Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security The Almighty Buck Technology

Inside India's CAPTCHA Solving Economy 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the industries-exist-for-everything-these-days dept.
Anti-Globalism points out an analysis of India's CAPTCHA-solving industry posted at ZDNet. It begins: "No CAPTCHA can survive a human that's receiving financial incentives for solving it, and with an army of low-waged human CAPTCHA solvers officially in the business of data processing while earning a mere $2 for solving a thousand CAPTCHAs, I'm already starting to see evidence of consolidation between India's major CAPTCHA solving companies. The consolidation, logically leading to increased bargaining power, is resulting in an international franchising model recruiting data processing workers empowered with do-it-yourself CAPTCHA syndication web based kits, API keys, and thousands of proxies to make their work easier and the process more efficient."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Inside India's CAPTCHA Solving Economy

Comments Filter:
  • Proof that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:26AM (#24809513)

    you CANNOT stop advertising/spam. There is simply too much money in it. I think Ani said it best when she said "Fuck this time and place".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      best way to stop spam is by educating the recipient that it is bad to buy from a spammer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by billcopc (196330)

        Or, as the consensus on /. seems to be, we could just kill all the spammers in ritualistic fashion.

        It could be the next extreme reality show for TV... Fear Factor Spam Edition! Have them go through the trials, eat pig rectums and get covered in bees, then the winner gets to shoot the other participants in the head - and then of course, we off the winner too!

      • Re:Proof that (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jimmy_B (129296) <slashdot AT jimrandomh DOT org> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:58AM (#24810851) Homepage

        Unfortunately, even if no one ever bought a single thing from spammers, the spam would still continue. You see, spammers don't need to sell anything to make money; they only need to convince gullible merchants to pay them to spam. In fact, I suspect that this is the sole driving force between spam today; there is so much spam of such low quality that it seems highly implausible that there are enough suckers to support it all.

        No, the real root problem is multi-level marketing, which turns suckers into salesmen who, having fallen for one scam already, will easily fall for another. MLM tricks people into buying huge quantities of merchandise that they can't sell, so they turn to spammers for help. That's why the overwhelming majority of spam is for the small handful of products which are sold using MLM. The rest is scams (which only need one person to fall for them) and viruses (which can persist long after their author has moved on).

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Really? I have yet to receive a single e-mail for MLM products. And I'm an e-mail administrator too, and see the spam trap of multiple people.

          The type of spam varies over time, but generally consists of:

          - Drugs. Most noticably viagra, cialis and rogaine, but also more mundane drugs.
          - Sex-related snake oil.
          - Nigerian 419 scams.
          - Fake watches, purses and other designer products.
          - Portuguese, Korean and Russian spam which I have no idea what is for.
          - Indians with job offers. They're not really recruiters,

          • by Jimmy_B (129296)

            Are you sure about that? Sellers who got their stuff through multilevel marketing schemes generally don't disclose that fact. I don't know what percentage of spam can be traced back to MLM (determining that would take some serious investigative work), but I do know that one of the major MLM companies is Herbalife, which (a) sells drugs and (b) doesn't allow its distributors to disclose their relationship. Also, those finders fees you mention are a form of MLM themselves.

    • by NeMon'ess (160583) *

      So charge a penny to receive e-mail from strangers! When people sign up for a newsletter, after the first e-mail, they add the new address to their whitelist, which automatically sends an e-mail back to the sender to refund the penny. Then watch as spam almost vanishes.

  • Interesting. (Score:4, Informative)

    by jcuervo (715139) <cuervo.slashdot@zerokarma.homeunix.org> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:27AM (#24809527) Homepage Journal
    The going rate is $1k. For a simple /usr/share/dict/words attack on some random account on some random site, it'd cost you about $100.
  • by liquidpele (663430) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:29AM (#24809545) Journal
    I'm a firm believer that there are simply too many people. Why can you pay someone $2 for this? It should cost more... but there are people willing to do it because there are too many people competing for the same jobs...

    You can expand this to the food crisis, energy crisis, etc. bottom line is, there are too many people. And why? Because we're the top of the food chain. Because we heal ourselves, and live too long. Because someone that weighs 500 pounds lives alongside those fit for this society.

