You learn the coolest things on PBS! Yes, I am that big of a dork.
Did you know that when you enter one of these: word verifications on a website you may just be helping the New York Times or be updating an old book? It is called recapture. You see, many companies and agencies are scanning their old publications, articles, and books into computers but the old print from these publications are sometimes uneven and ill spaced, making it impossible for a computer to read them. So, a brilliant computer scientist came up with the idea that if we can decipher the above word that we would be able to also decipher these old scanned words.
This is commonly used when you see two different words, you know, those fuzzy ones with lint and lines through them. Well, thanks to us and these verifications being used on popular websites like Facebook and Myspace over 20 years of word decoding has already been completed. How cool is that!
I know, I know, I am a dork - but innovative, efficient ideas like this are exciting to me.