Captchas — those little tests where you have to identify and type some letters and numbers before you can get a password or access to a site — drive me up a wall. I know they are needed to stop spammers, but often I can barely read the letters and when I get them wrong I have to start all over again. Someone has thought of an alternative idea: click three kittens. You’re shown 9 pictures, three of which are kittens. Identify the kittens and you’re good to go! Moreover, it’s harder for a spambot to read a picture than it is to read even a distorted set of letters and numbers.

This isn’t a perfect solution by any means: there are still a number of ways to fool it, and it doesn’t work for those using screen readers. However, it’s a much more enjoyable test than trying to figure out if they captcha says “i89opy” or “7B90py”.

You can see the new system here.

And here’s some pictures of cats in sinks.