Beta Watch

FindHow: Search for Instructions

Some people think that they know how to do everything, but no one actually does. For those who are willing to admit their occasional ignorance, FindHow makes it easy to locate authoritative instructions on cars, careers, home improvement, relationships and other topics. All of the articles are from big-name brands--in some cases, the same companies that are selling you the stuff you need for your project. So far, there's virtually no help offered for tech projects on this free site.

Slingpage: Link Sharing Evolved

With Slingpage, instead of sending your friends a link to a page, you can send them the page itself--with your notes superimposed.
With Slingpage, instead of sending your friends a link to a page, you can send them the page itself--with your notes superimposed.
Why limit yourself to sending a link when you can send the whole page? That's the philosophy behind Slingpage, a browser toolbar that lets you send pages, annotated if you wish, to other Slingpage users. You can also set up a blog of sorts by making your choices of pages public. The free toolbar works only in Internet Explorer for now, and the requirement that the recipient must be a registered user limits the service's usefulness. Company officials say that they're working on fixing both drawbacks.

Scribd iPaper: PDF-Style Attachments

iPaper from Scribd is an interesting solution, but I'm not sure whether there's a corresponding problem. When you send someone an e-mail attachment in a Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, or PDF format, you can add ipaper@scribd.com as a cc: line recipient. Your primary recipient will then get a second e-mail message that contains links they can click to view your attachments as iPaper--a sort of online PDF alternative. This arrangement could save your correspondents the trouble of a download, but iPaper documents are not editable and they aren't always faithful representations of the original. Oh well, at least it's free.

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