This blog is retired.

Archive for the ‘Usability’ Category

Too much good is also bad

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

A simple, but very effective phpBB antispam tool Textual Confirmation (TC) asks newly registering user a question. If the answer is wrong, TC rejects the registration.

How much questions do you need for the best protection? Hard to say, but definitely not 50.

Earlier or later, a cheap outsourced monkey answers some of your questions and adds the answer into the spammer’s database. As a counteraction, you need to change you question. When you have 50 questions, it’s a tedious task.

In my opinion, 2 or 3 questions is enough.

W3C has had it with CAPTCHA

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

You’ve probably heard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); it’s is an “international consortium where member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards.

According to their web site, their mission is:

“To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web.”

Well, lately they have been working hard to lead the web away from CAPTCHA, and with good reason. According to this article on their web site, CAPTCHA is giving webmasters a “false sense of security.”


MOD Textual Confirmation Rises From Pit of Despair

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

True Story:

I became so irritated from using phpBB2 Advanced Visual Confirmation, which ended up causing me more trouble that it was worth, that I finally did something about it.

After thinking that I had wrapped a spammer-proof wall of security around my forum, I discovered that spammers were having an easier time decrypting my captcha images than my authorized members were. In fact, I often ended up having to manually register new users who I thought weren’t smart enough to decipher the image that was sitting right there in front of their face. It was only after I tried (and failed) to register one particular user 5 times that the truth hit me:

When it comes to default captcha decoding skills: Computers win, humans lose.


OK, here’s a cool CAPTCHA tool I can actually get behind

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Every now and then a smart anti-SPAM solution comes along that’s actually worth taking a close look at. ReCAPTCHA™ is one of those tools.

Everyone who reads my blog already knows that standard CAPTCHA utilities have been hacked. And you already know that the best form-based anti-SPAM tools require a modicum of human intelligence to unlock the comments form and allow a comment to be posted.

And that’s why I’m so excited about ReCAPTCHA. Not only is it human intelligence-based, but it’s free as well. And to make it even better, if you use ReCAPTCHA, you’ll actually be helping to spread literacy around the world.

Here’s how it works:


A Sure Fire End to Form-Filling Bots!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

For all the havoc spambots wreak on blogs their presence has actually done some good. You see, these annoying creatures from cyberspace have brought out the creative sides of blog owners determined to win this Battle of the Blogs.

To make my point read this post by Ned Batchelder titled,


My Thoughts on Guest Posts

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

There’s lots of controversy surrounding whether or not guest posts are good for blogs. And still there doesn’t seem to be any right answer. So today I’m going to share my point of view.