Monday, August 18, 2014

Internet Ouija, Google Translator

Brian Krebs, of Krebs on Security, had an intriguing post on Google Translator, "Lorem Ipsum: Of Good & Evil, Google & China".  Apparently, the translator transforms placeholder text used as web page filler like "lorem ipsum" into a mix of geopolitical and contemporary phrases.

Krebs notes that shortly after their research started the strange behavior ceased.  Curious, I tried translating standard Latin template text to see what would happen.  I didn't notice anything about China or politically sensitive content but the results are strange.

Latin English Translation
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec quam felis, ultricies nec, pellentesque eu, pretium quis, sem. Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim. Aliquam lorem ante, dapibus in, viverra quis, feugiat a, tellus. Phasellus viverra nulla ut metus varius laoreet. Quisque rutrum. Aenean imperdiet. Etiam ultricies nisi vel augue. Curabitur ullamcorper ultricies nisi. Nam eget dui. Etiam rhoncus. Maecenas tempus, tellus eget condimentum rhoncus, sem quam semper libero, sit amet adipiscing sem neque sed ipsum. Nam quam nunc, blandit vel, luctus pulvinar, hendrerit id, lorem. Maecenas nec odio et ante tincidunt tempus. Donec vitae sapien ut libero venenatis faucibus. Nullam quis ante. Etiam sit amet orci eget eros faucibus tincidunt. Duis leo. Sed fringilla mauris sit amet nibh. Donec sodales sagittis magna. Sed consequat, leo eget bibendum sodales, augue velit cursus nunc. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, please contact us. I really need to focus on consumer impact. I really miss. With my comrades and the home of his and the great gods into labor over the mountains, ridiculous mouse will be born. Of course, than the cats, it's just nothing, kids football, the price of a person who, in the s. No problem for the mass. Unfortunately, the foot of the just, and even customers, travel arrangements, nor that, you need to fill out, inexpensive. In fact, the just, a wide range in order that, from the financing, the magic of life, the just. Actually, it has been said the price of a soft foot PHP tags. Police shot. Tomorrow protein. Maybe the only element always. Health insurance deductible in the region. Just remember a lion around the world, of loans, living environment, and Japan, for example. Mental Health lorem before, in the protein, bio-, from the newspaper, relax. Professionalism of highly as illegal trade bills. Each button. Welcome to the machine. Even if it's just fireball. I'd worry if it's just. For example, Pakistan. The internet. Developers period of time, to improve the development of a wide range of patients, which they have always a lot of freedom, but not a lot of storage, it is important to very important. In fact, more than now, scientists or, mourning for tens of thousands of, Bureau that, lorem. Before the developers nor the hatred and the time of cooking. In addition, the tourism sector in order to free the blockage. Environmental front. It is also important to the development of the United States the United States the jaws of the week. It's timing. Rather, it's funny a lot of options. Members great arrows. But the problem was the timing of the development team members, the organization wants to market now.

It's a mystery to me how the translator selects modern phrases like "PHP tags" from "felis eu" and the results are consistent between queries.  For example, if I hit refresh on my web browser, I receive the same English message translation for similar Latin text over multiple queries.  It's most likely there is a bug in the translator or perhaps a poor translation.  In any case, all this is reminiscent of Ouija boards or playing vinyl records backwards.  If only Google Translator would tell me this weeks winning lottery numbers.

--Milton

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