On Wednesday, Google took a major step in accelerating its efforts to scan tens of millions of books and periodicals. ReCAPTCHA, a well-known provider of CAPTCHA technology, is used to prevent spammers from using computers to automatically register for online services. By requiring users to type randomly chosen words that appear as images, the "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" truly earns its name.
Google was apparently attracted to ReCAPTCHA because the company has successfully linked its core authentication service with other efforts to digitize print books and periodicals. The search giant is in the midst of a massive effort for its Google Books and Google News Archive services.
This ReCAPTCHA service is currently used by about 100,000 Web sites, and is helping to digitize old editions of The New York Times. Courtesy of cio.com