Posts tagged ‘newspaper’

You May Have Helped Translate Books Without Knowing It

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you’ve created a website account with Facebook, TicketMaster, Twitter, CNN, Craigslist or thousands of other sites, then you have helped translate text from old books and newspapers.

Websites that offer free accounts try to ensure that every account is created by a real human being instead of a computer “bot” — computer programs written to automatically create accounts and then spam those websites with ads. One way to protect against bots is to have people do something that is easy for a human but difficult for a computer: read distorted text.

That’s why you are frequently asked to solve these simple word puzzles. Although it’s a bit annoying, it helps make the website better by reducing spam and other abuse. There are many variants of these puzzles, called captchas, and if the website uses the reCAPTCHA system, your work can also benefit society. (more…)

September 29, 2011 at 2:00 am 10 comments


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