[RANT] The declining quality of CAPTCHAs

Every time I see a CAPTCHA, whether it be plastered on a registration page or comment form, I find myself telling the website, “you couldn’t have thought of anything better?”. What used to be a good idea for filtering spambots has now turned into nothing more than a bad joke.

The story of CAPTCHA goes something like this: once upon a time, three scientists at Carnegie Mellon created the wonderful challenge-response test, intended to be only solvable by humans. Unfortunately, the bad guys (spambots) caught up with CAPTCHA-cracking, as they acquired magical powers enabling them to read the CAPTCHAs. This ushered in what I call the Golden Age, in other words, when CAPTCHAs worked according to their purpose. Words were readable by humans, but stopped bots dead in their tracks.

That Golden Age, however, has long gone. Now bots and humans alike struggle with CAPTCHAs, trying to transcribe indecipherable scribbles, symbols, mathematical equations, words from foreign languages, and sometimes the occasional phone number. More and more, I find myself pressing the Refresh button for a readable CAPTCHA, half-expecting the system to kick me out for refreshing too many times.
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Seattle is the worst place to live

If I could live in any city, it would definitely NOT be here. There are two factors that just make Seattle so deplorable:

The Weather

If you could describe this place in one word, that would be RAIN. Almost every day in Seattle is a boring, grey sky with rain falling down. No wonder there’s so many depressed people around here — grey skies contributes to lack of Vitamin D, which can lead to many other problems.

The Traffic

Yesterday, the State DOT closed down the 520 bridge for the whole weekend. Well props to you, DOT, for shutting down one of only two bridges on a weekend where everyone needs to go somewhere! The traffic jams were unbelievable: it took one whole hour to get from Bellevue to Seattle, and it wasn’t any better the other way around. A job that should have only taken 30 minutes took two hours, and a whole lot of frustration. Add traffic to rude drivers who honk at you for no reason, and drivers who can’t even parallel park, and you have a very nasty situation on the road.

So if you want to move somewhere, put Seattle on the BOTTOM of your list, where it belongs. That is, unless you want to deal with the constant rain and the millions of drivers who shouldn’t even have a license.