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Summarize text via the services menu System
Maybe this is an old feature but I just noticed it today. When you have text selected in any Cocoa application, you can go to the Services menu and select "Summarize." This opens a new app called Summarize Services which creates a summary of the text and let's you use a slider to determine the summary's length (from 1 to 100% of the original). I can't see how anyone would find this useful, but it's certainly neat-o.
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Summarize text via the services menu | 4 comments | Create New Account
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Been around a while
Authored by: Terbor on Aug 29, '02 12:36:03PM

This one's actually been around since at least 10.1.5. I don't remember when I first noticed it but I haven't had a chance to upgrade to Jaguar yet and I have the Summarize service.



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Been around a while
Authored by: Bill Gorman on Aug 31, '02 09:10:36PM

Wow! Just a slight extension and this is a tool I have been looking for.

Summarize can be invoked repeatedly each time it adds the newly selected item. And it continues to accumulate even when switching to other cocoa apps.

Great tool for gathering information on a discreet topic from a number of different services.



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Could be useful for news, etc
Authored by: wfolta on Aug 29, '02 05:57:16PM

I tried some samples when the service first became available, way back in MacOS 9, and wasn't impressed. But, I just ran another test and it does show how it can be useful to summarize the news, say.

Original article, from the BBC:

----------Scientists have found a molecule that may be to blame for loss of memory as we get older.

It raises the tempting prospect of new therapies to restore memory.

The enzyme helps the brain delete unwanted information.

But a team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich believe it may become too active as we get older.

The researchers carried out tests on mice that showed those animals with low levels of the enzyme, called protein phosphatase-1 (PP1), were less likely to forget what they had learned.

It appears that PP1 actively suppresses memories in mice, both during and after a learning exercise.

And as the mice get older, the level of PP1 increases.

When the scientists blocked the action of PP1 the mice recovered their full learning and memory abilities.

Natural filter

Researcher Professor Isabelle Mansuy told the BBC: "The brain has a limited capacity and like many other organs in the body seems to have to be balanced.

"So there are positive processes which help us remember things and store information, and there are negative processes which help us to sort existing information.

"It is a kind of filter to avoid saturation of the brain. Except it is not selective, so there is a lot of information that we would like to keep that we end up forgetting."

Professor Mansuy said it was possible that the finding could be used to develop new therapies to help elderly people recover some of their ability to remember things. However, she said such therapies were a long way off.

The research is published in the journal Nature.
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As summarized at probably about the 25% level:

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The researchers carried out tests on mice that showed those animals with low levels of the enzyme, called protein phosphatase-1 (PP1), were less likely to forget what they had learned.

..."So there are positive processes which help us remember things and store information, and there are negative processes which help us to sort existing information.

...Professor Mansuy said it was possible that the finding could be used to develop new therapies to help elderly people recover some of their ability to remember things.
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Not a bad summary. If it's that good in all situations -- and that's the BIG if -- it could be useful for a variety of articles you might find online. I'd love to hear from anyone who does try it and finds it useful, or from someone who uses it already.



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how does it work?
Authored by: dm2243 on Aug 29, '02 10:10:02PM

Anyone have any thoughts on what sort of algorithm it uses? I tried the service on some (wordy) philosophy papers and was amazed how effective it was.



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