"However, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) may run into some resistance
along the way, as it's not the first time someone has thought about
the ideas it's trying to patent.
"Many Web sites and online services use what are called CAPTCHAs
-- short for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell
Computers and Humans Apart. They require a user to prove that he or
she is not an online "bot" by interpreting distorted text and
numbers in a display box and typing those characters into a text
"CAPTCHAs, also referred to as human interactive proofs, or
HIPs, can be used to assure that users visiting a site or using a
service, for instance, an e-mail service or a blog, are actually
humans and not a code-based scam, like a phishing scheme, for
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