reCaptcha, Duolingo and their founder, Luis von Ahn

TEDTalks chat with Luis von Ahn sheds light on web CAPTCHA code

When you purchase an item online, say through Ticketmaster or sign up for a new GMail account, you are required to type a series of words or erroneous characters to verify you are human. This is a security measure against computer inputs and spammers.


But did you know the word scramble is an effort to digitize books? Luis von Ahn is one of the founders of reCaptcha, working to do just this for Google Books and the New York Times archives. ‘As of 2012, thirty years of The New York Times had been digitized and the project planned to have completed the remaining years by the end of 2013.’ Google now owns reCaptcha.

von Ahn’s next project Duolingo helps you learn new foreign languages while translating the web.


This week’s cleaning house

Inspiration is from Carrot Creative for the following post.

On Monday, I learned Ruby from HacketyHack and SQL from Lynda. Duolingo taught me German and by the end of the day, I could say Deinstag.

Networking is going viral and Meetup drinks their own koolaid, see Bucket List proved to be the better way to resume, while LinkedIn stayed strong acquiring Pulse.

Wednesday brought news to my fingertips with flipboard. But Currents, Pulse and Reddit also competed for my attention.

Thursday became my foodie day as my quest for good food ended with Guy Fieri’s yellow mop. Not to say, Eat St. didn’t offer the best roadside dog. TripAdvisor showed me the best Nepalese cuisine in town and the best (free) Sam Summer to quench my thirst.

And on the last day, Friday, I read about the organizations I support in the news. Bill is uniting STEM and the girl scouts. The NY Times Learning Network blogs about CCSS and Neil Young announces Farm Aid ’13.