Solona.net takes a different approach to the challenge of solving CAPTCHA's, those nonreadable piles of jibberish websites use to determine if you're a human. Launched by Bernard Maldonado, the person behind the Blind File Sharing website, Solona uses humans to solve CAPTCHAs and send them back to the user. Since the messes of letters and characters were meant for humans in the first place.
The sign up process is simple. Fill in your Email address, a password, and a couple of other questions to begin. After this, the process involves uploading a screen capture of the offending website to Bernard or one of his volunteer assistants who will then return the answer. It's easiest to use for Windows users who have a simple tool at their disposal. Simply press Control+Shift+S by default to grab the current screen and save it to a file. Then, just upload the file and you'll receive a result in short order.
That is, if there's a human in the building. The unfortunate downside occurs when there happens to be no volunteers available to answer your request. The home page will tell you this, but it still hinders what is otherwise a rather useful service. Solona is looking for vmore volunteers to fill the gaps, and we predict it will evolve over time.
We'd also like to see a one-click grab and upload hotkey to simplify the process even further. Still, Solona is a nice alternative to other CAPTCHA-solving programs available. It's browser-independent and relatively easy to use.Category: Resources
This post, among others, provides what amounts to independence for the blind, as we need not bother our coworkers or sighted family to help us. Thank you for this and so many other valuable tips that enable the blind community to stay up-to-date and internet-savvy.
serrebi Friday, 21-Aug-2009 1:54 PM ET:
Solona can only get better! It's come so far since it's first public release.
LennyMcHugh Friday, 21-Aug-2009 3:12 PM ET:
This is some fantastic information. I just tried the control, shift, S command and nothing appeared to happen. I did a search for screen capture commands for windows and found the following link. Information on the page indicated that the command places the screen capture in the clipboard. Then paste the clipboard into paint and you can save the file into several formats. There is also information for Mac users. Screen Capture - XvsXP.com http://www.xvsxp.com/power_user/screen_capture.php
J.J. Friday, 21-Aug-2009 4:19 PM ET:
The Control+Shift+S hotkey only works when installing the Windows-based capture utility found on the site. HTH
bernard Saturday, 22-Aug-2009 09:05 AM ET:
One point that I would like to add is that Solona works on any Operating System and any Browser. There are many people who use Apple with the Voice Over screen reader, as well as some Linux users with the Orca Screen Reader. There are online instructions for all three major Operating System users.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.