Code never lies, comments sometimes do! — Anonymous
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to to. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” —Steve Jobs
“The problem with object-oriented languages is they’ve got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle.” ~ Joe Armstrong
reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that helps to digitize books, newspapers and old time radio shows. Check out our paper in Science about it (or read more below).
A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. You’ve probably seen them — colorful images with distorted text at the bottom of Web registration forms. CAPTCHAs are used by many websites to prevent abuse from “bots,” or automated programs usually written to generate spam. No computer program can read distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites protected by CAPTCHAs.
About 200 million CAPTCHAs are solved by humans around the world every day. In each case, roughly ten seconds of human time are being spent. Individually, that’s not a lot of time, but in aggregate these little puzzles consume more than 150,000 hours of work each day. What if we could make positive use of this human effort? reCAPTCHA does exactly that by channeling the effort spent solving CAPTCHAs online into “reading” books.
To archive human knowledge and to make information more accessible to the world, multiple projects are currently digitizing physical books that were written before the computer age. The book pages are being photographically scanned, and then transformed into text using “Optical Character Recognition” (OCR). The transformation into text is useful because scanning a book produces images, which are difficult to store on small devices, expensive to download, and cannot be searched. The problem is that OCR is not perfect.
reCAPTCHA has the highest security standards. Many other implementations of CAPTCHAs use undistorted text, or text with only minor distortions. These implementations are vulnerable to simple automated attacks. Others, such as MAPTCHA, consist of asking text-based arithmetic questions like “what is 1+1”. These can be trivially broken by an attacker.
To protect your site, reCAPTCHA uses two layers of security when generating images. It starts with images that can’t be read by computers, and then distorts them even more:
reCAPTCHA is a Web service. That means that all the images are generated and graded by our servers. In addition to the convenience that this provides (you don’t have to run costly image generation scripts on your own servers), this also provides an extra level of protection: our CAPTCHAs can be automatically updated whenever a security vulnerability is found. For example, if somebody writes a program that can read our distorted images, we can add more distortions in very little time, and without Web masters having to change anything on their side. This is significantly more secure (and convenient) than having to re-install a CAPTCHA every time a vulnerability is found.
IP Address Detection
Our service also includes IP address filtering and detection. If we determine that a given IP address is successfully solving too many CAPTCHAs in a certain period of time, the address is immediately flagged for review. In addition, by providing CAPTCHA services to many customers we obtain a global view of spamming attacks, allowing us to react quickly to security threats.
Anybody who complains more than average will have a great deal of negative thoughts in their heads. Often, they voice these negative thoughts, and are seen as moaners and complainers. Here’s how to stop yourself being seen in such a negative light.
Thinking negatively can be addictive – just as addictive as nicotine, caffeine or junk food. Once you start, it’s difficult to stop, but not impossible.
Here are two methods you can use to stop yourself from complaining so much:
- If there’s anything in your life which makes you complain or moan, take charge and stop it from happening.
- Control your negative thoughts so you don’t feel the need to voice them.
It takes hard work to stop being negative – you’ll need to work hard, and be patient if you’re to improve.
Try the following to help you stop complaining and thinking negatively.
- Make up your mind that you’re going to change for the better and that you will reduce the amount of negative thinking that you do. Negative thinking does nothing for you except make you and those around you feel bad.
- You may still feel negative from time to time, but learn to recognize the feelings you have when a negative thought appears, and stop yourself before you let it go any further. If you don’t stop yourself as soon as you feel it, then your old habits may kick in, and you’ll end up complaining again.
- Find a solution. Every problem has a solution. If you look around you and think that your living room looks bad, instead of complaining about how bad your living room is, find some ways to make your living room look better. Once you’ve solved your problem, you’ve got nothing left to feel negative about.
Now I know this is easier said than done, but once you start to focus on solutions and not problems, your mind will switch to a whole new way of thinking, and you’ll develop a much more positive attitude.
Accept responsibility for your life.
This is difficult, as nobody wants to believe that the bad things that happen to them are their own fault – it must be somebody else’s fault – right? However, you can turn your thinking around and look on it as a challenge – you created it, so you can solve it. If you just go on blaming other people, you’ll never solve your own problems.
Getting rid of negativity, like all addictive behaviors, can take a great deal of work, but by learning to control your feelings, you’ll find your life will improve immensely.
Learn how to stop negative thoughts before they start – you’ll feel better for it.
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