Google Translate got this man arrested — and redeemed

As anyone who has ever struggled in a foreign language class can attest, Google Translate can be quite helpful for gaining a surface-level understanding of a phrase or sentence. Try using Google Translate to actually write or communicate, however, and you’ll quickly learn that it gives very literal interpretations regardless of context, dialect, or even common sense. This was the issue at the heart in the case of the United States of America V. Omar Cruz-Zamora.

Cruz-Zamora was pulled over by a member of the Kansas Highway Patrol due to a suspended registration on September 21, 2017. When the officer approached the car, he quickly learned that Cruz-Zamora did not speak very much English, though the defendant was able to prove his legal status.

The officer, Ryan Wolting, didn’t speak Spanish any more than Omaz-Cruz could speak English, so he relied on Google Translate to facilitate the conversations. Upon learning that Omaz-Cruz was carrying a substantial amount of cash, Wolting used Google Translate to obtain permission to search Omaz-Cruz’s car. During the course of the search, Wolting found a large amount of cocaine and meth. He subsequently arrested Omaz-Cruz and charged him with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

At the hearing, the defendant argued that he had not given his consent because he could not understand the officer’s questions. The court brought in two different experts to help resolve this issue. Both professional interpreters cautioned that Google Translate was not nuanced enough to facilitate a full conversation between two people. For example, if you type “Can I search the car?” into Google Translate and ask for a Spanish translation, you’ll get “¿Puedo buscar el auto?” which is technically accurate. But if you type “¿Puedo buscar el auto?” and ask for an English translation, you’ll get “Can I find the car?”

The judge ultimately ruled in the favor of Omaz-Cruz due to the fact that the court’s interpreters said that Google Translate provided inaccurate translations — and it was questionable whether the defendant truly consented to the search.

In short, if it isn’t good enough for your high school Spanish class, it probably isn’t good enough for the courts. Of course, Google is working to improve the quality of its translations so that may change one day.


The latest Apple iPad Pros get steep discounts on Amazon

The iPad Pro is now in its third generation, and the 2018 refresh of this premium tablet is, hands down, Apple’s best one yet. It’s on sale right now, too, for a good discount which can let you score one for as little as $675.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

These are the best movies on Hulu right now (April 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…

AMD will launch anniversary edition Radeon VII and 2700X to celebrate 50th year

Ahead of its new hardware lines launching this summer, AMD will celebrate its 50th anniversary with special editions of its top-tier gaming hardware: the Radeon VII and Ryzen 2700X.

Here's everything you need to know about setting up your wireless router

Want to get Wi-Fi working in your home, but don't know where to start? Here's a quick tutorial outlining the four basic steps needed for most routers. You'll be browsing on your laptop from the couch in no time.

Intel’s new Core i9 processors bring 8-core power to laptops

Intel announced a new line of ninth-generation mobile processors that bring eight-core Core i9 processors to laptops. In addition, the company announced a slate of new desktops CPUs that bring the rest of the lineup up to date.

Pain in the wrists? Type in comfort with one of these great ergonomic keyboards

Long typing sessions can leave anyone's wrists aching, but if you have one of the best ergonomic keyboards, that doesn't have to be the case. Our list of favorites will support good typing posture while being comfortable to use.

Lenovo Legion, IdeaPad gaming laptops sport 9th-gen CPUs and 16-series graphics

Lenovo is expanding its gaming laptop range with a line of new Legion and IdeaPad notebooks that sport Intel's latest, ninth-generation Core CPUs up to an i7 and a choice of Nvidia graphics with options for everything up to an RTX 2080…

Asus launches a fleet of ROG gaming laptops with 240Hz screens and 9th-gen CPUs

Asus launched updates to nearly every gaming laptop line they have, ranging from the high-end Zephyrus to the budget-level TUF Gaming. The naming schemes might be hard to parse, but there are some impressive options in Asus' new lineup.

Nvidia’s new GTX 1660 Ti and 1650 graphics cards for laptops start at $799

Nvidia announced the GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1650, two new mobile graphics cards to flesh out the Turing lineup for laptops. These GPUs don't have the ray tracing capabilities of the RTX 20 series, but start at much lower prices.
Product Review

Without 4K or Core i9, the new Razer Blade Pro trades features for polish

Razer hasn’t updated its 17-inch gaming laptop for a couple of years, while showering most of its attention on the smaller sibling. The new Razer Blade Pro takes a lot of cues from the 15-inch model, stretching it out for the big screen.