Google Snubs the Blind

11 comments

It seems Google is falling a bit short on the goal of making information universally accessible, by shafting the blind:

"Google's implementation of word verification currently denies us access to such important features as the ability to create accounts and blogs, change our passwords, and post comments to most blogs that use the Blogger service," the petition says.

Darrell Shandrow, editor of the Blind Access Journal, which is built on Google's Blogger platform, calls his effort "open source advocacy." More than 3,500 people have signed it; the goal is 10,000.

If you would like to help stamp out the use of evil and inconsiderate Captchas please sign the petition today.

Comments

>> help stamp out the use of

>> help stamp out the use of evil and inconsiderate Captchas

You've got a way with words... I wonder if you can automate those stamps *LOL*

OTT

Bit OTT, IMHO

Signed

Thanks for pointing this one out, Aaron.

Now that it's been brought to their attention, hopefully this is something Google will address quickly. Seems that if one guy at PRWeb International could handcode a solution in a few days, Google ought to be able to throw a few people at it.

Well ...

I would suppose that the main reason for employing captchas is to help block comment spam; without blog spammers, the need disappears. But this is the real world. :)

There are other ways to block comment spam. I implemented a bit of code to block comment spam on our WordPress blogs, and comment spam has ground to a halt. (See developedtraffic blog for code.)

Think I'll run this past our programmer to see if I can automate it further.

link to some of DianeV's

link to some of DianeV's Wordpress tweaks
http://developedtraffic.com/resources/wordpress-notes.php

Thanks, Aaron

Thanks. Some of those tweaks are for WordPress 1.2 (before WP developed the template system in 1.5), but can be useful. And there's a link on that list to the Spam Comments Blocking post.

Also useful is the "narchives" information on that page; it's a kind of automated sitemap (that can be sorted by date, category, etc.); the software is free (link posted on that page), but I've posted my tweaks. Nothing like an actual sitemap for a blog; saves all the paging through endless "next" links, or choosing archives through the ever-unintuitive date-based links.

Link

Diane, you might not need the link for popularity (or perhaps you're just being modest, who knows) but as a reader it's much easier to just click than to do the "highlight+search thing" or the "type-in thing" so here it is for my fellow readers, keyword-rich and all:

Link to DianeV's post on WordPress Spam Blocking (Developedtraffic.com)

It's essentially about using a stop-words list. Somebody should make a Bayesian filter in stead. In fact it surprises me if there is not already ... wait, two secs...

Here: WPBayes: Naive Bayesian Comment Spam Filter for WordPress

And here's another:
Three Strikes Spam 1.2 Alpha Now with an added Naive Bayesian Filter

But then the latest WordPress has Akismet installed as a plugin by default - isn't that one any good?

I guess I'm a bit sensitive

I guess I'm a bit sensitive to link drops (people posting just to include their links), so I tend to avoid it -- but you're right; it's helpful in cases like this.

Having thoroughly derailed this thread, I'll say that my experience over the past couple of years is that blogspammers tend to post from a variety of IPs (that is, more or less identical comments from six different IPs in one block of time) using what are probably fake names, etc. Therefore, I'm guessing that my Bayesian list might get awfully long -- and I'd be concerned that some of the names/IPs/whatevers used are fake but may block legitimate users.

Unfortunately, I haven't tested any of the plugins you posted. Those links, however, are from (what I've seen to be) some of the main WP plugin developers; ScriptyGoddess, Weblogtoolscollection, etc. All good folks.

WordPress 2.x. The latest version of WordPress is 2.01, and is a fairly different beast from earlier versions. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek from a kindly WP insider (podz) just before it was released (my WordPress 2 Review). A lot of fancy stuff, including drag/drop-ing images images from a list of thumbnails showing which images you've uploaded; you can also assign titles to them, and simply drag/drop them into place in your posts. Fancy.

WP 2.x UPGRADE Caveat: one thing to know about upgrading to WP2.x (as opposed to a clean install): it alters your database, and there is no automatically reverting back.

Captchas are only one form

Captchas are only one form of human detection. If I were to implement a system I would devise a method of asking semmantic questions, although that is decidedly more tricky than developing one for captchas.

FYI although I haven't made any captcha systems, I have broken some, and they're not overly inhibiting.

Akismet

Despite really loathing applications that phone home, which akismet does, I have to say it does a really excellent job. However put it in in combination with bad behavior and I've gone from dealing with 20-30 spam hits a day to 4 or 5 a month.

The only problem with bad behavior is it catches humans who change their user agent to bots like Googlebot. I actually ended up blocking myself on more than one occasion and had to hardcode my IP into the code.

uh...

Quote:
The only problem with bad behavior is it catches humans who change their user agent to bots like Googlebot. I actually ended up blocking myself on more than one occasion and had to hardcode my IP into the code.

Uhmm.... in who's real world is that a problem?

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