    My proposal is to clone rapters. Then no longer would be be at the top of the food chain.. they could simply sculpt our society into one that we can manange. and lets face it, they could do it pretty effectively. Rapters are fast and intelligent, hunt in packs, and hell.. they can even open doors! Support rapter cloning!
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by liquidpele (663430)
      Oh, come on, Troll? Give me a break.
      The choices here are "Funny" and "Offtopic" people, depending on if you agree with rapter cloning or not.
    • by An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:52AM (#24809687)

      ...you're going to reduce the human population by cloning the U.S. military's Reporting and Planning Terminal [army.mil]?

    • Rapters are fast and intelligent, hunt in packs, and hell.. they can even open doors! Support rapter cloning!

      Surely such intelligent rapters would know how to produce more rapters without cloning?

    • by The Qube (749) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:41AM (#24810107)
      http://xkcd.com/87/ [xkcd.com] and http://xkcd.com/135/ [xkcd.com]
    • by haluness (219661)

      > My proposal is to clone rapters

      Aah, why bother with that hassle? Just let people kill of people randomly - it does the same job as raptors and we don't need to have the hassle of genetic enginering

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your statement doesn't really work. You can't blame living too long or healing ourselves for overpopulation. Most countries that are first world have a birth rate that is less than 2.1 needed to sustain the population. Overpopulation is a function of poverty. Once you have money you start having less kids.

      • by sahonen (680948)
        Once you have money you start having less kids.

        So in other words, the people with the resources to raise children in the best way possible are the ones who aren't having them. I love the human race sometimes.
  • by rumith (983060) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:38AM (#24809593)

    Provided you have a sufficient number of dedicated employees, any technical problem is solvable. So when we have densely populated areas with extremely low cost of sustaining life (i.e. warm underdeveloped countries), it's much more rational to assign thousands of locals to perform simple recurring actions than to hire an adequate number of qualified professionals to develop software capable of the same thing.

    A list of measures that could help includes eradication of population in warm underdeveloped countries, and making the said countries either cold (or otherwise unsuitable for life without certain expenses) or much better developed, which would ruin this business model as far as I can see.

    • by Firethorn (177587) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:49AM (#24809655) Homepage Journal

      or much better developed, which would ruin this business model as far as I can see.

      It's starting to happen. Give it another 20 years and Indian wages will be high enough that this sort of stuff won't happen because Indian wages will be almost as high as a US worker's wages.

      China, I think, will take a bit longer, but I think they'll end up using up their own labor that's coming off the farms and such for the most part during the later stages of their industrialization.

      Heck US manufacturing goods exports and domestic production have been increasing recently, and that hasn't happened in years.

      • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:11AM (#24809839)
        It's starting to happen. Give it another 20 years and Indian wages will be high enough that this sort of stuff won't happen because Indian wages will be almost as high as a US worker's wages.

        Then the problem will simply move elsewhere. There will always be someone at the bottom of the wage food chain, willing to work for relative peanuts.
        This is already [forbes.com] happening [zdnet.co.uk].
        • by maxume (22995)

          There will always be someone at the bottom, but they won't always be willing to work for peanuts.

          That there are jobs that are not economic in some areas demonstrates this (because immigration laws limit the labor pool to the local barrel).

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          Then the problem will simply move elsewhere.

          Then where else, if not China/India? The only other major non-industrialized areas I can think of are Africa. Africa only has a population of ~922 million. India alone has 1.13B, China 1.3B.

          In addition, Africa is crippled by internal strife and warfare in ways that the other two aren't. Even if you toss in the Middle east, that's only another 197 million. South America is 371 million. And I wouldn't consider them unindustrialized.

          Even if you add those three

        • by Solandri (704621)
          It's really ironic that the story was submitted by someone named "Anti-Globalism". The long-term solution to this is globalism. As wages around the world normalize, the difference between highest paid and lowest paid people in the world decreases, making this sort of thing economically unfeasible.
      • I doubt very much twenty years is enough to bring the median income in India to $30k+. It is bound to happen eventually. Also, many Indian people live in the US currently, and I suspect will return to India with there retirements, spawning industry in India to support their needs. And that may be true for other countries, too.

        But back to that matter at hand, maybe this is a sign that CAPTCHA as we know it is on the way out.

        • by Firethorn (177587)

          I doubt very much twenty years is enough to bring the median income in India to $30k+.

