aka security code. A validation code is a combination vision test, typing test and ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) test you must take to prove yourself worthy of using some program, signing up for a forum, submitting a PAD (Portable Application Description), sending an EMAIL, or even getting on a junk mail list. The idea is it proves you are a real human, not some malicious automaton. You have to type the deliberately distorted letters and numbers you see such as:
Is that first one v911 or v9ll? or V911? Is the second 9EC15K or 9ECLSY?
A variant asks you a multiple choice question to identify a picture. This is less stressful than a typing test.
The catch is you can’t tell o from O from 0 in isolation, or i from l from |, etc. I have complained to the creators of these torments and they ignore me. You have a similar but not so serious problem keying serial numbers and Windows activation codes. Any time you want people to key random gibberish, e.g. serial numbers, activation keys and validation codes, the number should not use the characters 0 o O 1 l. Alternatively, you can use the ambiguous letters but treat all similar-looking letters as equivalent. This does not reduce the psychological stress on the person typing however.
Though not part of the validation code, sometimes the box you are supposed to type into is almost invisible like this:
Here is an alternate form of validation code that does not require ESP to solve:
You will see the technique used on Blogger. Unfortunately, the creators of these tests usually require you to distinguish 1 from l and 0 from O from o without any meaningful contexts. So they waste the user’s time with ambiguous images.
Captchas often contain punctuation or what might be punctuation. They don’t tell you if
you are supposed to type it. I think you are not supposed to.
They require supernormal vision to decipher. They are a slap in the face to anyone over 30.
The bottom line is it usually takes me 5+ tries to get one to work. Each time the server typically erases part of my form and I have to rekey it. Each time I am convinced I have it correct. It is a great way to infuriate your customers. If you have to back up and resubmit a page, Captcha will sometimes rudely and falsely accuse you of fraud. Captchas are simply unacceptably rude. A Captcha is like placing dog poo on your welcome mat.
Use a Captcha-cracking service:
available on the web at:
optional Replicator mirror
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