reCAPTCHA is a user-dialogue system originally developed by Luis von Ahn, Ben Maurer, Colin McMillen, David Abraham and Manuel Blum at Carnegie Mellon University's main Pittsburgh campus, and acquired by Google in September 2009. Like the CAPTCHA interface, reCAPTCHA asks users to enter words seen in distorted text images onscreen. By presenting two words it both protects websites from bots attempting to access restricted areas and helps digitize the text of books.
The reCAPTCHA service supplies subscribing websites with images of words that optical character recognition (OCR) software has been unable to read. The subscribing websites (whose purposes are generally unrelated to the book digitization project) present these images for humans to decipher as CAPTCHA words, as part of their normal validation procedures. They then return the results to the reCAPTCHA service, which sends the results to the digitization projects.
reCAPTCHA has completed digitizing the archives of The New York Times and books from Google Books. The archive can be searched from the New York Times Article Archive, where more than 13 million articles in total have been archived, dating from 1851 to the present day.
The system has been reported as displaying over 100 million CAPTCHAs every day, on sites such as Facebook, TicketMaster, Twitter, 4chan, CNN.com, StumbleUpon, Craigslist (since June 2008), and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration's digital TV converter box coupon program website (as part of the US DTV transition).
reCAPTCHA's slogan was "Stop spam, read books.", until the introduction of a new version of the reCAPTCHA plugin in 2014; the slogan has now disappeared from the website and from the classic version of the reCAPTCHA plugin.
Local Rank Checker is a tool based on Google Places search that allows to generate reports for top site returned by Google Places search with different queries made.
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