Have you ever bought concert tickets online? If you have, then you probably found the experience really, really annoying. Part of the reason is that the buying process is drawn out (apparently Ticketmaster has not taken to the Amazon 1-click concept) but the other irritant is Captcha — those randomly generated words you type to verify you are indeed human. The Re Captcha project has put all of your crowdsourced entries to good use. Each of these captions are OCR scans from Google Books in which you are acting as the better-than-the-computer translator.
Now the researchers are putting us to work translating the web into various language. The benefit to each user is that they get to learn a new language, the benefit to the everyone is more access to information in your native tongue, and the benefit to the company is they could monetize translation. (Watch out Rosetta Stone.)
While all this may sound a bit too high on ideals and short on entertainment, still check out the video for its pure entertainment value.
Of course, you can also signup to start learning your language of choice at Duolingo.