Today I was using Google URL shortener, which I converted to after taught me new reasons to be wary of user interface re-designs. I am sure we all know the high security situation one engages in when shortening a URL. Those pesky machines are slowly taking over the world of shortened URLs, and must be stopped. Fortunately Google had secured this mission critical resource with only a CAPTCHA, instead of the expected two factor authentication.

After pasting my URL into the text box, Google proceeded to challenge me with an image. When this first image was served up, I was confident in... well, in my humanity. But in looking at it, no matter what letters I thought I saw, Google promptly told me I was wrong. I reloaded the page, took a deep breath, and chalked the experience up to a misfire in my visual cortex. But then another image was served... and another... and another... until the only possible explanation was clear...

...I am a robot.

Carnegie Mellon has provided many great things to our industry. CAPTCHAs are not one of them.

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