Beta Watch: Gist, TweetMixx, TwoFoods

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Gist: The Lowdown on You

We used to say the eyes were the windows to the soul. Now, if you want a true picture of a person, you look at their inbox. At least, that's what Gist does. Give this free service access to your mail account (Gmail, Outlook, and others), and it will figure out the people and companies that really matter to you. I was impressed by how well Gist figured out the importance of my correspondents, but I was less excited about what the service did with the information. It presents news stories about and status updates from the people who are most important to you. But I expected more help filtering the wheat from the chaff in my inbox.

TweetMixx: Twitter Synthesized

Does Twitter just seem like too much--too many updates with cryptic links and few connective threads? TweetMixx gives you tools to make sense of all those tweets. First, the free service takes the tiny URLs your friends have shared and creates snapshots of the pages they refer to--headlines and a few lines of text--to let you judge their worth. Tell TweetMixx the subjects you're interested in, and it'll keep track of chatter about them in the Twitterverse. And if you just want to know what's going on, you can look at the top items people are sharing and the biggest current trends on Twitter.

TwoFoods: The Lesser of Two Evils

We all know what we're supposed to eat: carrots, brown rice, and vegan bean patties. But nobody actually wants to eat that way, so our food choices often come down to this question: Which of these two foods is less bad for me? to the rescue! Put in two culinary options, and this site will tell you which one has more calories, fat, carbs, and protein. You can enter basic food types, such as apples or chicken breasts, or brand names like Big Mac or Whopper. Within seconds you'll know which of the two will kill you quicker. What you do with that information is between you and your waistline.

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