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Bad spam-filter: sorting blurry images


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Guest Nancy N. / GcT

For some time, as a Guest, I have been required to put together picture-puzzles, which only rarely were of any difficulty; and I assume (please correct me if this is not so) that they also served their other function, of their dual function, in, aside from not weeding out humans, satisfactorily filtering out spam.

 

Please correct me if this is not so.

 

This evening I find myslef subjugated to the monstrosity of the filter that requires sorting pictures into categories.

 

Now, this would be fine if it worked well.

 

It would be fine if it worked acceptable.

 

It just plain does not work.

 

This evening/ overnight I have more than once (after a few tries, yes I started counting) had to try more than twenty times before getting a post accepted.  For most of these attempts, the failure was because of my having to crap-shoot a blurrily indecipherable image into either the food (represented as a slice of pizza -- not the best, either, but maybe let it go, or rant tomorrow, depending on my blood pressure) or flower category.

 

C'mon.  I shouldn't have to guess.

 

[i/i] should't.  But you know I will.  Ten years of commitment to this website.  But this crap is really pushin' it.  More than 20 attempts, more than five posts.  But --

 

 More importantly, are Original Posters being subjected to this perverse spit-in-the-eye?

 

-- And that's not "More importantly" -- it's the only importantly:

 

What is this website, this Website Forum, without the Original Posters?

 

-- Yes I've said this before, some months ago; I've let it go because I didn't see this spam-filter, ony the picture-puzzles, which, I say, were fine by me.  But I say again, I don't like having to diddle with a silly filter more than one hundred (100) times tonight, to make five posts; and if original posters are having to deal with something like this, isn't it simply unacceptable?

 

[Now watch.]

[#3.]

 

 

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For some time, as a Guest, I have been required to put together picture-puzzles, which only rarely were of any difficulty; and I assume (please correct me if this is not so) that they also served their other function, of their dual function, in, aside from not weeding out humans, satisfactorily filtering out spam.

 

Please correct me if this is not so.

 

This evening I find myslef subjugated to the monstrosity of the filter that requires sorting pictures into categories.

 

Now, this would be fine if it worked well.

 

It would be fine if it worked acceptable.

 

It just plain does not work.

 

This evening/ overnight I have more than once (after a few tries, yes I started counting) had to try more than twenty times before getting a post accepted.  For most of these attempts, the failure was because of my having to crap-shoot a blurrily indecipherable image into either the food (represented as a slice of pizza -- not the best, either, but maybe let it go, or rant tomorrow, depending on my blood pressure) or flower category.

 

C'mon.  I shouldn't have to guess.

 

[i/i] should't.  But you know I will.  Ten years of commitment to this website.  But this crap is really pushin' it.  More than 20 attempts, more than five posts.  But --

 

 More importantly, are Original Posters being subjected to this perverse spit-in-the-eye?

 

-- And that's not "More importantly" -- it's the only importantly:

 

What is this website, this Website Forum, without the Original Posters?

 

-- Yes I've said this before, some months ago; I've let it go because I didn't see this spam-filter, ony the picture-puzzles, which, I say, were fine by me.  But I say again, I don't like having to diddle with a silly filter more than one hundred (100) times tonight, to make five posts; and if original posters are having to deal with something like this, isn't it simply unacceptable?

 

[Now watch.]

[#3.]

 

Didn't look blurry to me. Whatcha been drinkin'?

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Guest Edgar

Guest_Edgar has not been hallucinating about this, either.

 

The anti-spam CAPTCHA task is still the jigsaw puzzle (at least in my world). This is infinitely preferable to the "categories" version. The jigsaw puzzle version is a product of KeyCAPTCHA.

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Guest Nancy N.

The anti-spam CAPTCHA task is still the jigsaw puzzle (at least in my world). This is infinitely preferable to the "categories" version. The jigsaw puzzle version is a product of KeyCAPTCHA.

 

Yes, the puzzle is infinitely preferable.  So why did it change the other day to the "categories" version; and more importantly, how do I get it back?

 

ANd more important than that, how do we ensure that Original Posters are protected from the "categories" nightmare (Mr Honemann's and the Guest_Guest of post 3's lack of difficulty notwithstanding)?

 

(I recently left Firefox and went to Ubuntu as browser.  Can that have triggered the anti-spam change?  After a week or two??)

 

Trial 2

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Ahhh.... I was mislead by the "as browser" comment.  Regardless, I suspect the captcha method is specific to the site, not the browser.  Or am I in error on that as well?

