Friday, October 22, 2010

Perspective: One Person's Catastrophe Is Another's Opportunity - BRAINTENANCE

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Perspective: One Person's Catastrophe Is Another's Opportunity - BRAINTENANCE

Dear Readers and Member's of Aunt Rose's Mah Jongg (sp?) Group in North Palm Beach, Florida:

As soon as the Internet became a medium for mass communication in regular use, over-aggressive marketers began sending spam to email addresses, social media sites, networking groups, blogs and everywhere they might be able to get their unauthorized and generally unwelcome messages to groups of people.

After a brief period of time, robots (automation programs for repetitive processes) came into use for the purpose of accelerating and broadening the spread of spam ("spam on steroids!").

In order to thward these literary litterers, the CAPTCHA code program was devised by some very good "white hat" programmers out of Princeton University (then again, it might have been Phoenix University, DeVry, Katherine Gibbs, or Ball State, but I don't think so -- I should use spelllcheck and a fact-checker, but I'm a) too cocky and b) too cheap) developed the CAPTCHA process to keep robots from spamming us.

The idea was to use a string of machine-distorted letters and numbers (which could theoretically be read only by Humans, and perhaps well-trained weasels) which had to be interpreted and reproduced in order to access a website or application. The idea was, in principle, a great one -- keep the robots out, and only let hard-working Human Beings (and the occasionally trained weasel) to gain access to sight if it could prove that it was not a robot by passing the CAPTCHA test code at the portal of entry.

This created a disaster for many of the marketers who had been become utterly dependent upon robots to spread their solicitations and other messages (categorically, "spam"). These people were being put out of business.

But the cries of spam-marketers were heard by some "black hat" geeks who saw that a new market (i.e., businesses that were dependent upon spam for their proliferation and profits) had opened up to them. These entrepreneurs have since created numerous programs to bypass and otherwise thwart the CAPTCHA code.

In fact if you google the term CAPTCHA you'll find some great information. If you then google the terms CAPTCHA code bypass you'll find a host of means of bypassing the CAPTCHA qualifier.

Given some time, there will be another generation of CAPTCHA-purposed programs which will defeat these CAPTCHA code bypass tools.

The pendulum swings, creating catastrophes and new markets with every stroke.

Solve a problem, and you've addressed the needs of a market.

Create a problem, and you've opened up another, new market.

Catastrophe and Opportunity are opposite sides of the same coin.


Douglas Castle

Douglas Castle
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