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Google Acquires ReCaptcha
Google just couldn’t let Adobe have the acquisition spotlight for a minute. Today Google has announced the acquisition of ReCaptcha, the maker of a new style of captcha software. If you are new to the term “captcha”, it’s those annoying boxes that are typically attached to forms to make sure you are a human and not some sort of robot or alien life form.
Google notes that the acquisition could help with their OCR scanning projects for Google Books and the Google News archive search. From the acquisition announcement, “Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.”
Apparently ReCaptcha powers the human verfication for over 100,000 websites. We use the service on our job posting form.
Google shares are up nearly 2% today (I doubt this acquisition has anything to do with the increase).
Update: Andrew Parker has more information about the founder of ReCaptcha, Luis von Ahn. Parker notes that this is the second acquisition by Google of a technology founded by von Ahn.