptcha in particular, where the problems have gotten so difficult that I mostly can't prove I'm a human.

2 points by i4cu 699 days ago | link

Hmm... That's not my experience. 90% of ReCaptcha tests are invisible if not a simple checkbox. Only a small optional subset requires introducing a problem solver.

I do agree though, the text ones can be a pain, but that doesn't happen too often. Sadly HN seems to push those more often.


1 point by akkartik 699 days ago | link

I don't get either a checkbox or text anymore. I get to identify pictures with cars and signs and whatnot.


2 points by i4cu 699 days ago | link

I've never failed a cars or signs test. It's only the text scribbles that kill me :)

I have to wonder what you're doing that make google zero in on you.... lol. Tor? maybe proxy IP's?


3 points by rocketnia 694 days ago | link

One time I spent a good 20 minutes identifying cars, signs, and storefronts before it would let me in, and that was with no VPN or Tor or anything. At some point they oughta be paying us. :-p


3 points by hjek 690 days ago | link

Someone tried to take Google to court already, arguing exactly that :-)


3 points by rocketnia 690 days ago | link

"Plaintiff has failed to allege how these numerous benefits outweigh the few seconds it takes to transcribe one word."

A few seconds is qualitatively different from 20 minutes, I'd think. :-p


1 point by i4cu 693 days ago | link

This is probably going to sound super crazy, but I have to say it...

I know you (akkartik) have a google account, because I remember when you moved your blog over to google's services (I think they call it 'circles' or some such). I also remember you created a news aggregator application that scraped content. Yes, I know, it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..., but still...

I'm thinking that google identified your scraping work and deemed you a risky robot type, but they also probably correlated your IP from the scraping to your IP from your google services login and tagged you that way. So now, even if your IP changed, they'll continue to have you in their cross-hairs for, like, ever.

Any takers? If you'd like I can also look into who killed JFK...


3 points by akkartik 693 days ago | link

Lol, no.

Other possible reasons:

a) My cookie acceptance policies are non-standard. (I no longer even remember what they are anymore.)

b) I'm often behind a VPN for work.

c) I'm often on my phone, or tethering from my phone.

Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on. You don't have to have run a scraper to hit it, I don't think. I think you may be a robot from the future for never having problems with the pictures of signs and cars :p

Final minor correction: I've played with Google+ in the past (I actually worked at Google on Circles for a year) but I never moved my blog there. I just linked to my blog posts from there.


2 points by i4cu 693 days ago | link

> Complaints about ReCaptcha are fairly common if you look on HN and so on.

Yeah I'm aware of the complaints, but in my mind HN wouldn't be the best resource of information for such an assessment. By default HN members are non-standard in most ways that would matter to ReCaptcha.

It's an interesting dilemma and one that I'm coming up on soon as I plan to release a new app in a few months time. In my case the intended audience for the app is very widespread and not specific to a tech audience. It could be that the vast majority of my users (if I get any - lol) would never have a problem, because the vast majority of people using the net don't know what a VPN is or how to change a cookie setting (just as examples).

I'll have to give it some more thought, but in the mean time, are you aware of any resources on the matter that would be more reflective than HN?

edit: I often find info like this [1]:

  "Different studies conducted by Stanford University, Webnographer and 
  Animoto, showed that there is an approximately 15% abandonment rate when the 
  users are faced with CAPTCHA challenge."

But really I do expect to take some loss when using reCaptcha. The question really becomes is it worth it? After all spam can also cause users to leave and content scrapers can also de-value your product.


3 points by akkartik 693 days ago | link

Certainly, it's an issue only tech-savvy people will have.

However, every step you put users through is a place where your funnel will leak. So in your place I wouldn't turn on captcha until I actually see spam being a problem.

Also, independently, since I am personally ill-disposed towards ReCaptcha I have zero urge to help maintain it in Anarki :) You're welcome to hack on it, though!


2 points by i4cu 693 days ago | link

> So in your place I wouldn't turn on captcha until I actually see spam being a problem


> I have zero urge to help maintain it in Anarki

It's really only a few line of code (probably smaller than a unit test) and it has already exposed json bugs, so I consider it a win all around.

At any rate it's probably verging on discussion overkill for such a small item. :)


2 points by krapp 693 days ago | link

I think it's less important to have Recaptcha or not than it is to have a working POC for interaction with a remote JSON API, and for parsing JSON in general, since that opens up a lot of possibilities. Recaptcha itself is just the low-hanging fruit for that, since it's so simple.

As far as integration goes, we could just leave it up to whomever wants to do the work or make it easily configurable with the default being not to use it at all.


3 points by krapp 692 days ago | link

... well, it's up[0].

I don't know why the tests keep failing, though, it works locally.



3 points by rocketnia 692 days ago | link

It's great to see a JSON API integrated in Arc. :)

I took a look and found fixes for the unit tests. Before I got into that debugging though, I noticed some problems with the JSON library that I'm not sure what to do with. It turns out those are unrelated to the test failures.

I left details about these in comments on the closed pull request, which might not have been the best place:


2 points by krapp 692 days ago | link

The JSON solution is a quick and dirty hack by a rank noob, and I'm sure something better will come along.

And in hindsight the problem with the (body) macro should probably have been obvious, considering HTML tables are built using (tab) and not (table). I'm starting to think everything other than (tag) should be done away with to avoid the issue in principle, but that would be a major undertaking and probably mostly just bikeshedding.