News aggregator offered a few laughs before disappearing

An old friend emailed me late last week and suggested that I take a look at a strange online news aggregator which seemed to be reprinting news stories after multiple translations.

He flagged a Hawaii story about the autistic student at Kailua High School who was forced to run until he dropped. Apparently it was drawn from this story in the Huffington Post.

The funny thing was what apparently happened in translation.

“Huffington Post” became “Huffington Submit”.

“Civil Beat” became “Civil Conquer”.

“Kailua High School” appeared as Kailua Superior Faculty, Kailua Significant, or Kailua Substantial.

The aggregator site, www.bulletinstandard.org, is no longer online. That didn’t take long. I’m kind of sorry, in a way, because its linguistic twists were pretty humorous.

6 responses to “News aggregator offered a few laughs before disappearing

  1. Google translate is a very useful robot which allows you to input a text document in one language and see a translation of it into a different language. There are a large number of languages to choose among, and any pair of them can be chosen for input and output. The robot will even allow you to input text in an unspecified language and find out which language it is. Some of the languages are not widely spoken, and have considerable ambiguity caused by multiple meanings and culture-based idioms. Programmers at Google worked hard with experts in each language to develop a database of vocabulary, syntax, and grammar rules to make the translations as accurate as possible for a robot.

    The translations are extremely helpful for doing research. But of course no robot can translate complex meanings flawlessly. You can test the (in)accuracy of Google translations this way: Put in a sentence or paragraph in English, and order a translation to German, or Mandarin, or whatever. Then copy the answer, and paste it into the input box and order a translation back to English. Sometimes the result is extremely accurate; sometimes absurd to varying degrees. Have fun! The Google robot is most useful if you translate from a language where you have enough fluency to judge whether the result is reasonable.

    By the way, it’s deplorable that Hawaiian language experts have apparently refused to work with Google to allow Hawaiian to be included among the languages the robot can handle. It seems likely that control of Hawaiian language has been heavily politicized to ensure that a person must spend several years under the authority of the political ayatollahs in order to learn the language with sufficient fluency to make it unnecessary for that person to use a translation robot. Learning Hawaiian is somewhat like learning hula or becoming a plumber or carpenter, where you must spend years as an apprentice under the authority of a master whose techniques and ideology you must adopt before you can be certified.

  2. “By the way, it’s deplorable that Hawaiian language experts have apparently refused to work with Google to allow Hawaiian to be included among the languages the robot can handle.”

    Is there Actual Direct Factual Evidence of this refusal? or is it a mere assumption based on circumstance and opinion?

    i’m guessing these questions won’t get any answers from Ken. if someone else has the time to research this, please do.

  3. The current languages of Google Translate, with the possible exceptions of Esperanto and Latin, have more speakers than Hawaiian. I don’t know whether that’s a factor.

    So, anyway, what would the late, short-lived Bulletin Standard have been up to? Collect news stories from the Web, garble them, re-post them as your own with garbled credit to the original sources–and then what? Where’s the payoff supposed to be? They got picked up at least once by Google News. Does that get them bonus point in heaven or something?

  4. I noticed the TOP news story on Google News on April 18, 2015 was one from this domain. I was so alarmed/entertained, that I copied it and blogged about it (http://igibud.com/wordpress/?p=602). In addition to this TOP story I copied, another story about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony that I noticed linked from Google’s main news page had a headline that included “Green Day in Rock Hall” that got morphed into “Inexperienced Day in Rock Corridor”. Earlier today Googling that text brought up copies of this amazing thing. Not conspiracy-minded, but it seems like it’s increasingly difficult to find info about this domain …. using Google. They like to grant the “freedom of forgetting”… very selectively, and to themselves.

  5. Inexperienced Day in Rock Corridor — good Jesus Aitch Christ this is a funny article. I am frantically trying to scrape the text before it disappears so I can reproduce it on my blog at igibud.com. Here is the URL that is currently working, from a functioning cousin of bulletinstandard.org, called http://www.statesmennews.com.

    http://www.statesmennews.com/entertainment/ringo-starr-inexperienced-working-day-enter-rock-corridor-h9972.html

    Titles of Beatles songs are rendered: “A Very Little Enable From My Buddies” and “I Wanna Be Your Male”

  6. picayunepost.com is the latest of these wack-ass bulletinstandard.org cousins. They currently have almost six thousand stolen articles on Google News.

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