19 Freebies for Smart Web Browsing, Social Networking
Make more use of your browser with MyBrainshark, MailBrowser, and more. Tame Facebook and Twitter with PhotoGrabber, TwInbox, and other services.
Make the Most of Your Browser
Our five Web-savvy tools and services can help you recover the information you typed into forms, add narrations to presentations, turn PDFs into editable documents, and more.
CeeVee: Register to build a polished-looking résumé with this Web service, and then share it online via Facebook, Twitter, or a custom Web address. It's fast, easy to use, and proof positive that you're a Web-savvy applicant.
Lazarus: This Firefox add-on records every keystroke you enter into blog tools, comment boxes, e-mail forms, and the like. To magically restore the items you typed, just right-click and choose Recover Text or Recover Form.
MailBrowser: Manage contacts, attachments, and other details in Gmail. Available for Firefox and IE, this beta add-on reveals information about each contact, integrates with Google Calendar for easy appointment scheduling, lists all received attachments for a given contact, and creates local, searchable copies of them.
MyBrainshark: This presentation-hosting service lets you add narration to a presentation just by picking up your phone. All you do is sign up, upload your PowerPoint slide deck, and then call a special number and start talking.
PDF to Word: This Web service transforms PDFs into edit-ready documents. Simply upload your file and choose your desired output format, either Word or Rich Text Format. Then sit tight until the service sends you an e-mail with a link to download the converted document.
Tools for Facebook and Twitter Fanatics
We've collected eight downloads and services that will streamline the Facebook and Twitter interfaces, help you share photos easily, and improve your social networking in other ways.
Tired of Facebook's cluttered interface and Twitter's boring one? Sign up with Brizzly to give both services a makeover and arrange a simpler, classier front end for your friends and feeds. You can still tweet and retweet, write on walls, and do all the other core Facebook and Twitter stuff.
FacePad Easily download photo albums from Facebook with the FacePAD Firefox add-on.
Everyone loves sharing photos on Facebook, but downloading snapshots from a friend's album is a hassle. Facebook Photo Album Downloader, aka FacePAD, is a Firefox add-on that lets you download entire photo albums (including event and group albums).
Want to make shopping online a group sport? Add a bookmarklet for the beta service FriendShopper to your browser. When you see something on the Web that interests you, click the bookmarklet and decide whether you want to save the page, share it with a friend, or both. When a friend sends you a message about a product you shared, it comes with a picture, so you'll know what they're talking about.
The ultrastylish front end of the Microsoft Silverlight 4 Beta Client for Facebook delivers not only the usual Facebook elements but also a cool animated photo grid and a better photo-uploading tool. It's currently a "developer preview," so expect a few bugs.
Illustration by Andrew Bannecker
Outlook lets you link photos to contacts. And most Facebook users have profile photos associated with their accounts. How shall the twain meet? Enlist the help of OutSync, which quickly and efficiently copies photos of your Facebook friends into matching contacts in Outlook.
PhotoGrabber runs independently of your browser, and downloads photos tagged with your name or with the names of your friends. It's great for rounding up snapshots that land in other people's albums without your knowledge.
Deftly catering to holders of multiple Twitter accounts, the browser-based beta Splitweet lets you tweet to one or more accounts simultaneously; read, reply to, and share updates from users you follow; and track mentions of any "brand" names you want (your company's name, a competitor's name, a product line, and so on).
TwInbox The TwInbox Outlook add-on helps you easily manage your Twitter account and tweets.
Don't want to run a full-blown Twitter client (like TweetDeck) just to manage your Twitter account? The Outlook add-on TwInbox brings tweets to your inbox and provides a toolbar for updating your status, retweeting, sending direct messages, and performing other tasks. It even streams the latest tweets as they arrive.
Next: Self-Improvement Freebies
Reshape Your Life With the Power of the Internet
For those times when you need online help with your personal self-improvement goals, our six selections can help you stay on track.
BudgetSketch: Helps you track where your hard-earned money will go--before you spend it.
DailyBurn: Offers motivating charts and graphs for tracking your diet and exercise progress.
Habitforge The Habitforge service reminds you to change your habits and helps you track your progress.
Habitforge: Provides three weeks of daily reminders and progress tracking to help you change your habits and achieve your goals.
Learn10: Presents ten new foreign-language vocabulary words a day. Currently covers about 20 languages.
RunKeeper Free: Uses your iPhone's GPS feature to track your jogging on a map, and then uploads results to its Website.
YouTube EDU: Hosts videos of lectures from the likes of Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and Yale.
About the authors: Adam Pash is the editor of . Rick Broida writes .
How quick are you to adopt new technologies?
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- I'm a tech-head — first in line to buy the latest and greatest.
- I'll typically wait for the first wave to pass and the bugs fixed before diving in.
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I hang on to my tech goodies for good reason.
- I'm still using a VCR and my late '90s flip phone.