This is my new favorite story:
The Thomson Reuters system uses news alerts that feed directly into an algorithm, or computer model, to try to predict future market volatility which can in turn be used to better inform a trading decision or risk management process. A series of real-time indices have been developed to measure when abnormally large amounts of news happen in various categories. When the level of news reaches a certain threshold, a signal alerts customers to potential market movements.
As an aid to trading, this is no sillier than anything else. As a risk management tool, however, it might be hard to get past regulators. "It was fine to take on more risk, it was a slow news day!"