Fixing the CAPTCHA: turning jumbled words into a game

CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. CAPTCHAs are often used on websites that are attractive to spammers, such as forums, social networks, and commenting mechanisms. They do this by providing a word that is purposefully difficult to read, served on a noisy background. Because they are difficult, however, many website owners see them as a disruption to the flow of their user experience. However, they are often necessary to protecting the site from spam messages, which often do more damage.

Demand Media: Content farm? What content farm?

Demand Media had its first earnings call as a public company this afternoon, and chief executive Richard Rosenblatt took the opportunity to fire back at critics who have accused the company of being nothing more than a content farm churning out articles targeted at search engines.

Traders send Demand Media shares soaring on IPO

As of this writing, online publisher Demand Media is worth more on the stock market than is The New York Times Company. Of course, this says more about the enthusiasm of IPO investors than it does about the relative merits of the two organizations, but given the overall level of terribleness of Demand’s product –mainly hastily written how-to articles aimed not at readers, but at search engines – it’s still a bit disheartening.