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Microsoft’s New Widget Is Actually Really Helpful

Written by PETA | March 12, 2007

As a Mac user, I make every effort to be annoyingly and irrationally biased against everything that Microsoft does, regardless of how good it actually is. Unfortunately for my techie cred, my perfect run of peevish, knee-jerk reactions to Microsoft products has come to an abrupt end with their new device for testing to see whether you’re actually a human (as opposed to one of them evil Internet-trawling spam robots). Most people have had the experience of signing up for an online community or another Internet service and coming up against what looks like an eye test from Hell, where you have to attempt to duplicate a series of barely recognizable letters and numbers.


Well, Microsoft’s alternative, Asirra, looks a lot less like a torture device for dyslexics and a lot more like a bonafide public service, given that the company has teamed up with to allow Asirra users—who are asked to pick the cats out of a series of pictures of cats and dogs—to apply to adopt the homeless animals in the pictures. Anyway, I thought that was a pretty innovative way of combating the cat and dog overpopulation problem we’re facing, and I hope it catches on. Check it out:

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  • christine Ødeg says:

    hi i recently was asked for help in finding a home for my boyfriend’s dog. He got a job that requires long hoursand his dog is crated for long hours. So I turned to petfinder to post an adoption ad for a more suitable home. I was horrified when my email inbox was flooded with people from the black market trying to get me to SELL my dog to them. they all basically said the same thing in broken english how much is the final asking price? and we will have our shipping company pick up the dog from your door. I would like to expose these people. i keep asking for there shipping comapnies name but they wont give it up. im thinking it might be fun to have dateline run a sting opperation. at least then the average jo trying to find a home for an beloved pet won’t naively give their pet away to the fur trade in china

  • Nancy says:

    While the idea is great will hopefully NOT have people clicking on links of animals available for “adoption” fees of $450.00! While reading a forum at I learned of a few postings on the site which raise an alarm that BREEDERS may be offering their “wares” for sale instead of just humane societies shelters etc. looking to adopt homeless animals in return for a good home and payment of adoption fees. Follow the links on the following FORUM thread at to see images of dogs offered at $450 forums Forum Index Public Forums Animal Community A breeder on pf?

  • Laura says:

    We’re trying this out on too. Looks like they just changed the way it appearsit’s much smaller which makes it easier to incorporate into your site’s layout but that does make it a little bit slower to fill out. Still this is a great alternative to the convolutedstringofletters method.

  • veganlove says:

    oh this is so cool! good job guys.

  • Sherry Douceur says:

    I will pass along your comments to John. He and his team will be happy to know that people are enthused with this idea. John was thrilled to finally be able to apply his computer skills to hopefully do something to help the animals. We have both been animal lovers our whole lives. I myself have been a vegetarian for 20 years now and I mostly but not entirely eat a vegan diet. We share our home with four wonderful cats 3 of whom we found on Petfinder. Thanks everyone for the positive comments!

  • sarah says:

    Yay for Sherry’s husband!! Tell him we said thanks

  • kelly says:

    Sherry please tell your husband THANK YOU and congratulations for such a fantastic idea. I saw his name as one of the developers but couldn’t figure out how to get a thank you to him. All I can say is WOW!!! This is just such a great idea

  • Sherry Douceur says:

    I thought people on this forum might also like to know that my husband one of the three developers of the project and the one who came up with the idea has been a vegan for over 17 years.

  • Curtis says:

    I love Microsoft. Who owns a Mac? o.0

  • DaliyVeg Editor says:

    Fantastic find I’m going to integrate that into the Daily Veg as soon as possible!

  • kelly says:

    Thanks for writing about this! I was really excited to hear about Asirra this past week