We're going to call these PSABE from now on. Using acronyms is fun and clever. It makes long hard names easier to remember. So from now on, whenever you want to make a public service announcement for bloggers everywhere, you can just say "hey, I have a PSABE!" and everyone will know exactly what you're talking about.
(Note: you have to pronounce the p at the beginning and the e at the end, so it sounds something like p-sabee. With one of those "a" sounds that are neither long nor short, like in the word "far". See? Easy! Fun! Clever!)
Anyway, this blog post is a PSABE, but it isn't about PSABE.
This blog post is about CAPTCHA.
The best thing about a CAPTCHA is that it's fun to say.
The worst thing about a CAPTCHA is everything else.
What's a CAPTCHA?
Why, a CAPTCHA is (and I know that it's true because I copied and pasted it from Wikipedia): an acronym based on the word "capture" and standing for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".
In layman's terms, it's those stupid blurry illegible letters that people have to type before commenting on some blogs. They're supposedly there to help keep blogs' commenting sections spam-free.
The other kind of Spam. Also - completely unrelated - I still think that it's hilarious that I snapped this photo at the filipino food fair at the Asian grocery store in my old neighbourhood. For the record: most filipino food is delicious. And not made from Spam.
In theory, a CAPTCHA is meant to deflect spam. In reality, a CAPTCHA mostly just deflects comments.
This screenshot is from Spirit Clay, where the fabulously talented Candace posts her amazing polymer clay creations. Please note the fact that I was commenting about robots.
It's at this point that I usually realize that the Internet thinks I'm a robot.
A sad robot who can't read or type.
Why do you hate robots? What has a robot ever done to you? Do you think that it's fair to cruelly mock their inability to read or type? Shame on you. Shame.
The default setting on Blogger has word verification on; you have to manually turn it off if you don't want to emotionally traumatize robots.
Luckily, it's an easy fix! You can turn off the CAPTCHA on your Blogger blog with a simple click of a mouse!
First, click on settings and then on comments in your dashboard.
Next, scroll down until you see "Show word verification for comments?" and then - and this is the important part - click on no.
That's it! Easy-peasy!
In fact, it's so easy that I'm going on an anti-CAPTCHA campaign. Robots and Bloggers Against CAPTCHA! I'm going to link to this post on every blog with word verification. Admittedly, that will be really obnoxious. But I think that in this case, the ends justify the means.
This isn't to suggest, of course, that CAPTCHA can't at times be a source of amusement. Sometimes they even make me laugh.
I'm picturing a pudgy mustachioed stylist.
One time while commenting on an infertility blog, I found myself typing the CAPTCHA "placenta importa".
(Disclaimer: I'm not 100% positive what ironic actually means. I'm pretty sure that reading healthy living blogs while eating spoonfuls of nutella counts, but that's about as far as I get. And also I just copied and pasted that joke about irony from an older blog post.)
I didn't make it up. Look! Proof!
I'm pretty sure that tweets count as proof. In fact, Twitter is probably the second most trust-worthy source of information, right after Wikipedia.
* geeky Battlestar Galactica reference
We have to ask ourselves, though: is the rare amusing CAPTCHA worth this?
To be fair, I guess that being a robot can't be all bad.
If I were a robot, I would download a bunch of cool apps.
I would download an app that would let me sleep through the night without waking up, and an app that would make me a talented guitarist without actually having to learn to play, and an app that would make me invisible at will.
I still don't think that I'd like folding the laundry or dusting. I think that I'd probably hire another robot to do that, with all of my robot money.
But I would definitely download an app that would let me know the lyrics to every song.
(Did you catch that? We're totally robot dancing in that last picture.)
You can make the world a better place for all of us.