Sunday, 27 January 2013

Word Verification is annoying but it's worse without

I disabled word verification on my blog a week or so back after someone was saying how difficult it was to leave a comment on one of my posts.

Now I have to admit that I fully agree.  I absolutely hate word verification - for those not sure what I'm talking about it's when, usually at the end of filling a form in on the Internet, you are confronted with a box similar to the below:

Let me find my dictionary, is it the traditional spelling of endeeden?

You have to copy out the two words in the box to prove that you're a real person and not a computer firing off spam.

The problem is, far too often the system gives you two "words" that as far as I can see aren't words, certainly not ones that I'm familiar with (then again I only have a Grade C GCSE in English so perhaps they're all words that are only taught to those students attempting to get A's and for people like me who just wanted a C they only taught words in common usage) and because the words are blurred to defeat automated OCR systems I end up typing the words in wrong.

The type of verification system shown above is probably the most common, but I know of one that I came across last Friday that was so annoying (and had to be accessed to allow me to play a game) that I ended up uninstalling the game rather than tackle the verification system again.

So, I turned off the verification on my blog.  Unfortunately this has led to automated spam systems taking glee in spraying my blog in comments, to the point where I've turned on the word verification again.


I've been playing more FTL whenever I have a spare moment - I've now completed it two or three times on Easy and unlocked a few ships (although many still await unlocking).  I just love how the game can, in a sudden twist, change your fortunes.  You might be limping along, trying to keep everything together, then happen upon a random cache that kits you out with missiles and gives you a new uberweapon to destroy the rebels with.  Or you might decide to help out some fellow spacefarers with their big spider problem, and lose your helmsman that you've been training for eight sectors.  It really can give you a bit of a kick in the shins and you'll find yourself grumbling away half an hour later that you had the perfect starship until you blew up an enemy light cruiser, forgetting that your two hardcore Mantis boarding guys were still on it.

Finally and slightly randomly I'd like to highlight the Cambridge Union Society YouTube channel.  On it's channel it includes speeches and lectures by people such as Brian Blessed and Al Murray, and it's well worth a watch if you want an entertaining hour that also makes you feel somewhat intellectual, a bit like Radio 4.

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