oh, baseball ♥
In December Carl Crawford got traded and we were like
And then Manny got busted for PEDs and we were like
And now here we are at the end of September
If you have signed in to basically anything on the Internet these days, then you’re most likely familiar with the whole CAPTCHA program. That’s the thing where you have to prove you’re not a spambot by typing some nearly unreadable words into a box:
What you may not know is that by using it, you’ve most likely contributed to the translation of thousands of old documents.
In 2009, Google and a couple of other companies had a problem. They wanted to digitize years of old newspapers and books, using software that can “read” the print it’s scanning and then convert it into actual text. But even the most advanced computers had problems reading some of the poor quality scans, because the text was smudged or crooked, or in a font that has been out of use for years.
So, they simply placed those unreadable words in between you and your porn, and told you that you’d need to translate them before going any further. Spambots can’t read them because reCAPTCHA uses only the words that the computers already said they couldn’t read. It’s as brilliant as it is simplistic. The program is called reCAPTCHA, and you’ve probably seen it this week, if not today. It’s currently used by Facebook, Ticketmaster, Twitter, 4chan, CNN.com, StumbleUpon, Craigslist, the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration and thousands of other smaller sites.
And the project is a huge success, managing to digitize 20 years of The New York Times daily newspaper in just a few months, by letting Web surfers decode the hard bits. It is estimated that websites display 200 million reCAPTCHAs a day.
Can’t believe I didn’t know this before now… It’s making me hate captcha codes less. Even though they’re still annoying. Maybe more bearable though. Actually, you should just read the whole article. It’s all pretty cool.