In Transformers, there's the following dialogue:

We also have a security issue.

Circle logs indicate one of the analysts made a copy of the network intrusion signal.

enter image description here

What are they referrig to with "circle logs" here?

  • We need a timestamp & someone with an official DVD/web copy with 'proper' subs -or clarification of the source of the OP's image. YT clip below sounds like circle to me.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:46
  • I do think its a babble thing but did you notice that the "but we also have a security issue" is spoken by someone completely different than the guy who says "circle logs.." Not sure if it has an impact (if any, at all) but that doesn't match the script segment below. Mar 16, 2022 at 18:26
  • @blobbymcblobby - the 'security issue' line is spoken by one of the people walking into the room. Sure, it's a bit of a clumsy cut, but I'm sure they just wanted to pace it up a bit to get to how they figured out what the issue was. Transformers isn't exactly a cerebral movie ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 17, 2022 at 9:59

3 Answers 3


I'd guess it's nothing more or less than Technobabble

First popularised in Star Trek, this has gone on to be the pseudo-technical waffle used to explain things the writers don't really want to have to explain [because they're not real] so they fill with jargon that sounds technical & complicated, but is complete & utter tosh.

To get close to perhaps where they were coming from -
Logs are records of transactions in a computer system.
These are routinely cycled every day/week/month, by discarding the older ones & starting new ones, so they don't eventually fill up every spare bit of available storage.

So… log + cycle == circle log…. nearly.

For fun, see the Technobabble Generator

  • 1
    Technobbble seems the most likely; it's what I thought too while watching it. Technobabble to psych the audience out; use big college words or combos of words for an extra boost.
    – KeyC0de
    Mar 15, 2022 at 23:34
  • 3
    In Real Life™, we have circular logs, where there are a fixed number of "slots" to record a log entry (often each a fixed size). You start writing at slot 0, then 1, 2, 3 etc. When you get to slots 997, 998, 999 you "circle back" to slot 0, overwriting the oldest entry.
    – TripeHound
    Mar 16, 2022 at 2:25
  • 1
    In real life it is common to use trademarked names to indicate log files of particular software. For example we can say "Windows logs indicate..." or "Apache logs indicate..." etc. We know that building windows don't produce log files neither do Native American tribes but both "Windows" and "Apache" are software products and they do produce log files. In real life there is actually a software called "Circle" (google circleci) and it actually does make sense in this conversation because it is a tool that is used to deploy software and run tests...
    – slebetman
    Mar 16, 2022 at 11:26
  • 1
    ... so it is possible that they've configured their CircleCI to run their IDS scripts and someone could possibly make a copy of the network intrusion report from CircleCI and they could possibly detect it in the Circle logs. Personally I wouldn't use CircleCI for running my IDS but it is possible
    – slebetman
    Mar 16, 2022 at 11:28
  • 2
    I call your 'circle logs' and raise you a 'flux capacitor'
    – JimmyJames
    Mar 16, 2022 at 14:13

Sounds like 'secure logs', which makes more sense than circle logs

I have seen scripts but they might just be transcribed rather than actual shooting scripts.

but then there is this:

enter image description here

from this:

enter image description here


So I am sat here 'between 'secure logs' and 'circle' technospeak...

  • 1
    Now we have something more complete to listen to it does sound far more like 'circle logs' than anything else. Emphasis on the first syllable makes 'secure' far less likely.No-one's going to say sercure logs.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:32
  • I was thinking a fluffed line kept in. Really i'd be thinking server logs. But screenplay says circle. Havent seen any other scripts - not looking hard though Mar 15, 2022 at 18:35
  • 1
    It's a single line. 5 seconds or so. No director on earth would keep that one if it was a fluff. Michael Bay is also very fussy about what he gets from his team on set. [Many directors are, of course].
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 15, 2022 at 18:40
  • Just throwing ideas without cluttering up my answer... Since its a security thing, circle could be as in closed circle, for which they have a log. Closed circle meaning no connection to the outside world, which is why she smuggles it out on a sd card, but just straw clutching here Mar 15, 2022 at 18:42

For an in-universe explanation, you could argue that the government agency created their own technology to monitor activity and named it "Circle Log." See also Not Invented Here

  • 1
    Not bad. I could buy that.
    – KeyC0de
    Mar 16, 2022 at 18:36

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