The New York Times has an article today entitled Spammers Pay Others to Answer Security Tests which has some relevance to Talk of the Sound.
As some of you may have noticed we have had some odd articles posted to Talk of the Sound such as “How to Win at Roulette”, and “An overview of the patio misting system”. Likewise, we have had some odd comments as well. While I am sure these articles and comments might be fascinating to some readers they are unwelcome attempts at spam advertising. They are being posted because a company is hiring people first to register for “disposable” email accounts from places like Yahoo and Hotmail and then registering for Talk of the Sound which automatically assigns them posting privileges. This is always a game of “cat and mouse” and eventually the email services and our software provider (Drupal) will solve it but for now we will just delete them as they show and trust folks know that we are not soliciting articles on “The Advantages of Charter Buses”.
Sophisticated spammers are paying people in India, Bangladesh, China and other developing countries to tackle the simple tests known as captchas, which ask Web users to type in a string of semiobscured characters to prove they are human beings and not spam-generating robots.
I did learn one new thing from this article. CAPTCHA is a rough acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”. There is an entire set of literature on Turing Tests but to put it simply it is a sort of behavioral test for “the presence of mind, or thought, or intelligence”.