          You'd be surprised, I think. Part of it is that it doesn't have to actually reach median, just reach enough to make outsourcing there uneconomic, on average. You'll always have some back and forth, and that's not a bad thing.

          I suspect will return to India with there retirements, spawning industry in India to support their needs.

          Putting more demands on the Indian labor pool.

          It's creating a self-feeding cycle that I see r

      • by discards (1345907)
        I think you have India and China confused there. India's economy is nearing recession while China is still growing as fast as ever. In 20 years it will be Chinese wages which are as high or higher than Western ones
        • by Firethorn (177587)

          India's economy is nearing recession

          While we're arguably in a recession right now. Part of the reason for the slowing of the growth in India is the cost of oil, which is making everything more expensive.

          Another part is that expenses in India have hit a point where it's no longer worth the expense to outsource many things there. Without the constant addition of jobs and such from the USA and other countries, growth will slow.

      • by rumith (983060)
        You're forgetting that local and overseas powers make great use of keeping countries like India in the condition of cheap labour camps. So I don't believe that cheap labour and poor living conditions will ever disappear.
      • by Sleepy (4551)

        It's starting to happen. Give it another 20 years and Indian wages will be high enough that this sort of stuff won't happen because Indian wages will be almost as high as a US worker's wages.

        Before that happens, Bill Gates will build new universities in other countries to keep the outsourcing race to the bottom alive. They can just iterate through a stack of countries. Don't expect it to help Hati or Papua New Guinea though - by the time of a few economies after India and China, software will write itself.

        • Excepting the conspiracy theories about BG, this is pretty much what I figure will happen. Outsourcing to India/China encompasses far more than software writing, after all.

          Don't forget that once fully industrialized, China and India will be looking to outsource as well.

          The other major possible population centers for replacing China and India tend to have some rather severe problems, starting with lower population levels, not to mention the civil wars, the lack of even basic infrastructure in many areas.

          Not

          • These posts assume that India and China will continue to exist in their present form.

            China and India both have to resist internal pressures to splinter into a collection of smaller states. The break up of the former USSR is an recent example.

            It is a seeming improbability that India has not already started to fall apart. Many Indian states are already autonomous, and political reality is that India has has deteriorated into an conglomeration of territories ruled over by "war lord" politicians who owe lit
            • by Firethorn (177587)

              These posts assume that India and China will continue to exist in their present form.

              Your post assumes that this matters. I'm simply looking at population levels in a general manner, correlated with wage levels and support service availability.

              China and India currently have the advantage of low wages combined with acceptable levels of support services(stuff like roads, electricity, etc...)

              Whether China fragments into a dozen states or not, it doesn't matter as long as there isn't a huge amount of fighting.

      • Downward spiral... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BitterOldGUy (1330491)

        It's starting to happen. Give it another 20 years and Indian wages will be high enough that this sort of stuff won't happen because Indian wages will be almost as high as a US worker's wages.

        Indian wages will rise and US wages will fall until they're in parity.

        Our standard of living is falling here in the US (except for the very small minority of CEOs, politicians and stars). Yeah, it's rising in these third world countries, but the overall effect is that we'll never see the standard of living that our parent's generation (grandparent's generation for some of you) enjoyed. We're all in this downward spiral. Labor, regardless of how skilled it is, is a commodity.

        I have a very pessimistic view o

        • Nice name.. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Firethorn (177587)

          Well, at least you have a good username for your spiel.

          I don't think it's quite as bad as you think. Frankly, I'm surprised that we've stayed up as high as we have, and some turning points have happened faster than I thought.

          Basically, the Indians and Chinese are coming up far faster than we're coming down. It doesn't help us that we're outnumbered about 2 to 1 (Including Europe, Canada, and Australia along with the USA). It also doesn't help that we're looking at the generation that gained the maximum b

          • by muellerr1 (868578)
            Buying a second home has never been feasible for most of the population. It's only been during the last 50 years or so when credit became more accessible that most people were able to buy even their first homes without saving for most of their lives for a down payment.
    • Provided you have a sufficient number of dedicated employees, any technical problem is solvable.

      Bzzt. Epic fail on your premise.

    • by PapayaSF (721268)

      A list of measures that could help includes eradication of population in warm underdeveloped countries

      I hate spam as much or more than the next fellow, but am unwilling to advocate "eradication of population" to solve it. And I find it amazing that a post that includes such a suggestion can get a +3 Insightful mod.

