While CAPTCHA’s are supposed to keep the evil spammers of the world at bay there is no doubt that they are an annoyance to the end user. Most involve deciphering a string of mangled characters in an image which you must get right before you can complete a transaction of some sort (e.g. for signing up to an email service or posting on a forum).

Theoretically only humans can correctly identify the characters and hence proceed but in recent years many variations have been allegedly defeated by advanced optical character recognition software (check out this Chinese website which tells you how difficult each type is to crack and how much it costs to do so). It seems to have turned into a game of cat an mouse between the hackers and those trying to stop them with ever more elaborate variations. A friend of mine discovered this one today when trying to download something from RapidShare

What on earth is “only enter symbols attached to a cat” supposed to mean??!! Am I lacking optical cat recognition abilities? For the life of me I can’t see any cats in there (let alone attached ones)! After multiple failed attempts it turned out that the answer to this one was DTEC. It seems we have a problem.

As it turns out, this isn’t the only crazy CAPTCHA out there and whilst captcha is a “good enough” solution in most cases there has to be a better solution to this madness, even if it’s just to improve the usability of the current system. Any takers?

Comments

  1. David says:

    I can just about make a dog in the 1 (or I) if I squint really hard but I can't see any cats!

    You have to wonder if they actually want people using their service or is this just a poor ploy to get people to sign up to their premium product?

    P.s. I'd recommend http://filemail.com/ for sending large files.

  2. Typhoon says:

    I takes me like 5 tries to do these f'in things . why do most people upload to Rapidshit instead of stuff like Mediafire or Sendspace!?

  3. Travis says:

    The trick is to look at their heads, if they have cat heads, it's it. For me it's always been number letter number letter if thats any help. And i didn't click the download button, i pressed enter in the box where you type the code in, and it worked.

    Good luck

  4. Werner says:

    Oh my goodness! That was the most RETARDED thing I have ever done in my life. Took me about 30 tries, and a message that even told me I had gotten enough wrong that I had to wait 10 minutes more to try again.

    Wow. Thanks for screwing your company over RapidShare, I no longer like you guys.

    *thumbs down*

  5. Michael says:

    “Premium Users do not have to enter codes.” – This says it all, they're trying to frustrate us into subscribing.

  6. lolol says:

    Lol this is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. It's only meant to spoof bots, and this is probably the stupidest way I have seen that done on the entire internet.

    Congrats Rapidshare for making yourselves look like the biggest idiots on the net.

  7. lolol says:

    By the way, pressing enter instead of clicking download seems to be the best way to make it work.

  8. stupidme says:

    I can't recognize if it is a cat or a mouse or a dog …. I need a magnified glass…..

  9. DD says:

    Tried repeatedly using all caps, thinking that would make a difference. Turns out it does make a difference! It does not work – use lower case only! (And the sequence is not always-number-letter-number-letter).

    Very frustrating to say the least 😛

  10. Patrick says:

    Seriously, thought i was retarded.. when i couldnt do this…

    UNNECESSARILY DIFFICULT.. have no idea why they would do this..

  11. Vamp says:

    I got mine at first try, but I couldn't realy quite make it out, I had to save the picture, open it and zoom-in in order to tell cats and dogs apart, and even then, I have to say I was lucky to get it right!

    The major difference is that the cats are the somewhat 'fatter' picture.

  12. ritz says:

    i guess some bloody looser in Rapidshare thought it is a great idea and lets implement it and be famous … ass***le did he ever tried it himself … how painful it is for users to get it correct?

    I tried magnifying the image and still after 100 of tries it shows me wrong …

    have they ever themselves seen a dog and cat?
    Stop wasting our time … I guess we should all boycott them and use another file upload space…

    Thanks for nothing rapidshare team !

  13. rapidhate says:

    @john: because certain people have problems in being addicted off of rapidshare

    ok, after like 50 something tries, the trick is to see which ones are sitting and which are standing. the standing ones are the dogs, the sitting ones are the cats

    seriously, rapidshare people are being such [edit]! at least they should find something HUMANS can be able to do…

  14. Lenka says:

    I got almost insane with such stupidity but here are suggestions which work:
    1) never press download, but press ENTER in code area
    2) look at the heads, cats have them roundish, dogs just wide
    3) cats are rounder than dogs, cats are bigger than dogs

    good luck with this stupidity

  15. RapidShare Sucks says:

    FYI try the letters where the animal its sitting and like Lenka said never click on download, just press Enter. Have fun!

  16. Rapidshare sucks and lenka are right… but it remains difficult!

    another good service is fast-load.net! Up to 250 mb per file, as fast (even faster sometimes) than rapidshare and no limits for downloading! you can even earn money :p

  17. Kudafi says:

    The only thing I can say is “Rapidshare we are not fortune tellers!” =)

  18. Azeem says:

    This is pure genius because… guess what… they want you to sign up for a premium account by annoying the hell out of you

  19. vebguru says:

    Rapidshare's pussy cat captcha was a history now (they have abandoned it after failed test) and a good example for usability horrors.

    And there are still good captcha breaker's out there and first class spammer xrumer ( http://www.botmaster.net/more1/ ) has a good captcha breaker.

  20. Billy says:

    CAPTCHA reminds me of the garbage letters that people type using messed up keyboards.

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