when my aggregator caught wind today of the comments made by a fellow north-cakalakian .netter in response to a colleague of ours - and yes, i would refer to this dude as a colleague for reasons i'll explain in a moment - i was impressed. and i had to read this colleague's story. here's the deal. if you don't know about comment spam, how much it sucks, or CAPTCHA, you might not want to continue reading the rest of this post. if you don't think there's anything cool about hacking, or about technological jokes, you might want to stop reading too. those of you who continued might not like the rest of what i say, so if you're easily offended by people who innovate in even the most frustrating mechanism, go read cnet.com or something. you won't like what comes next. this guy is cool. he wrote a hack for captcha using ai constructs . he's even an mvp, and the way he spammed everyone was ingenious he did it in the form of an apology, but in a way proving the defecit of a valued technology. i have a colleague who did the same thing to protect his own financial interests and it landed him in court. do i defend these people? do i think that these techno-terrorists (for you right-wing nutjobs out there) are cool? hell yes i do and why? i bitch about spam all the time? i wrote my own captcha generator (it's on the comment page, and i'd love to see my fellow homeboy crack it - that's not a dare, his algo could smoke mine as well as could his gray matter) because i got so sick of comment spam. but here's the deal - i wouldn't have written it unless i had received comment spam. the spam was the reason for the code, and the code wouldn't have happened without the need. somewhere someone the great idea (for sales purposes, that is) of spamming blogs. it sucks, but it had to happen somehow. then came captcha. so then someone, somewhere, had to think up an even more complex software package - or algo - that would top captcha, and this guy was able to pull that off, single-handedly, in what i'm guessing was a long night's work. he didn't run out all over the web exploiting people, but rather, did it in the best way possible - he told the people who need to know in the most objectionable - and obviously impactful - mechanism. i think that's awesome, because it definitely got everyone's attention, and now we know that the particular captcha mechanism he exploited pretty much sucks. we need to think harder, we need to write better captcha mechanisms and algo's, and we need - in a word - to be more intelligent than the very machines we created and that we make follow our instructions. hats off, pal. you are one of the true innovators, and you're the kind of cat that makes people work harder.