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Fed up with Distorted Texts for Verification? Google Is Offering New CAPTCHA!

Fed up with Distorted Texts for Verification? Google Is Offering New CAPTCHA!

Do you know what a “CAPTCHA” is? Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you’re still likely familiar with them. They’re those annoying little word boxes you have to fill out on nearly every website out there to verify that you are, indeed, human (an example can be seen below).

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    If you are in fact aware of these little boxes, then you know how awful they are. How many times have you come across a CAPTCHA and not been able to discern the archaic hieroglyphics before you? Probably more times than you can count. Some of them are so ridiculously formatted that they look more like a blob than an assortment of letters.

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    Worst of all, if you get the aforementioned blob CAPTCHA incorrect, the system thinks you’re a robot! And you’ll have to go through the process ALL over again, until you finally (usually randomly) input the right string of letters and numbers.

    Well, it turns out that the fine folks at Google have finally decided to respond to the public’s distaste for inscrutable (and for the most part, useless) CAPTCHAs. Don’t think that they did this out of the kindness of their hearts though; the main reason they’re changing it is because CAPTCHAs are able to be bypassed by “99.8%” of computers. So much for all those wasted hours squinting at a few pixels!

    With CAPTCHAs gone, what will take its place? Google has the answer. They’ve been developing a CAPTCHA replacement that’s far more user friendly, and requires far less eye-strain on your end. What is it? Basically, it’s a box. A box that you check with the click of your mouse.

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    Yes, you read that right. Google’s solution is to ask you a simple question: are you a robot? If you’re not, you check their little box.

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      Though the new CAPTCHA pictured above looks simple, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Apparently, for this to work, Google has to track your online habits (those worried about privacy may be concerned about this, but I’m sure they’ll allow you to opt-out).

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      Eventually, once Google has a somewhat accurate picture of who you are and what you do, its algorithm can piece together all of the evidence and officially declare that you are, indeed, a human. Thus, when the box pops up asking if you’re a robot, you can check it with confidence, knowing that unless you have what Google deems to be robotic habits online, you’ll pass the test.

      If the algorithm hasn’t yet determined whether you’re a robot or not yet, you’ll have to complete a more streamlined version of the CAPTCHA, which, luckily for us, is far easier to complete than the old ones (while being more difficult for computers to crack).

      Recaptcha_ver4
        An example of the more streamlined CAPTCHA. You pick a color instead of trying to decipher mangled text.

        Obviously, the benefits of this are enormous. No longer will you have to stop and wait to fill out pointless gibberish in your quest to traverse the internet. Just a check will do, and you’ll be on your merry way.

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        This system isn’t quite ready to be implemented fully yet, but when it is, you probably won’t notice too much of a difference at first. Over time though, you’ll see standard CAPTCHA boxes be replaced by the more modern version, and from then on you’ll no longer have to feel like clawing your eyes out when you’re asked to verify your humanity.

        To be honest, I feel like something like this should have implemented years ago. I mean, we all found CAPTCHAs annoying, and we also all knew they basically did nothing when it came to stopping computers from pretending they are people.

        At least Google is finally doing something about this now. If you’re a user of WordPress, Snapchat, or Humble Bundle, you may have already seen this new CAPTCHA in use. What do you think? Is it better than the old one?

        Featured photo credit: CAPTCHA Painting/ Becky Stern via flickr.com

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        Published on September 20, 2018

        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

        11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

        In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

        Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

        In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

        Minimizing Tabs

        Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

        Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

        Incognito Mode

        Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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        1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
        2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
        3. Download extension New Incognito Window

        This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

        Save Webpages as PDF Files

        Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

        Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

        Open Recently-closed Tabs

        Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

        One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

        The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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        Solve Mathematical Problems

        Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

        For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

        Play Media Files

        Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

        In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

        Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

        With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

        Stay Focus(e)d

        Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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        Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

        With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

        This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

        Grammarly for Editing

        Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

        You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

        Loom

        There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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        There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

        With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

        Chrome Calendar Extension

        No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

        Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

        Final Thoughts

        Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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