Ticketmaster Finally Dropping Captcha System...For Ad-Driven Captcha Clone

from the captcha-is-advertising-and-advertising-is-captcha dept

I hate Captcha systems. Now, I don't only hate them because they're only mildy effective while being creatively annoying, but also because I'm a toaster-class Cylon and I consider them an affront to my intelligence. Okay, that isn't true, but the fact is that Captcha hasn't evolved all that much in the past several years and it's generally an annoyance. You type in barely legible words, that occasionally have a strikethrough, and the best you can hope for is that the word combinations say something laughable so you at least get a little entertainment out of the experience.

Captcha
Pictured: Security
Image source: CC BY-SA 2.0


Fortunately, one common user of Captcha is dismissing it from their site. Ticketmaster has decided that Captcha is now too hated to use. Are you ready for the massive change?

Ticketmaster has moved to ditch it in favour of a simpler system. It means users will write phrases, such as "freezing temperatures", rather than, for example, "tormentis harlory".
Oh. Okay, well that's...mildly different, I suppose. If you're wondering how this almost noticeable change in user input is going to be achieved, allow me to explain. See, instead of using whatever 8-year-old-boys-playing-Madlibs algorithm that's currently employed to generate the response words in barely legible form, the system will now be a sort of Q&A, chiefly used to allow advertising in the form of questions. For instance, you might be given the name of a well-known brand of gum followed by a request to input what the brand name is commonly associated with. You might also get to answer in multiple choice format. While the choice to include advertisements within the system may seem odd, at least everything will now be legible. Testing thus far appears to show positive results.
The average time to solve a Captcha puzzle was 14 seconds, while the new system was taking users an average of seven seconds to figure out.
Halving the input time is certainly an improvement. It remains to see how many advertisers want to be associated with a system not all that different from one almost universally hated.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Coises (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    “It remains to see how many advertisers want to be associated with a system not all that different from one almost universally hated.”

    Aren’t all advertisers associated with a system almost universally hated... advertising?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    I'll bet a spam bot could tell what a captcha's words are better than I can. >_>

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 7:21pm

      Re:

      Exactly, I am trying to decipher the one in the article.

      spam
      scam
      scrhivi
      SOPAM
      SOPAIV
      SOPAVI

      Ah! screw it time for me to scram.

       

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    tamar, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 7:16pm

    so smart

    Solve media is their partner...pure genius

     

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    Zos (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    it still sounds less annoying than captcha.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 7:55pm

    I am so screwed if this catches on.

    I don't know what brands are famous or not, frak! frak! frak!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    Eh, I thought everyone uses reCaptcha these days because it helps digitize books... I'll gladly solve reCaptchas exactly because I know my effort helps them while authenticating myself as a human.

    While a custom solution may work for TechDirt since it's not being specifically targetted, it's trivial to analyse how it works to write dedicated code to post spam just for your site.

    So you can't just claim all captchas are dumb and unneeded :/

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      It may help to digitize books, but especially with older books I think it does more damage than good. For example the average user cant be bothered to differentiate between ſ and f, therefore filling classic literature with fome fhit.

       

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    TAKUMI (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 8:29pm

    I actually thought the recaptchas were kind of neat. I mean, when you complete one of those, you're actually helping to digitise some kind of book or document. It almost made me feel a small sense of pride to know I was contributing to some kind of noble project to preserve knowledge just by filling out a silly scrambled-letter puzzle.

    Although, after watching Solve's video, I guess I can agree that typing stuff out of ads is more fun than just watching them clog up a page. If this could reduce banner ads, I'd be all for it.

     

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    Nigel (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 8:48pm

    Helps Digitize Books

    I am not that bothered by re-captcha and if you have not caught this it's a really interesting watch.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_massive_scale_online_collaboration.html

    Nigel

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 1st, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    but also because I'm a toaster-class Cylon and I consider them an affront to my intelligence. Okay, that isn't true

    Frak!! there's that theory blown to shreds.. And It would of explained so much too ;)

     

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    Anonymous Cowherd, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 1:12am

    Ads in captcha, useless or discriminating

    I remembers seeing a captcha somewhere once that showed some logo I'd never seen and asked me to describe the brand with any words...I typed in "any words." It was accepted.

