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Kittens Could Solve Spam?

Cat bloggers unite! And when you do, don’t forget I stepped around you instead of kickin’ ya! Why? Well because it seems that them cute fuzzy pictures you’ve been annoying the rest of us with may be the key to fighting spam.

First let’s get one thing clear. I’m not a cat lover, I’m not a cat hater. I’m ambivalent to cats. It confuses them as they’re really of not all that much interest to me. Not sure, but my wife suspects that’s why the little creatures are so shameless when they see me, often rolling about my feet purring a message that can only be interpreted as “pet meeeeooooow.”

That said, I may need to reconsider my consideration of said felines as a recent PC World report cites that improvements in the abilities of spammers to get past text-based Human Interactive Proofs (HIPs) … such as CAPTCHA … are leading anti-spam technologist to restort to photos of kittens and other images that are easy for humans to identify, but difficult for machines.

Or as said article states:

“Kevin Larson, a researcher at Microsoft’s advanced reading technologies group, has found that asking a user to identify the subject of a photo, like a kitten, could help block spam programs …

‘It’s possible that kittens are the wave of the future,’ Larson joked …

… With 90 billion pieces of e-mail spam sent every day, according to Larson, companies like Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft that offer free online mail services have an incentive to try to block spam.”

While this may provide a mere roadbump for spammers and yet another annoyance to us legit email users, this will at least make my 7 year old daughter happy.

Hello Kitty – you have mail!

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