This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
betas are non-final versions for testing. Usually access is limited to a selected group of trusted people, though sometimes everyone is invited to join in the testing (usually after several rounds of closed testing have removed all the main problems, the remaining ones likely being related to specific system configurations).