Original new CAPTCHA

Tired of CAPTCHA's? A Dutch paper reported an interesting new development in Internet authorisation today, involving homeless cats and dogs.


Together with a shelter for stray cats and dogs, Microsoft’s John Douceur is working on a new way of authorising users. It’s going to be a replacement for the regular CAPTCHA technique that is currently popular on the Web.

Computers get better and better at recognizing CAPTCHA’s and therefore Internet-security is in jeopardy. A computer cannot yet, however, recognize the difference between a cat and a dog. The idea behind the new authorisation technique is the following: a user is presented with 10 pictures of cats and dogs and should click on all the cats in order to proceed to the next page.

I think it’s an interesting new technique, especially because I’m not a big fan of the current CAPTCHA’s, which are sometimes too hard to decipher even for humans.
I am a little skeptical about the subject however, because I don’t see 10 pictures of cute kittens and doggies on a corporate business website. Unless it’s going to be a highly popular technique (read: a hyped, Web two.oh technique), I don’t believe I can sell it to (all my) clients.
But the idea is great. If I could only replace cats and dogs by something a little more neutral, it could be a very good alternative.

In the article I’ve read the technique is not given a name, which made Googling for more information a little hard. If you have an online subscription to the Dutch Metro newspaper, you can read the article in today’s issue (it’s on the ninth page).