Dream Captcha for spam-free sleep

Jeff, an artist, created the Dream Captcha to mashup the traditional dream-catcher and anti-spam gunk -- as a result, his dreams are free of spam:
Dream Captcha is a play on the idea of a traditional Ojibwa dreamcatcher and the technology of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart).

So the idea of the dreamcatcher is something I’ve been exposed to since I was a young kid. In elementary school we learned how to make them. When I went on school trips to historic Waterloo Village in New Jersey, we saw them on display. After reading the entry on dreamcatchers in Wikipedia, it was interesting to read that they’ve become somewhat “tacky and over-commercialized due to their acceptance in popular culture”. I’m definitely from a generation that saw it as part of popular culture, kind of like it was the thing-to-do to wear a ‘holy rosary’ as a necklace.

Then there’s the idea of Captcha. Silly trivia: I went to Carnegie Mellon University where the Captcha technology was developed. Don’t you love that? As Wikipedia defines it, a Captcha “is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to ensure that the response is not generated by a computer”. You’ve probably encountered a Captcha before. You’re at a website, about to fill in a comment, and then the website asks you to type the letters you see in a box–the letters are all squiggly and distorted. Basically, a robot can’t read those letters, but a human can, so hurray, the site isn’t overloaded with spam and porn and whatnot. However, the Captcha technology isn’t limited to squiggly letters, and in fact, is readily deciphered by newer robots today.

Dream Captcha (via Neatorama)


  1. Yes, once upon a time Native Americans caught only those dreams that they needed to live on. Now the mighty industrial trawlers of Disney et al. plunder the dreamscapes at such a pace that the Children of Morpheus are nigh well extinct.

  2. Unfortunately, most CAPTCHA implementations these days are easily defeated…except for KittenAuth (http://www.kittenauth.com). Note, I am unaffiliated with the creator of KittenAuth…I just think it’s a damn good idea and beats the heck out of alpha-numeric based CAPTCHA methods.

    Basically, it displays a grid of images and asks that you click on all the images of a certain type (i.e., “Click on all the kittens”) in order to continue. *MUCH* easier to use than the gobbledy-gook that other CAPTCHA methods inflict upon us (“Is that a 5, an ‘S’ or part of the background meant to make it hard for a ‘bot to read?”).

  3. Hi Boing Boing! Jeff Songco here saying hello! Thank you for posting about my Dream Captchas. My blog has gotten a ton of hits from your site–it’s crazy! And thanks to everyone who has been commenting about the work. I love you all!

  4. These are fantastic. If I had money, and didn’t think my cat would destroy it, I’d be buying one of these right now.

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