Computers are supposed to make our lives easier and in many ways they do. Yet there are studies suggesting that¹s really not the case. For the most part I tend to disagree with most of those studies except when it comes to one thing and that¹s reading. Have you ever thought about how much more reading you do now that you have a computer sitting on your desk? I¹d be willing to bet there¹s a good chance that much of your profession requires you to do a lot of reading. Take email for example. Even with all the junk email filters running at full tilt, most of us acknowledge that reading just the valid emails can really eat into your day. And that¹s just email. What with all kinds of documents, news items, reports, contracts, brochures and sundry other items your job says you have to read, it¹s amazing that we get anything done.
And if you¹re a student, you know all about the pain and suffering when it comes to those numerous books you have to get through in a limited amount of time. But there is a way to cut through all the textual clutter and strangely enough, it¹s your computer that may be able to help you after all.
"Summarize!" is an application from Corpora Software that helps you do what its name says. Using some very sophisticated techniques, Corpora says that its Summarize uses linguistic and statistical analysis algorithms that extract and determine how relevant each sentence in a document is to the key themes running throughout its content. The program then creates a readable summary to reflect the dominant themes. That summary is a lot shorter than the document itself which translates into a lot less reading which means you are going to save a lot of time.
Craig Crossman is a Knight-Ridder newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology. He also hosts the nation's longest running nationally syndicated radio talk show on computers and technology, Computer America, heard on both the Business TalkRadio Network™ and the Lifestyle TalkRadio Network™, weeknights at 10PM Eastern time. In South Florida, you can hear a rebroadcast of a selected Computer America show each Sunday evening at 8PM on WJNO 1290AM.