[cryptography] CAPTCHA as a Security System?

lodewijk andré de la porte lodewijkadlp at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 18:18:01 EST 2012

> My neighborhood Wal*Mart has pretty much eliminated cashiers in favor of
> self-checkouts.
> Anyone so inclined could walk in, load up a cart, walk up to a
> self-checkout, check maybe half the items in the cart, pay for them and
> leave, with no one the wiser until the physical inventory didn't match up
> with the computer inventory.
> Wal*Mart is not stupid.   They know full well that a certain percent of
> shoppers will indeed walk out with a certain amount of goods, every day.
> They have a very good idea of the dollar value of this "shrinkage", and
> they have decided that the shrinkage costs less than the eight or so
> dollars an hour that it would cost to put clerks in place.

Our cozy dutch supermarkets are trying self-checkout systems themselves.
They sometimes check carts with what's scanned. My dad's theory was that
people are so afraid to have forgotten that they'd most likely scan their
products multiple times more often than they forgot, and that relatively
little people steal anyway.

The self-checkouts are also faster, and thus more convenient. Not to
mention more consistent, even on holidays they'll work.

The vector on security is getting thinner though. Although this is
certainly connected to not needing security, mostly due to legality. You
seem to agree. Good. Crypto list. Right. Sorry.
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