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I have had many requests to enable comments on my blog, but the reality is not so simple… In fact, it would not be enable comments but rather implement comments. During the development of the Tree Framework (on which my blog runs), I had a primitive commenting system working, but for the version that I fielded, I decided not to use it because it was insecure. I do realize a blog without comments is not really a blog, but the Web is a wild place, and leaving a website on its own with unprotected HTML forms is asking for trouble. Spiders can generate canned spam comments faster than I can delete them.

But rest assured, comments are on the top of my priority list, and I have identified a very neat way of securing the whole thing: ReCaptcha. For those too lazy to click the link, ReCaptcha is a system that aims at validating whether the user submitting a form is human or not by having them solve a captcha; a test computers are notoriously bad at. We have all encountered such a thing when registering on a website, but ReCaptcha adds to the concept by using character blocks from books that are undergoing digitization. When the computer is unsure of the result of an OCR (optical character recognition), it submits the ambiguous text to the ReCaptcha system so a few humans can confirm the answer. What an ingenious way to harvest brain processing power.

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