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Google Acquires reCAPTCHA

googlerecaptcha.jpgGoogle has acquired reCAPTCHA, a CAPTCHA service that is used on more than 100,000 websites. A CAPTCHA uses distorted letters and numbers that cannot be read by a computer but are still fairly easy to read for humans to prevent computer-automated spam, account creation or denial-of-service attacks.

The CAPTCHAs reCAPTCHA uses come from scanned newspapers and old books whose ink and paper have degraded to such an extent that a computer cannot read it reliably, but a human can still make out the text. Google will be harnessing this to help with its Google Books and Google News Archive Search projects. When you’re entering the CAPTCHA text into a reCAPTCHA box, you may be helping Google to transcribe computer-unreadable text into plain text.

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