Man vs. CAPTCHA: Ticketmaster just improved your odds of winning the battle

Aaron Hutchins deciphers what just happened to the squished, angled jumble of letters out to test if you're a robot

CAPTCHA: When the human-test became too difficult

Storified by Maclean’s Magazine· Wed, Jan 30 2013 02:29:26

Proving you are a human just got a little easier. Those who have ever bought sport or concert tickets online are probably familiar with the sometimes impossible word puzzle to prove one is, in fact, a real person.
Just failed this captcha hardcore. Help? http://pic.twitter.com/nRnb1cvsQuin Acciani
The puzzle, known as CAPTCHA, was designed to prevent computer programs from buying all the tickets within a few seconds. The premise was that the squished, angled jumble of letters and numbers would only be decipherable for humans. In some cases, however, it proved too tough for almost anyone.
what…these captcha things are getting ridiculous http://pic.twitter.com/iO8Gt8PFGeorge Ingber
Did you know? CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart".Amber Case
Every time I fill out a captcha I’m reminded how much smarter the average robot must be compared to me.l y d i a j a n e
As a result, Ticketmaster will be testing a new system of puzzles in the coming weeks, scrapping the CAPTCHA jumble for simpler questions.
Yay! No more Captcha when buying tickets from Ticketmaster!Tara Salt
wow..new update for ticketmaster app gets rid of CAPTCHA..somehow @Ticketmaster came to their sensesAdam Itkin
Woah. LiveNation turned off captcha on their iPhone app? Instant 1000% usability improvement!Noel Walling
The Associated Press reports that those using Ticketmaster will soon see common phrases or have to solve simple multiple choice questions. One example the article provided is “‘which one is a country?’ followed by a drop-down menu of answers including ‘monster truck’,’puppy’ and ‘Spain.'” The system will analyze digital clues to see if the one answering is human or not.
Ticketmaster doesn’t want me to do CAPTCHA? I’m down. http://pic.twitter.com/LsnNkYe8Matthew Brosseau
The quiz can also come in the form of an advertisement. “A puzzle sponsored by Southwest Airlines Co. makes buyers enter the words ‘Bags Fly Free,'” the AP wrote. Before, in some CAPTCHA cases, people had to wait for an advertisement to end before they could get to the test.
If the new system works out and becomes widely implemented, this could be the beginning of the end for CAPTCHA. Should that be the case, let’s look back at some of the best—and most difficult—tests it could offer.
HOW THE HELL CAN I TYPE THIS CAPTCHA?? http://pic.twitter.com/z1wUrqtBTyins Darkwulf
Did you know that all CAPTCHA words are Lithuanian obscenities? That includes the numbers.Brad Heckman
Solve Media CAPTCHA failTamar Weinberg
Gente loca hay en todas partes, pero esto ya es lo ultimo. ¡Un conejo en los captcha! ¿Como se come eso? http://pic.twitter.com/xL66NLaiClara Rodríguez
You know you want @areyouahuman everywhere when you just got rickrolled by a captcha… http://pic.twitter.com/RkxLpjirJordane Richter
La primera parte de este captcha será broma ¿no? :Swillylimon
Digital mulligatawny denied. #seinfeld #captcha @SolveMedia http://pic.twitter.com/Ihxo46W1Mike LeChevallier
best #captcha ive ever had http://pic.twitter.com/AHaxXsZ8katy coe
This was my captcha just now. #someoneiswatching http://pic.twitter.com/pScTJaLFTedsworth
Hee hee hee…look at the "Captcha" security check words I just got! http://pic.twitter.com/tpYZHOy6Will
Possibly the only captcha that hasn’t angered me #brilliant http://pic.twitter.com/qI1yhckHThomas Black
Yaknow what I hate?? Captchas!kevingailey
But for realz, why do the internet gods make captcha’s so hard to figure out? It’s me Lauren not a robot hacker DUHLauren Rubydoobs
Solve Media is worse than recaptchaTamar Weinberg
Code captcha #chucknorrisMehdi SEFRAOUI (Mobile)
Conundrum #lol #lmao #lmfao #haha #humor #hilarious #conundrum #funny #captcha #smh #laughLumi Torres
o_O:-/x-(:-|:-C. 50 atang ganyan ang ntype q. Hahaha. Fb aman eh. . Next tym isa nlng. .please? Haha #lateupload #captcha #facebook #instapic #instadaily #instanotsogood #instamood #igers #love #tagsforlikes #follow #followmecatherinerobincastro
thank u for the advice captcha http://pic.twitter.com/Hvd9WaQnhannah barnes
Oh no! They’ve added blurry images to Captcha http://twitpic.com/bz76cbr-pantz
RT @torvvit: Sorry, captcha. It really wouldn’t work out anyway. http://pic.twitter.com/lCz3NtFKobscure
I’ve just started to wear glasses. First challenge? Rrying to read the CAPTCHA to unsub from Optical Express spam http://twitpic.com/bxkw1xGraham Cluley
Best captcha evar. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/darkheart113/ilovelamp.jpg @SquiiddishAsh
Seems that Google is now including images either from Ingress or the Street View car into captcha – http://twitpic.com/bxpyiuJustin Briggs
Do you DARE refresh the Captcha? What if the next word is even *harder* to see? What if it only EVER gets worse? #WalkInFearJim Sterling