If I asked you to name three annoying things about the internet, two of them would probably be captchas and advertisements. The third would probably involve Justin Bieber, Twitter or some combination of both. But back to captchas with advertisements...
They're the diabolical brainchild of Solve Media, a New York-based startup that's looking to shove something people typically don't want to look at - ads! - into a space where people are routinely forced to look - captcha boxes! For some reason, this ungodly PAIRING makes both of these individually tolerable things more loathsome in my eyes, kind of like a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
But as Solve sees it, they're doing you a favour, what with how hard it is to read captchas these days anyway. Which is actually kind of true. So now the question becomes, what's more frustrating: having to squint to distinguish if a character is a squiggly oblique "q" or a squiggly oblique "g" or being assailed by an Internet Explorer ad where there once wasn't one.
AOL, Toyota, GE and Microsoft have all hopped on board, so you can expect to see the captcha ads in your browser soon. "Banner ads are easy to ignore," a Toyota media strategist explained to AdAge. "We're very intrigued by this." Ugh. I'm sure you are. [FastCompany]