[arch-general] Forum registration requires INSANE captcha.

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Mon Feb 10 09:54:57 EST 2014

Am 10.02.2014 15:42, schrieb Feliz Xett:
> On the bottom of the registration page
> there was a very clever "captcha". The question was:
> What is the output of "date -u +%V$(uname)|sha256sum|sed 's/\W//g'"?
> I might even have found this funny if I wasn't ON A NON-LINUX LAPTOP.

By reading manpages (readily available on the internet), an online
sha256 calculator and some brain function, you can easily solve this
without a Linux computer.

(I just solved it with some online calculator, just make sure to add a
newline, I forgot it at first, and it leads to a wrong result.)

> Why is there not just a simple
> normal captcha that helps Google with house numbers or something.

Because I (and many others) find those captchas to be mostly unreadable
and impossible to solve (unless by use of a computer).

(It was not me who came up with or implemented this method, but I find
it funny and entertaining, while usual captchas drive me nuts. I usually
leave a website instantly when I have to solve a captcha for anything.)

> It looks
> to me like someone wanted to demonstrate that whoever is not able to find
> the solution to *such* a simple question is not worthy of the forums.

I dare say you are right about that. It keeps away lots of trolls.

> Also, this
> is obviously absolutely unsuitable to tell computers and humans apart (if
> that's what was intended), considering that the result only changes once a
> week and any unix machine could easily calculate the result.

There are no bots programmed to solve this special problem, or read the
special question on the Arch bbs. On the other hand, there are many bots
programmed to solve every captcha system there is. In that regard, it is
a practical solution to keep bots away - until someone is eager to
attack specifially the Arch bbs.

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