I've never been a fan of Captchas. Though they serve a very important purpose, they are most annoying.But I recently discovered a little tidbit about these things that makes me actually kind of like them. ReCaptcha is a Google service.
reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that helps to digitize books, newspapers and old time radio shows. Check out our paper in Science about it (or read more below).
A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. You've probably seen them — colorful images with distorted text at the bottom of Web registration forms. CAPTCHAs are used by many websites to prevent abuse from "bots," or automated programs usually written to generate spam. No computer program can read distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites protected by CAPTCHAs.
Props to whichever genius thought this one up. Of course, it was somebody at Google.