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Re: Hello directly from Jimbo at Wikipedia

On 9/28/05, Nick Mathewson <nickm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hashcash is often considered, but commonly dismissed, because it
> limits identities based on the wrong resource: computers.

A similar scheme  would be to make people perform many CAPTCHAs[1] in
order to generate a login id. That way the resource is human time and
it's difficult to generate lots of them [1]. Abuse from these accounts
results in the account being deleted, which makes it costly.

(More detail here: http://www.imperialviolet.org/page26.html#e509)

The design of the CAPTCHA is actually far more difficult than I
imagined because it turns out that the range of ability of people for
solving them is very large - but there are several widly used CAPTCHAs
which seems to be good for many of people. (Very unscientifically, it
seems that computer minded people can solve them but other's have
great problems. My mother can't even do the Google CAPTCHA).

Although this seems possible it's tough to believe that it's worth
doing for Wikipedia because I've already written a small (1500 line)
patch for MediaWiki; the design of which was okayed in general by one
of the developers. It was intended to make it easier to block and
unblock IP ranges (like all Tor nodes) . The patch certainly wasn't
perfect but, despite the efforts of several people, I never got any
responce from anyone in MediaWiki about it.

I don't mind - I've the attention span of a flea anyway. But it's not
good for people who might be willing to do this work.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captcha

[2] You could setup a sweatshop to do it, or you could distribute it 
and make setup a porn website which requires you to solve them to gain
entry. Either way - it's quite a lot of effort. See

Adam Langley                                      agl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
http://www.imperialviolet.org                       (+44) (0)7906 332512
PGP: 9113   256A   CC0F   71A6   4C84   5087   CDA5   52DF   2CB6   3D60