Captchas for My Blog Comments

If you are an avid reader of, and have never posted a comment, well, shame on you!  But, if you have, you may notice that I now have captchas in place.

Thanks to the WordPress Challenge Plugin, most spammers should be finally locked out. 

You may wonder, “how much spam can Mike possibly get on his piddly little blog?”  Well, just today I moderated out 267 spam comments, with 1 legitimate comment.  Imagine having to look through a list of 267 messages to find ONE that was worthy… Every day!

If you read this blog and never posted a comment – post one now!  It’s easy, it’s free, and your post will help save the environment. 

4 thoughts on “Captchas for My Blog Comments

  • January 25, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Math captchas? Neat.

    Here’s a puzzle for you: What will happen to our online systems if and when captchas are defeated? In particular, the “What is the text in this image”-style captchas seem like they’re ripe to be defeated. As it’s been explained to me, solving these is really two problems:
    1.) Identify the segmentation points between glyphs, and
    2.) Identify a glyph in a region of the graphic among the noise.

    At a conference I attended 2 years ago (CEAS), a paper was presented that showed that computers are about 2 orders of magnitude better at #2 than humans are. So now we’re down to solving #1.

    So here’s my prediction: In 5 years, image style captchas as they are used today will not be effective anti-bot tools.

  • January 25, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    Expecting captchas to be broken seems pretty reasonable. The good news is that there are many different implementations. So, first to be knocked down will be the more important captchas for spammers to defeat – e.g. those at Google, Hotmail, etc. Then, if there are common implementations, those will get knocked down. And we’ll build tougher captchas.

    The captcha on this site is an arbitrary question. You can set it to anything. I could set it to “What is Mike’s last name?” Sure, it could be defeated if a spammer really wanted to take me down. But they’ll be looking to defeat more important captchas and ones that they can knock down generically across many sites.

  • January 25, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    BTW – Congratulations to Jeff for being the first poster to successfully solve the complex math challenges in our new comment captcha’s!


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