      • by rumith (983060)
        Please see my reply regarding "advocating genocide" here [slashdot.org] (you're at least the third poster who replied to me in this manner). In case you care, I am an ethnic Armenian, and due to certain events [wikipedia.org] in the history of my people you'll hardly find someone less sympathetic to the cause of promoting genocide as an instrument of fighting spam than I am.
  • by Horar (521864) <slashdot.asmith@id@au> on Saturday August 30, 2008 @09:49AM (#24809661) Homepage

    Maybe the next logical step is for someone to start an industry based on organizing cheap labor to combat the spam that gets around our automated anti-spam measures. Fight fire with fire.

    • by erikina (1112587)
      Uggghh... I hope you're going for funny mod.

      Seriously, if it's come to this - I'd like a web-of-trust based reputation system. Take a look at the freenet project [freenetproject.org], they got some very promising ideas.
    • Re:antispam wetware (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:22AM (#24809929)

      Some of us are already doing this. I employ an India-based 'personal assistant' to do a lot of the pointless tasks I don't want to waste my time with.
      This costs me $45 U.S. a month for about 15 hours work. One of the tasks she does for me is log into my email account a few times a day and delete and spam. Simple, really.

      • by Horar (521864)

        Thanks for mentioning that because it is exactly the kind of service that I had in mind when I wrote my original comment. I'm just wondering where it will lead in another year or two as those 'personal assistant' businesses scale up and amalgamate in the same way that these nuisance businesses have been.

      • by AlpineR (32307)

        One of the tasks she does for me is log into my email account a few times a day and delete and spam.

        With assistants like that, who needs enemies?

      • by Tablizer (95088)

        I employ an India-based 'personal assistant' ... One of the tasks she does for me is log into my email account a few times a day and delete spam.

        How ironic, she's probably right next door to the people who created it to begin with.

        This reminds me of a company I used to work for. One division created toxic waste and another division was paid by the Federal gov't to clean up that very same waste. It was a great racket while it lasted.

      • This costs me $45 U.S. a month for about 15 hours work. One of the tasks she does for me is log into my email account a few times a day

        In that case, I hope you're not receiving any information by email worth more than $45/month.

        • What kind of information would that then be? A new business idea or something? Because if you are a personal assistant, I don't think you'd be interested in a new business idea.

          • Passwords to any system containing personal or financial information, and, yes, new business ideas. A personal assistant might not be interested in such things, but he or she is in a rapidly growing economy, surrounded by people who are and might well be willing to pay a lot more than $45/month for them. If you employ a PA in your own country, then they're bound by the same set of laws as you, in the same jurisdiction as you for matters of contract violation, and (most importantly) easy to track as a phys
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)

      There are plenty of anti-spam systems that aggregate 'This is spam' clicks from their users (I'm pretty sure that Google and Yahoo! do, I think there are systems that are more explicit about it).

      The only payout is in supposedly lower spam->inbox rates though.

      • by Horar (521864)

        Absolutely. I use gmail to filter my email for that very reason. However there is always still some spam that gets through and maybe adding some cheap intelligent labour to the system will get those false positives even closer to zero.

  • by pcjunky (517872)

    Instead of asking people to type in badly form text how about answering a question only an English speaker could. Like what is the forth word from the beginning of this sentence?

    • by hcetSJ (672210)
      Um, they speak English in India. At least, it's relatively common there compared to other parts of Asia (comes with the former-English-colony territory).

      I've also seen a prediction that in some small number of years (like 10), China will become the world's largest English-speaking nation.
      • Um, they speak English in India. At least, it's relatively common there compared to other parts of Asia (comes with the former-English-colony territory).

        So why can't Americans speak English? ;)

    • by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:31AM (#24810017) Journal

      Instead of asking people to type in badly form text how about answering a question only an English speaker could. Like what is the forth word from the beginning of this sentence?

      Most brilliant ironic troll message...ever.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You didn't interpret this correctly. The sentence he was referring to was, "Tomatoes left on the vine will rot in humid weather." You see, here the forth word is "rot", which means rotate the stack. And forth keywords are English based. Next time don't be so quick to judge.

    • by brjndr (313083)

      It's estimated that 8% of India speaks English [wikipedia.org], which would be 90 million people. That's second only to the United States.

