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Re: A little fun with merlyn

by hacker (Priest)
on Jun 03, 2002 at 11:54 UTC ( #171205=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to A little fun with merlyn

I have been playing with merlyn's original code, and caught this (thanks to those helpful monks on CB). I have some ideas around this, which may do one better than PayPal and Yahoo's schemes.

  • What if you had an image, an animated .gif file of two layers, where the image "shifted" every 2 seconds by one pixel to the left/right/diagonal?

  • What about using a transparent .png file, where the pixels that make up the "visible" letters/numbers on the image are actually spread randomly across several layers in the image? Basically like painting on several layers of glass, then stacking them up and looking through them.

  • How about an image where the entire image was transparent, but the bgcolor of the page, rendered with CSS changed to make the image lettering "visible" in that <div> tag when the user hovered over that section?

Just a few ideas, but then again.. anyone who would try to stuff the ballots on a poll system (versus a login/authentication system) would probably not go to this length... unless that person were jcwren of course.


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Re: Re: A little fun with merlyn
by jasonk (Parson) on Feb 13, 2003 at 20:55 UTC

    An animated gif doesn't help, because the animation is really just a series of still frames, and breaking the animation into the individual frames and analyzing just one of them is trivial. Transparency doesn't help either, because to the program doing the OCR, 'transparent' is as much a color as blue or green, it's simply another index into the colormap.

      Not that anyone will read this after all this time... I see a way in which transparancy could really fark up an OCR. Using cascading style sheets, layer multiple transparent images directly on top of one another, so that the signal is broken across two or more files. If that's not enough, then you can add plain HTML text as well behind it.

      So you have to find multiple images, which can be placed anywhere (dynamically) in the body segment, and also add in some text that you have to parse out with a tokenizer. :-)
        What would be really impressive is if you had a set (maybe, oh, 153 of them) which were 9x17 with one point on each one filled in. Then, pick which ones you need and randomly layer them one on the other. You might hit some (silly) maximum in terms of the number of layers you can have, but it shouldn't be that bad. (In addition, you wouldn't have to stick to 1-dot pictures ... you could theoretically find all the dots you need and randomly break them down into a set of blanks, each with 1 or more dots filled in.)

        ------
        We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

        Please remember that I'm crufty and crochety. All opinions are purely mine and all code is untested, unless otherwise specified.

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