 

It's conceivable that the default captcha method is not supported by certain browsers, and that another method is used in such cases.

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Nancy, I think they have made the puzzles a little more difficult lately. Sorry if they are getting to be too much trouble. There is always the option of registerring for and logging in with an account. :)  If you are logged in you do not have to subject yourself to the CAPTCHA of the day. I know some of our active participants have a moral objection to membership...

 

I will take a look to see if there are any new options in the way of CAPTCHA that we might try.

 

thanks,

Olivia

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Guest Nancy N.

Nancy, I think they have made the puzzles a little more difficult lately. Sorry if they are getting to be too much trouble. There is always the option of registerring for and logging in with an account. :)  If you are logged in you do not have to subject yourself to the CAPTCHA of the day. I know some of our active participants have a moral objection to membership...

 

I will take a look to see if there are any new options in the way of CAPTCHA that we might try.

 

thanks,

Olivia

 

Thank you, Your Bossship, but my objection is not to increased difficulty, whether a little more or a lot:  it is to the frequent impossibility of getting the picture-categories test right if the coin-toss goes wrong.  It's having to toss a coin, or the equivalent, when one or more pictures (of seven, in my experience) is hopelessly blurry, or contains two pictures superimposed (e.g, a car and a house, an airplane and a flower).  My no longer posting as a guest (and Edgar's too) will not solve the ultimate objection:  unfairly impossible tests will weed out legitimate Original Posters.  I recall two, at least, original posters who remarked in their threads that they had had to try a few times (ten, in one instance) before getting through the gantlet, and that it was very discouraging.  These remarks faded as the picture-sorting filter disappeared some months (maybe over a year) ago, replaced with the unobjectionable object-assembling puzzle; I'm also pretty sure, though I haven't counted, that the rate at wich posts appeared increased, strongly suggesting that people had been attempting their first posts here, and were essentially rebuffed; and that the replacement of the miserable filter with the reasonable one resulted in more original posters finding the world's premier Internet parliamentary forum to be accepting of real humans willing to venture surmounting a reasonable filter.

 

Eeeee.

 

4.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Edgar

It looks to me as if the number of threads per day has gone down. I don't think it's related to what I been drinkin'.

 

I suspect that, with the onset of a much anticipated, and frequently postponed, Spring, people have better other things to do. The jigsaw CAPTCHA is a negligible impediment (I actually enjoy it). If you really are using the Ubuntu operating system (OS) you might see if using the Chrome browser makes a difference. Click here.

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.... The jigsaw CAPTCHA is a negligible impediment (I actually enjoy it). If you really are using the Ubuntu operating system (OS) you might see if using the Chrome browser makes a difference. Click here.

 

Of course it is.  I only rant about the other system, and I only object to it, when it doesn't work.  C'mon, I would object to any system when it doesn't work, and I can't imagine anyone not going along with me here.  The  categorizing filter is fine when a car looks like a car --which is often the case; or when a cat looks like a cat, which is often the case; or when an airplane looks like an airplane, which is often the case; but when the picture is clearly a car superimposed on a cat, because it's an incompetently-rendered picture, and a coin-toss is necessary to decide which column to put this in; or when the picture is an indecipherable blur -- and this is often the case, which is when, and only when, I complain, and it's not about my drinkin' -- well, that's damn well not the way we filter humans from spam-bots.

Edited by Gary c Tesser
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Oh and I got to say, over and over again, the only significant issue is, NOT filtering out Original Posters who come here -- more accurately, who WANT to come here -- seeking parliamentary advice.

 

But who ask their questions, then can't post if they can't tell a blurry picture of a cat from a blurry picture of a lasagna.

 

Can't we tell the website's hosts to just leave us alone from the fatally-flawed categorizing filter, and leave us with the jigsaw-puzzle filter, which seems to satisfactorily filter out robots; and leave alone Guest_Edgar, Guest_Nancy, and every_damn_other_guest_poster, like, especially and most emphatically, newcomer Original Posters?

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Guest Edgar

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I suspect very few guests have to deal with the dreaded "categories" CAPTCHA (since very few guests are using Linux). But, for what it's worth (or, as the kids say, FWIW), I seem to recall having some success with putting whatever I couldn't identify in the "food" category.

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I am sorry that the puzzle CAPTCHA is causing so much heartache. I was not aware that it behaved differently for Linux and have never see the blurry puzzle images. Also, I am not entirely clear on what the "consensus" is on how "we" feel about the puzzles.