    • I came across something like that recently to post on someone's blog. It has questions like 'what is nineteen times sixteen' and 'what is the number after five'. Since the blogger was French, so were the questions (the ones I posted are rough translations), which probably put a lot of people off commenting since the post in question was in English.
  • When the prevalent economic theory is that the entire responsibility of a corporation is to make a profit for the shareholders, and lots of willing serfs (hard to blame them, really) ready to do even the most dumb of tasks, here's where you end up. Well, here and gold farming on MMORPGs... Honestly, at least this is something with a practical purpose. Gold farming strikes me as one of the most pointless things you can do. "WILL BREAK CAPTCHAS FOR FOOD?"
    • by maxume (22995)

      Gold farming is roughly equivalent to producing any sort of shlock media.

      Someone is willing to pay for it and pretty much all it takes to produce it is a bit of time.

  • The natural parallels with MMO gold-farming are interesting.. and depressing. The world is broken.
    • Re:CAPTCHA Farming (Score:4, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:28AM (#24809977) Homepage

      I was rather thinking along the same lines, but with a little more extremism.

      We've all heard the "thousand monkeys with typewriters" thing. Well, they actually HAVE a thousand monkeys with typewriters and they are using them. (And before anyone gets all cross-ways about my use of the term monkeys, to know me knows I use the term affectionately and I consider myself to be a monkey as well.) The fact of the matter is, there is such a tremendous disparity between standards of living between out "first world" and their "third world" that is was a matter of time before someone decided to tape the potential between the two. (The means by which we extract energy from everything is by exploiting the difference potential between two points whether that may be a difference in temperature or a difference in ionic charge or a difference in air density.) In this case, it's the difference in economic levels that is being exploited and it's a very dangerous and damaging path that is being taken. Consider what happens you have two vessels of liquid and a hose. A siphon can be created to exploit the difference in water levels. And while this could be made to boost the level in the more empty container, the more full container will forever lose its potential and value as nothing could, in turn, be used to re-fill its container -- the flow is exclusively one-way.

      Now one might suggest that we simply shift to more advanced economies. We said that long ago when farmers were complaining... we said that when manufacturing workers were complaining... we say that today while information workers are complaining. The trouble is, once IP and information is fully exploited, what will be left to move on to? I'd say we just ran out of markets to be dominant in. And this is NOT new. This is exactly how the Roman and British empires fell.

      • Arbitrage. The differences tend to resolve themselves as an equilibrium is reached.
      • by sowth (748135)

        The trouble is, once IP and information is fully exploited, what will be left to move on to?

        Nanotech? Genetic engineering?

        I'd say we just ran out of markets to be dominant in. And this is NOT new. This is exactly how the Roman and British empires fell.

        I don't think so. The Roman empire fell because they pissed off a hired military leader who was able to rally a whole people to war--Attila the Hun. The British empire fell because they relied on labor from their opressive rule over other countries. I won

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      The natural parallels with MMO gold-farming are interesting.. and depressing. The world is broken.

      It's for added realism to the game.

  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:12AM (#24809853)

    The main reason spammers can keep doing what they do without consequences is that they are hard to track as they exploit users with insecure systems. You can't punish the companies that are advertised, because it would make it very easy for a competitor to get his rival in trouble by sending spam in the victim's name. You can't punish the users who have their machiens compromised and used tos end spam because you would hit a sizeable fraction of the population, virtually all of which simply did not know how to protect themselves.

    No, there's only two places to adress the problem:

    Firstly the ISPs could use traffic analysis to determine which of their users are infected and allert them about the problem. The problem with this aproach is that such systems could likely be abused to spy on the clients, so some strict regulation woudl be necessary.

    Secondly you could start to actually penalise the main company responsible for having put millions and millions of extremely vulnerable systems into the wild. No, it's not just the fault of stupid users. Yes you would still get some infections because users are stupid, but it would likely be an order of magnitude fewer if it was not for Microsoft's downright pathetic security record. I know they made a bad attempt to adress it with UAC in Vista, but quite frankly they messed it up so bad that large number of users simply turn it off ( the fact they felt the need for a GUI setting that turns it off system wide says a lot about how messed up it is ). I'm not saying we should bitchslap every single software vendor that has security vulnerabilities in its code ( it is impractical for obvious reasons ) but when a company with the resoruces Microsoft has more or less ignores the problem for several years, and then makes a half arsed attempt at fixing it, then a charge of damage caused through gross negligence would not be out of line.

