Tag Archives: Firefox add-on

Captcha Monster Eliminates CAPTCHA Completion Frustration

The CAPTCHA, short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”, serves a useful purpose – minimizing, or eliminating, one of the scourges of the Internet; the comment spammer. I can speak to how disruptive comment spam can become since, on a daily basis, I have to deal with 300 – 400 comment spams on this site. It’s infuriating, frankly.

I’ve often though of implementing a CAPTCHA scheme here – but then, I come to my senses. I hate CAPTCHAs and, I do everything I can to avoid sites that use them. I’m just no good at trying to work out a “u” from  “v” – an “rn” from an “m”. I could go on but, you see the point, I expect.

I’m hardly alone in this, and as an alternative, many sites off an audio CAPTCHA. You’d think that this would solve the problem for people like me – but no. Generally, I have absolutely no idea what’s been read back. The end result? I’m out of there.

Visual CAPTCHA samples.

image

Graphic – Wikipedia.

So, is there a solution for people like me who have a low solve percentage? (in my case approaching zero   Smile) As it turns out – there is.

Captcha Monster – “an easy-to-use, innovative Firefox add-on that completes CAPTCHA tests without you even asking it to. The add-on was designed with people who suffer from dyslexia and/or sight problems in mind, but also extends to those who are just plain fed up of having to prove they are not a site-hacking machine.”

Captcha Monster – screen shots from the developer’s site. Click to expand.

image

image

Fast facts:

Captcha Monster can work for you in different modes.

Set it to its highest level if you want it to routinely weed out CAPTCHA tests.

Run only when you are filling out forms or simply request it as you need it.

With an average solving time of 8.5 seconds, quite often the CAPTCHA window will be completed before you even see it.

98,94% success rate.

Works with virtually any CAPTCHA.

Complete automation.

Dedicated support.

Unlike many Firefox add-ons however – Captcha Monster is not a free service. Instead, the developer offers a number of monthly plans – as follows.

Basic plan – 60 CAPTCHAs a month @ $2.99 monthly.

Extended plan – 120 CAPTCHAs a month @ $4.99 monthly.

Professional plan – 760 CAPTCHAs a month @ $9.99 monthly.

System requirements: Firefox.

Download: You may download a 30 day trial version at the developer’s site: Captcha Monster.

You can checkout the FAQ page here.

A big shout to Mateusz M. for taking time to turn me on to this service.

10 Comments

Filed under Adaptive Technologies, Comment Spam, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Software

Google Redesigned – Dress Up Your Google Services

image

I’m a “skin man”. For example, I’m a big fan of the Firefox add-on Personas Plus, which brightens my dull, boring, “un-skinned” Firefox, with a choice of any one of 180,000 cool designs.

The selections are wide ranging – from bands (All American Rejects, No Doubt, Lady Gaga, Bob Marley, ….), to movies (Harry Potter, Fame, ….), favorite causes (Greenpeace, ….), and much, much more.

So, when regular reader TeX, tipped me off to one of his new finds, Google Redesigned, a Firefox add-on which changes the look and feel of Google services, I had to give it a try.

Supported services:

Gmail

Google Reader

Google Docs

Google Calendar

How It Works:

The extension loads a collection of independently maintained CSS files which are saved to your web browser’s cache. These CSS files then overwrite the default styling used by Google.

The following screen captures will give you a good idea of the “Before and After”. Click on a graphic to expand to original.

Gmail – un-skinned.

image

Gmail – skinned.

image

Google reader un-skinned.

image

Google reader skinned.

image

System requirements: Firefox 3.6 – 4.0. The theme also works with SeaMonkey 1.0 – 2.0a1, and Thunderbird 1.5 – 3.2a1pre.

According to the developer, a Chrome extension is in the works.

Download at: Mozilla

Following installation, a restart is required.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Browser add-ons, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google, Google Software