 

The bottom line is we absolutely need something in place to control the spam. At any given time of the day or night we have 5-20 (sometimes more) foreign "guests." These are all spammers/hackers. For whatever reason, they are a constant presence on our board and we can't get rid of them. I have spent hours blocking foreign IP addresses (China, Korea, Russia,...), and never make a dent. They can easily change thier IP address. If we stopped using some sort of spam control, I can guarantee you that we would immediately start recieving spam. Within a week the number of spam messages would exceed the number of real messages.

 

I want to find a type of spam control that does not deter new posters from joining the discussion, but we cannot completely elliminate it until or unless better solutions become available. For regular posters, there is always the option to become a memeber (though I know a couple of you seem to have a moral objection to this).

 

thanks,

Olivia

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Guest Nancy N.

I am sorry that the puzzle CAPTCHA is causing so much heartache. I was not aware that it behaved differently for Linux and have never see the blurry puzzle images. Also, I am not entirely clear on what the "consensus" is on how "we" feel about the puzzles.

 

Oh, it's not heartache, it's just heartburn.  What you East Coast ethnics might call "agida" or "tsuris".

 

I went to Linux because my computer (or, as Microsoft (spit spit) adorably used to call it, My Computer) was frequently freezing up, and I was warned that Mozilla Firefox was being reported as being implicated in freeze-ups, and I was given Chromium, apparently more-or-less an identical twin of Chrome (thanks much Guest_Edgar).  I'm doing this back on Firefox now.

 

I wish I could mail you some of those blurry images, but unless you send someone over here who's reasonably local, like Gary Novosielski in the gentle rolling hills or Dr Stackpole by the sea or Mr Wynn amongst the sequoias and crocodiles or Josh Martin, who come to think of it really ought to get out more, and I'm leaving out Larry Cisar and Mr. Ralph because they hate swimming a lot, you'll have to take my word for it, or maybe install Linux on your computer and take a look.

 

I don't think any attempt at consensus on the puzzles was tried by anyone.  Pretty much we have me, occasionally arch Guest_Edgar, and occasional mentions by new posters.  But I suspect that, like Congressmen who understand that for every letter he receives expressing an opinion on something, there's a hundred or a hundred thousand who agree but didn't bother writing; and like the television executives who, a millennium ago, received lots of letters that urged, begged, clamored, demanded that Star Trek be left on the air for another season (for which letter-writing campaign we can be thankful for "The Gamesters of Triskelion" and "Spock's Brain"), it's likely that there are lots more whom we never hear from.  Because they can't.

 

...The bottom line is we absolutely need something in place to control the spam.

 

Absolutely.  (I think the Carborundum posts were before your time, but some of us can remember that nightmare.)

 

I just don't why there has to be an almost procrustean choice.  I just don't see how, say, Yahoo.com can filter easily, or even a shoestring and bubblegum operation like Wikipedea, can do it and we can't.  Do they really have more money than we?

 

(Aha:  back on browser Mozilla Firefox -- if I have that terminology right, and don't have to reconsider it -- I get the easy assemble-the-object puzzle.  So it's probably Ubuntu's fault.  Shame, shame, Ubuntu.)

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Guest Nancy N.

Just thought I might add that these are the original posters, occasionally filtered, out, who

 come here to get their parliamentary (and occasionally personal) problems addressed, and also to be talked into buying books and DVD's and maybe, some day, T-shirts and coffee mugs if our marketing department starts earning its salary.

 

I myslef am partial to the nautical motif and might go for a T-shirt or mug with Mr. Honemann's or Mr. Foulkes's or Ms.Evans's posted pictures.  Maybe a gavel or the state flag of Alabama if Mr. Harrison volunteers a picture of it and it isn't too controversial.

________

 

O, and Ms. Evans:

 

"thanks," ??
 
Thank you, ma'am, for putting up with our zany shenanigans (and aspiring zany shenanigans like mine); I bet you don't get paid half what we do, or what you deserve, whichever comes first.

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(Aha:  back on browser Mozilla Firefox -- if I have that terminology right, and don't have to reconsider it -- I get the easy assemble-the-object puzzle.  So it's probably Ubuntu's fault.  Shame, shame, Ubuntu.)

 

If you're using the same operating system (Ubuntu) but a different browser (Firefox instead of Chrome), I'd say it's the browser, not the operating system.

 

If you're using a different operating system it might be the operating system or it might be the browser's version for that operating system.

 

By the way, though Chromium is related to Chrome, they're not the same. Based on my limited research I see no reason for you to be using Chromium instead of the more stable Chrome. Which is what I'm using (with Windows XP).

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