    If I had been required to actually know what the hell that logo was about, I might have been more than a bit upset.

     

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    Rekrul, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 1:58am

    Recently I followed a link to a site that wanted you to solve a captcha by watching a small video and entering what it told you. Unfortunately someone screwed up because even though the phrase was written in clear, block letters that were as easy to read as the headline to this story, it wouldn't accept it and kept telling me that I entered it wrong.

     

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    Old Fool (profile), Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 2:05am

    Reddits Idea of Captcha fun.

    Try /r/inglip

    AND BOW TO YOUR GOD!

     

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    Bollocks, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 2:33am

    I think captchas should be made fun and enjoyable like
    whenever you solve one as soon as you submit it a politician or banker or corporation are immediately killed / destroyed
    But that's just me I guess?

     

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    F!, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 4:00am

    really...

    why why WHY does anyone at all still use ticketmaster... I don't just mean buying tickets, the artists selling them as well.

    Who uses ticketmaster? Seriously?!?

    I guess it's the same people who still shop at walmart and eat at mcdonalds. You fuckers are killing the world. PLEASE STOP! self-indulgent assholes

     

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    Anonymous, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 5:50am

    With the way I have my security set up on my home computer (no Javascript or Active X, highest possible firewall settings, etc.) I can't do Captcha from home. I have to use public computers for sites that use Captcha.

     

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    RadialSkid (profile), Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 7:08am

    the best you can hope for is that the word combinations say something laughable so you at least get a little entertainment out of the experience.

    You can say that again...the randomness is just too much. I once got "Mexicans thieving" in a Captcha. Seriously.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 7:15am

    How much of a fee will they charge for this new feature?

     

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    Patrick (profile), Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    "Tormentis harlory?" lol. What is that, a Harry Potter spell for torturing prostitutes?

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 3rd, 2013 @ 3:18am

    not enough captcha hatin'...

    i am not opposed to the idea of captcha for soft-security stuff, but the implementation of it drives me nuts...

    depending on how messed up they make it, the words can be so distorted/obscured, that i have to run through 4-5 reloads to get one that is readable...
    WTF

    i'm imagining that spammers/etc who break captchas for whatever reasons, have little-no trouble breaking them, but it sure does annoy the fuck out of me, a 'real' user...

    as far as i'm concerned, its a teeny, tiny DRM function that does little/nothing to slow down the 'bad guys', but annoys the hell out of ALL the legitimate users...

    any software which makes me feel unnecessarily stupid, is NOT software i tend to admire...

    hatin' on captcha here, boss ! ! !

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Tex Arcana (profile), Feb 3rd, 2013 @ 9:28am

    All these allegedly "Techie" people, and the missed the obvious???

    :wtf:

    Okay, I get Cylon Boy: toasters aren't particularly smart. But the rest of you??

    The one I see the most with the "new" systems that Ticketmaster is about to use, has been using that along with standard character recognition (about a 50-50 split), for YEARS. One of the most ubiquitous free picture uploaders on the planet: TinyPic.

    It's okay, but there are times where the images either don't resolve, or the picture with the question don't even come up, and hitting the "new image" button doesn't work. Probably a fault of Captcha or ReCaptcha, not TinyPic. And it's still annoying--especially when you *have* a Photophuckit account, you log in, and it STILL refuses to acknowledge you don't have to have the "spamblockers". :hammer:

     

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    Ninja (profile), Feb 4th, 2013 @ 1:40am

    Online sex shop advertising on that system. Hilarity ensues.

     

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    nikkip (profile), Feb 4th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Picture CAPTCHAs

    I've seen some websites that have a CAPTCHA that shows a bunch of different pictures and says something like "click on the picture of the cat", like this one: http://www.confidenttechnologies.com/Confident_CAPTCHA_Demo

    It's much faster and easier to solve than trying to decipher impossible text or type some slogan.

     

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    elr, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Yeah, I've seen all these new puzzle captchas. In some cases, the applet didn't load all the way and it said the captcha was wrong even though it confirmed it successful. They're pretty crazy.

     

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