It's 4:15pm on Friday afternoon as I start to pen these words. I have one more conference call at 5:00pm then I'm out of here (start the theme song from "Born Free"). I can hear a cold beer calling my name "Max, Max, where are you?" ("Don’t worry little one, I'm coming...")
I have all sorts of things I should be doing, but I just ran across something that made me laugh, and that led to something else ... you know how it goes. So I thought you might enjoy a bit of a laugh also.
Have you seen that website called The Oatmeal? This little scamp contains some really funny, very well-observed content. It's all the more impressive because it's a one-man operation. As it says on the site: "Everything on this website is written, drawn, and maintained by one guy. So buy some shirts, posters, or mugs from my shop so I can afford to wear pants made entirely out of rubies and koala meat."
There's a whole bunch of good stuff here, including comic strips and quizzes (www.TheOatmeal.com). The comic that just caught my eye is titled If you do this in an email, I hate you. I don't want to give the game away, but this comprises a series of graphical examples of the sort of emails that really make you grind your teeth. You know the ones, like when someone sends a totally useless message and copies everyone in their address book ... and then a bunch of the recipients start to respond and they copy everyone also... arrggghhhh!
The best CAPTCHA system ever?
A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer. This is sometimes described as a "Reverse Turing Test," because it is administered by a machine and targeted to a human, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is typically administered by a human and targeted to a machine.
A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type letters or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen. If you're like me, you've probably grown to hate these little rascals. I don’t mind the ones where it's relatively obvious what I should type in... it's the ones that are "too clever for their own good" that are almost impossible to work out, so you have to try two, three, or more times before you finally get through (mutter mutter, grumble grumble).
But we digress... I just saw a thread on the Yahoo How Things Work [HTW] group titled "Is this the best CAPTCHA system ever?" This pointed me to the sign-up form for a site that bills itself as a Quantum Random Bit Generator Service.
Now I don’t know who these folks are or what they do, but I must admit that I love their terms of service, which commences by saying: "By registering, you accept: (1) Royalty-free right to use the downloaded random data in any, non-commercial, imaginable way – without any restrictions for academic and scientific use..."
But that's not what I wanted to tell you about. The CAPTCHA question presented to me on this form read as follows:
Well, that's "easy-peasy" I thought. Of course the red text saying "If you do not know the answer to this question, reload the page and you'll (probably) get another, easier, question," caught my eye. And, of course I couldn’t resist reloading the page to see what the next question would be:
Laugh? I almost bought a round of drinks!
Have you seen the I Can Has Cheez Burger site (http://icanhascheezburger.com
)? This contains a bunch of stuff, like amusing pictures of cats and dogs and suchlike. I keep on forgetting the site is there, and then I run across it again, at which point I can’t help but check out the latest images.
Anyway, I just saw one that brought a grin to my face. And with this I will bid you a fond farewell for the weekend, because I now have just enough time to post this blog before my final conference call of the day commences...