  • Pointers? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Luthair (847766) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:15AM (#24809875)
    I wonder if they have any pointers, I fail at CAPTCHAs all the time.
    • by Splab (574204)

      Yesterday I signed up with Google, took me 7 tries before I finally got one right - almost gave up on it.

  • by Spacejock (727523) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:20AM (#24809913) Homepage
    If every site took up that reCaptcha thing [recaptcha.net] all these paid captcha-solvers would be helping to digitise thousands upon thousands of old books ... on the spammers' dime.
  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Saturday August 30, 2008 @10:25AM (#24809955) Homepage

    At 2.00 for a thousand capatas, they could probably scan and convert books at a pretty fast pace, too.

    An army of people typing in a page at a time could probably turn out a complete book in less than an hour.

    Lots of legal and illegal uses for that.

    transporter_ii

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are some open source or free captcha breakers out there already:

    http://churchturing.org/captcha-dist/

    http://network-security-research.blogspot.com/2008/01/yahoo-captcha-is-broken.html

    etc.

    Captcha is broken, captcha is dead. Stop pretending that half-measures will secure anything. It isn't real security and it never was.

  • Interesting . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quixote (154172) * on Saturday August 30, 2008 @11:34AM (#24810585) Homepage Journal
    A company rep was quoted in the article:

    As 1 person can do 800 captcha entry per hour . . . .

    Interestingly, that's also about the rate established by Ben Franklin for a manual postal worker to sort mail.

  • Is this all true (Score:2, Interesting)

    by feenberg (201582)

    Are we sure any of this is really true? I can imagine that MS might find itself to slow to respond, but other players could. My guess is that these are classic "work at home" scams, where the victim is the hopefull worker, who sends money for a "kit" to start work, and then never gets any work to do. The claims about size and workload are merely details meant to add verisimilitude to an otherwise implausible story.

  • The trust model needs to be changed from "not human"/"human" to "not accountable/accountable."

    If you can hold the person accountable for abuse, you can give him more privileges. Knowing who he is so you can bill him or sue him is one way to hold him accountable.

    Those who are unable or unwilling to provide either real-life contact information or usable billing information will be stuck with limited services.

    Those who live in countries where they cannot be held accountable will be similarly limited.

    The Yahoo

  • Some three billion people in poverty in the world, each with a mind more powerful than any computer (as proven by this task), looking to make a miniscule amount of money for themselves and their families. And this is the best the market can come up with? Sheesh.

  • Are there any legitimate reasons to operate or employ a CAPCTHA solving business? The only uses I can think of involve spamming forums or identity theft. Why are these companies allowed to operate? If it were in the U.K., it could very well be in voliation of the Computer Misuse Act - do they not have equivalent legislation over there?

    • Would you expect your government to legislate against a business model that brings in a large amount of foreign currency? Or would you expect them to promote laws that protect it. If you think the first is more likely, I draw your attention to recent copyright laws.
      • by carou (88501)

        Would you expect your government to legislate against a business model that brings in a large amount of foreign currency?

        There are a number of areas in which they already do. Why legislate against, say, class A drugs, when instead you could regulate and tax them? Presumably they perceive the downsides as being more significant than the potential profits.

        • Not a good counterexample at all. Drug laws relate to the sale of substances. They are preventing you from buying things. If they are produced locally then it's a zero-sum transaction for the national economy. If they are imported (as a lot of class As are, particularly most opiates) then it's a net loss for the economy - money is flowing from drug users to people with opium plantations. CAPTCHA solving is exactly the opposite. I doubt many Indian companies are using this service, so it's a one-way fl
  • CAPTCHAs were designed to delineate between machine and human, then preclude the machine segment.

    Solution? Use humans.

    This never occurred to the designers of CAPTCHAs?

    Ridiculous for anyone to assume that the time involved was not worth doing it manually, in bulk processing. To assume their time has the same monetary value as that of the rest of the world is pretty narrow-minded, and somewhat arrogant, in my opinion.

  • Use tests based on American cultural references. Won't fix everything but sure will make it harder for them to use foreign labor.

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan

Working...