Ticketmaster Trashcans Annoying Captcha Verification System

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 30 2013 11:31 AM
Have you ever found yourself caught in a Captcha loop? It's where you do your best to decipher strings of text that sometimes look like a bunch of hieroglyphics, only to get it wrong over and over again until finally, you punch in the correct characters and are granted to access to a site you're now too frustrated to visit. Even more annoying is if you lose out on concert tickets because you couldn't figure out the code.

Ticketmaster has long used Captcha to keep the bots at bay, which try to purchase large numbers of tickets that can later be scalped. Unfortunately, it slows down the process of an honest customer trying to purchase a ticket, and in some cases, a concert might sell out while a person fights with Captcha.


If that's ever happened to you, then you'll be happy to know that Ticketmaster is kicking Captcha to the curb. Over the course of the next several weeks, Captcha will get phased out in favor of online puzzles provided by Solve Media, a startup out of New York.

People visiting Ticketmaster will start to see common phrases or multiple choice questions rather than a mishmash of letters and words that don't necessarily make sense together. According to Ticketmaster, early trials have already led to a better fan experience and improved customer satisfaction. Ticketmaster says the new puzzles take about 7 seconds to solve, versus the 14-second average people were spending on Captcha.
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RWilliams replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 1:28 PM

Given the fact that most CAPTCHA systems can be easily defeated by a bot nowadays, this move is long overdue. It seems that the new solution would require an IBM Watson to get past, so that sounds good to me.

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Google captcha cannot be broken by a bot, but humans have problems with it as well, which is why the paid services that are available arent even reliable.

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SDonaldson replied on Wed, Jan 30 2013 11:58 PM

In my experience, Solve Media is much worse than Captcha. They use a variety of types of "puzzles", ranging from forcing you to watch a video advertisement before displaying the answer phrase, to completely impossible to solve strings of letters. How this can be found to be faster and/or easier than Captcha is beyond me.

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