Dec 17, 2011

Damn the stinking "captcha" technology

This afternoon I tried to post the following note on my Facebook page:
Recently, I blogged about my new Kindle ( and some of the personal and professional possibilities I saw for it. Since then, various friends and colleagues have raised the "compatibility" and monopoly issues for published eBook formats. I have found that Calibre ( is an excellent way to overcome this by easily converting between all formats and managing your electronic library. It also does great news compilations.
After a few dozen failures at reading and retyping things like

I had to conclude that the idiots programming for Facebook must never have considered the possibility of two links in one comment. In any case, I resent being asked to do security checks on my own page. Even the "audio captcha" attempts were failures.

This form of verification technology is extremely intrusive and makes me less concerned with security, not more. Really, there must be a better way.

Oh, yes... Calibre is an excellent tool for eBook management and seems to overcome many of the barriers which concern some colleagues and friends. And there's nothing Amazon can do about it.


  1. There is also an unofficial plugin for Calibre that decontaminates (DRM) your purchases. If you transfer a DRM'd ebook from your reader to your library (or you add a DRM'd file to your library), it is automagically decontaminated for you. It's very handy when buying ebooks from vendors using an incompatible format or DRM lock!

    I cannot obviously mention its name, since SOPA is hanging over our heads, but it's (still) quite easy to find.

  2. Capthca was created in the Carnegie Mellon University by three researchers. Google bought it and it is now universally used for recognizing human input.

    I do agree with you though, it can be a pain to get some of the words right sometimes.


Notice to spammers: your locations are being traced and fed to the recreational target list for my new line of chemical weapon drones :-)