Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cyber Scalpers

I read an article in Tuesday’s edition of the Bergen Record regarding Cyber Scalpers. This seems to be an on going issue with the use of online ordering for ticket sales. A new software called CAPTCHA Bots is the latest system that generates tests, such as distorted text visuals, which the buyer must re-enter in order to process with the purchase. Current computer programs are supposedly not able to use this function. The CAPTCHA Bots stands for “complete automated public turing test”, which distinguishes between computers and humans. The recent scandal found that programmers in Bulgaria to established a nationwide network of computers that impersonated individual visitors and vendors. I find it interesting that we need systems in place now to tell us if a human is real. This is scary as a user, and makes you think of the future of the security of cyberspace. Cyberspace crimes are on the rise and I wonder if we can really control everything and every system that exists. Now I know why I couldn’t get tickets for Hanna Montana for my daughter last year! The more and more we depend on our high tech devices and computers, and the less we have interaction with humans, we will be finding ourselves searching for the human element in this cyberspace.


  1. Lisa,

    I think its funny that we are in a constant search for the human element in cyberspace, but isn't it the human that helps shape the medium? Margarets paper has me thinking about this constantly, and I think cybercrime is a manifestation of peoples inabilities to admit faults in their selves.

    But it is crazy, all the automated programs that now exist just to prove that you, as the user, are real. Like before making purchases, having to type in crazy graphic words that a computer would not be able to read.

    Even I get it wrong!


  2. The thing about technology is that it's supposed to solve a problem, but inevitably introduces new problems, which require more technologies, which introduce still more problems, and so on. Jacques Ellul talks about how this results in a kind of autonomous geometric growth of technology, but Paul Levinson coming from a more positive position calls it remedial media. Either way, Captchas are incredibly annoying.