TimmyC writes "This story may interest the Slashdot folk, many of whom use the reCAPTCHA anti-spam service. Well, reCAPTCHA is now owned by Google. Apparently, what attracted Google to ReCAPTCHA is that the company has linked its core authentication service with efforts to digitize print books and periodicals. The search giant has a massive (and controversial) effort underway in that area for its Google Books and Google News Archive services. Every time people solve a CAPTCHA from the company, they are also, as a byproduct, helping to turn scanned words into plain text that can be indexed and made searchable by search engines. Interesting times indeed."