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Ticketmaster Abandons Captcha Online System

January 31, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

BBC reports that Ticketmaster is abandoning the Captcha system for online ticket sales. Captcha requires uses to enter hard-to-read words in order to prove they are not robots trying to cheat the system. It is used on many sites.

The new system means users will type phrases like “freezing temperatures” instead of “tormentis harlory”.

Captcha stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. IT was first developed at Carnegie Mellon university in 2000. It’s used on sites like Ticketmaster to make sure robots do not buy tickets automatically. As the robots became more sophisticated, the program has to be more advanced as well. This has made it harder for some users to understand.

Aaron Young from user experience consultancy Bunnyfoot said: “It is generally speaking one of the most hated pieces of user interaction on the web. The major problem with them is that it’s not unusual for several attempts to be needed. So when people see them again on different websites they have negative expectations. It’s not going to be immediately extinguished. It’s evolving into something easier. Captcha has a spoken command, which meets to some degree the accessibility challenge, but it’s still not ideal.

Ticketmaster is now using new software from New York company Solve Media, which asks for well-known phrases or simple multiple choice questions. Solve Media’s system can also be used for advertising as it uses digital cues to decide if a person is real or not.

Kip Levin, Ticketmaster’s executive vice president of eCommerce, said: “We’re starting to see an uptick in fan satisfaction. We’re happy with what we’ve seen from a security standpoint as well.

The average time to solve a Captcha puzzle is 14 seconds. The new system takes seven seconds.

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Joseph Lee

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