Beta Watch: Onehub, Lovely Charts, Trackle
Onehub: Simple Collaboration
Onehub identifies itself first as an FTP replacement; but that limited description shortchanges this service, which packs a lot of the power of Microsoft's SharePoint without much of the complexity. With a free account, you can set up a single hub--a sort of extranet where you can upload as much as 1GB of files. Your hub can also include calendars, task lists, discussion boards, RSS feeds, images, and video. Other users can make comments about the files, or download them, edit them, and reupload them; when that happens, Onehub keeps both versions. Paid accounts range from $19 to $249 per month and from 3GB to 100GB of storage.
Lovely Charts: Lovely, No, but Attractive
The designers here at PC World forbade me to touch design tools after I produced a couple of graphics that made their eyes bleed. But even if you're a design spaz like me, you can produce decent results with Lovely Charts. That's mostly because Lovely Charts whittles down your choices, offering you a few simple elements that you can drag around to create flowcharts, family trees, wireframes, and more. It's a basic online app that doesn't give novices enough rope to hang themselves, so it's not for serious designers. The free version lets you create, print, and export as many charts as you like, but allows you to save only one for future revisions. To save more, you'll have to pony up 29 euros a year.
Trackle: Alerts for Nearly Everything
If you have any problem with the alerts that Trackle sends, it'll likely be the sheer volume of them. This free information scouting system has more alert categories than any other I've seen. It will tell you about neighborhood crime, new movies that your favorite actor appears in, even new FDA advisories. If you really want to be depressed, it will monitor the value of your home. You can track your alerts at the site, have them e-mailed (either in one big bunch each day or instantly), or receive them through SMS.