I read the news every morning because, frankly, I’m not ready to face the writhing pile of screaming fucks that my days tend to be. Untangling that goo is just much too much to deal with right out of bed. So, anyway, I delay the inevitable by reading a ton of news feeds and calling it research for social media.
Yesterday morning, I came across a real gem — it made my heart go pitter-patter. Google’s Captcha, that fucking annoying thing that pops up when you want to type a comment into a forum or on a blog or something, has undergone a huge redesign. Instead of those twisted letters that no actual human can read (yet they’re designed to keep bots out… hmmm….), a basic checkbox will be appearing across the web that simply says, “I am not a robot.” If Google believes you, you’ll be allowed to proceed, if not, you’ll get the weird twisted lettering and get to play 20 questions with the computer for an hour.
But that’s not all. Mobile users are getting to play a little matching game instead of having to try to see those twisted letters on their tiny screens. They’ll be allowed to choose all the turkeys in a series of photos to unlock the internet instead. And this is a very good thing.
See, the problem with the web is the very thing that makes it so amazingly awesome. Anybody can post any Goddamned thing they see fit to post. Even if that person is a bot. Of course, we can’t have spam bots filling up the web with ads for Viagra because that’ll take up room we’d rather fill with pictures of cats, so Google rightfully created this sort of secret handshake years ago — except that it’s an incredible pain in the ass.
I’m not a robot, but I can assure you that there are days when I honestly can’t unlock the Captcha. I can’t — is that a one or a seven? Is there an “L” in that address placard? Eventually, I just give up or forget whatever pithy thing it was I was going to say. And it pisses me off to no end, I gotta say. It’s hard to engage socially when you’re distracted by doing an impossible puzzle. I couldn’t even get through the first level of Myst — Captcha might as well be advanced nuclear spaceship science shit.
Google’s expending a lot of effort to figure out who’s human and who isn’t, and I am so happy they bothered to try. The cunt that invented the first spam bot should be found, flogged and tortured in a public space, but until that day comes, at least we’ve got some new and better gatekeepers. Keep the robots out, but let the humans in. All the humans!