Dec 29 2010

Captcha This, Byatch!

Google announced the development of an autonomous self driving vehicle that has the potential of revolutionizing and maximizing the use of roads, fuels, and other resources. I wondered out loud, via Twitter, what other struggling industries might need some of Google algorithmic-minded engineering.

  • @techknow: In addition to moving into the automotive industry, Google should get into the airline business and revolutionize it from the ground up.
  • @SchemaCzar: Google did get into the airline biz a few months ago by buying ITA Software.
  • @techknow: You are right, I totally forgot about that acquisition. Okay, the business they still haven’t entered into: home loans! They could fix the mortgage industry

Spam and spambots are a big problem for website operators, but their solutions to get around spambots is hurting the web just as much as the spam. Personally, I despise captchas. Captchas are those cryptic and distorted letters or words that look you have to type to prove that you are a real person when signing up for a web application or service. I recently had to do an eye test and I have 20/20 vision and I have trouble entering captchas, imagine the accessibility issues that people with disabilities have to deal with because of these.

  • @techknow: I get personally insulted when I am prompted to prove my humaness with a captcha. It makes me wanna bust a cap-tcha on some webdeveloper!!!
  • @AaronBoynton: I so agree! There are better ways #downwithcaptcha
  • @techknow: The worst part is that I start thinking that maybe I am a robot because I can’t read the damn captcha. A robot with poor vision.

I’ve written about missing features in Foursquare and other location based web services before. There is little or no utility in checking into a location though Foursquare. In check into hotels more than I check into Foursquare. In check into a restaurant more than I check into Facebook Places. I want to be able to check into a restaurant and make an order. I want to check into a hotel and check in without talking to the front desk. I want to check into a parking structure and pay for parking. The following conversation started with that idea.

  • @techknow: I would like the hotel check-in process to be as easy as Foursquare check-in.
  • @ButtercupD: cool would be something similar Fastrak for bridge tolls–what about frequent guest card and walk in and autochecks you.
  • @techknow: We should patent that. ;)

I was fortunate enough to get a free CR-48 Crome notebook from Google. People outside of Google had the opportunity to sign up for one and this was the first raffle/lottery that I have ever won. This is the first time I have ever heard of a company making available a test pilot product to people outside of the company in this fashion. I think it was marketing genius and Google engineers will mine a lot of real life usage data from pilot users.

  • @techknow: My Google wish came true, and it came in a UPS box!
  • @aaronhalford: aw, everyone is getting a CR-48 but me. Enjoy it!
  • @techknow: Thanks! I hope you get one too! I also wish that Apple had a similar program. I also wish for world peace.