from the hearing-some-ominous-muttering dept.
lukeknipe writes "Guardian Unlimited reporter Charles Arthur speaks with a spammer, discussing the possibility that his colleagues may be paying people in developing countries to fill in captchas. In his report, Arthur discusses Nicholas Negroponte's gift of hand-powered laptops to developing nations and the wide array of troubles that could arise as the world's exploitable poor go online." From the article: "I've no doubt it will radically alter the life of many in the developing world for the better. I also expect that once a few have got into the hands of people aching to make a dollar, with time on their hands and an internet connection provided one way or another, we'll see a significant rise in captcha-solved spam. But, as my spammer contact pointed out, it's nothing personal. You have to understand: it's just business."
... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage
from beginning to end.
-- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"