tomandlu writes "The BBC is reporting that Carnegie Mellon University has found a novel use for CAPTCHAs — deciphering old texts. We've discussed this project before, but it was prior to it getting off the ground. Users Entering text acts as a sort of distributed computing project. Basically, the CAPTCHA is made up of two words — one of which is known to Carnegie, and one of which isn't. If the user correctly deciphers the known word, then the unknown word is assumed to be correct. Well, almost. Two different users must give the same answer to the same unknown CAPTCHA before it is taken off the list. 'Using the reCAPTCHA system von Ahn's team is digitizing documents and manuscripts as fast as the Internet Archive can supply them, and the good news for book lovers (and bad news for spammers) is that the supply of reCAPTCHAs is not likely to dry up any time soon.'"