How Summly summarizes news articles

This week, 17-year-old British tech wiz Nick D’Aloisio sold his popular iPhone application, Summly to Yahoo for a reported $30 million. The app, which is currently offline, used an algorithm to scan articles and identify the most important information. Summly versions of articles were no more than 400 characters long. Here are some examples of news it summarized:

Original news article

Source: Back-channel talks but no US-Iran deal on one-to-one nuclear meeting

A senior administration official told NBC on Saturday that there have been back-channel talks between the U.S. and Iran about meeting bilaterally on the Iranians’ nuclear program – but that no meeting has been agreed to.

Expanding on a statement issued by the White House after The New York Times reported that there was an agreement, the official says that the backchannel talks have been done in full consultation with the allies – the P5 + 1 and Israel.

The official pointed out that there have been bilateral talks in the past – but that Iran refused to even meet with the P5 +1 during the recent United Nations meetings. He said the Iranians know there will be no agreement unless they give up their nuclear program.

Asked about the impact on Monday's foreign policy debate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the official said the administration is not happy that the story came out before the debate, but said the American people might be happy to know the administration is willing to explore all possibilities to get Iran to give up its nuclear program.

... Read the rest of the original 3,499 character story

Summly

Source: No deal yet on US-Iran nuclear talks

A senior administration official told NBC on Saturday that there have been back-channel talks between the U.S. and Iran about meeting bilaterally on the Iranians’ nuclear program – but that no meeting has been agreed to. The official pointed out that there have been bilateral talks in the past – but that Iran refused to even meet with the P5 +1 during the recent United Nations meetings.

Original news article

Billions Demanded In Spanish Oil Spill Trial

The trial against those involved in the Prestige oil spill off northern Spain 10 years ago has begun, with claims for billions of euros in compensation.

The oil tanker sank and leaked 50,000 tonnes of fuel into the Atlantic.

Prosecutors have demanded just over 4 billion euros (£3.2bn) in damages for the Spanish state, based on environmental damage it caused.

The ship's Greek captain, Apostolos Mangouras, and three others are charged with harming the environment.

Mr Mangouras, 78, could face 12 years in prison. However, the whereabouts of his Filipino first mate, Irineo Maloto, remain unknown.

Environmental groups say that key people responsible for the disaster are not on trial, including Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who was government spokesman at the time of the accident.

... Read the rest of the original 1,625 character story.

Summly

Billions Demanded In Spanish Oil Spill Trial

The trial against those involved in the Prestige oil spill off northern Spain 10 years ago has begun, with claims for billions of euros in compensation. Environmental groups say that key people responsible for the disaster are not on trial, including Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who was government spokesman at the time of the accident. Prosecutors have demanded just over 4 billion euros (£3.2bn) in damages for the Spanish state, based on environmental damage it caused.

GRAPHIC: Darla Cameron and Michelle Williams - The Washington Post. Published March 27, 2013.

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