KittenAuth

Welcome to the new(er)(ish) KittenAuth Project Page…

Note: this page will shortly be updated with the first proper release: KittenAuth for Django!

Table of contents

  1. What is KittenAuth?
  2. Why do CAPTCHAs exist in the first place?
  3. How did KittenAuth start? How did I come up with it?
  4. What is ThePCSpy.com?
  5. "I want to play with the Kittens!!"
  6. "Is there anything I can help with?"
  7. What about HumanAuth (et al)?
  8. "I have an idea" / "I’d like to ask you something"
  9. Credits (to date)
  10. KittenAuth in the press

What is KittenAuth?

To introduce, KittenAuth is a replacement for text-CAPTCHAs, a test to ask people to take to prove they are human. You will have seen them everywhere, forcing people to do cartwheels on their desk to understand what the text actually says. What’s wrong with that? Surely it must be very secure? No. A computer generates this text and its surprisingly easy for a computer to decipher it… Even after distortion. KittenAuth gets rid of all that crappy text and gives you pure, unadulterated cute.

Why do CAPTCHAs exist in the first place?

To stop spambots taking over the internet as well as our inboxes. As more and more sites accept comments from their users, more and more people are trying to leave messages telling people how to enlarge their… outgoings. Unfortunately, spam makes people rich and there’s not all that much we can do apart from block and delete it when it happens to us.

CAPTCHAs are at the points of submitting something, or where you would sign up. They’re in the places where there’s most probably going to be an automated spam attack.

How did KittenAuth start? How did I come up with it?

If you’d like to know more about the origins of KittenAuth you can read the article that started everything ("The Cutest Human-Test: KittenAuth") and the follow up article ("Improving KittenAuth").

What is ThePCSpy.com?

This is just my semi-personal site where I do my webdev and other little projects. I also blog here. Its currently being used as a shelter for the articles on KittenAuth.

"I want to play with the Kittens!!"

The best test page for you at the moment is the contact page. The messages come through to us so please write a genuine message rather than "asdf". If you’d like a reply on anything, also make sure your contact information is entered correctly.

"Is there anything I can help with?"

Yes there are a few ways people can help…

You can donate money to keep me fed while I’m programming KA and not otherwise earning money and keep the site(s) up. Lots of great people have already done this and you can find a list of them and more information about donations on kittenauth.com. If you (or your company) would like to sponsor the project in exchange for advertising space (or not), also please get in touch… I’m very open to getting rid of some of the current advertisers.

You can help me take this beautiful bit of ASP.NET programming and bastardise it into PHP. PHP isn;t quite that bad but I’ve had my fair share of disagreements with it over the years to tell its not my bag. That compounded with certain frameworks not liking me, I’ve been having quite a rough time getting the PHP version to function, let alone work well. If there’s another language or particular framework you’d like to move the code into, please get in touch.

The easiest and cheapest of the three, you can just talk about it and link people here. I don’t promise return traffic but you really would be helping by spreading this around the internet so when it gets released (if that’s not happened by the time you read this), people know what it is and why they should use it on their site.

You can contact me here: http://thepcspy.com/contact

What about HumanAuth (et al)?

First thing, KittenAuth is not a clone of any of these other projects… Its the other way around… KittenAuth is the original "pick images from the grid" concept and implementation.

Secondly. they are insecure. Most of them try to overcome the drawbacks of KittenAuth (accessibility mainly) by having alt tags for the images so blind people can use them… Let me ask you this: If the hinge of a security application relies on people being able to process images and tell what they are, where computers find it much harder, what good is it if you give the computer the text-explanation? And I answer: No good. It breaks its security. HotCaptcha, based on Hot-or-Not, uses lots of javascript. Its a nice implementation but each image have the same URL it has on Hot-or-Not. A spambot can go there see if they’re hot and answer the CAPTCHA. Fun… but totally useless..

"I have an idea" / "I’d like to ask you something"

If what you have to say is so directly linked to an eisting post on my blog or on any of the articles about KittenAuth, please post under that document. I’m subscribed to EVERY thread on ThePCSpy.com, so I will see your post. If you want notification, subscribe the the site-wide RSS-Feed. If something happens here, it’ll show up on that feed.

If you’d like to contact me directly, please use the contact form. If you want me to reply, be sure to put your real email address in there . I do not spam.

If you want to start an open debate topic and you cant get the forums to work, that’s because they’re not implemented yet… That’s one of my many jobs. I suggest posting it at kittenauth.com or finding the most relevant post for now until I’ve got the new forums sorted out.

Credits (to date)

  • The initial idea, banging out of theoretical problems and getting the thing setup to begin with: Oli Warner (with consulting from Ste York and help from John Novander Tudball + Matazone’s IRC Membership)
  • The core code and current ASPNET/PHP implementations: Oli Warner
  • KittenAuth Logo: Oli Warner (inspiration from Fraser Webb)
  • Other special thanks to:
    • All the people that have donated money to keep the site up and/or Oli alive…
    • The internet for their feedback on the original article on Digg, and here
    • Everyone that has given advice via emails and on blogs around the net (which I’ve tracked down via Google)

KittenAuth In the Press

Its a nightmare keeping on top of all the places KittenAuth has been covered but here’s the best list I can give you:

If you would like an interview, you can contact me through the contact page.