Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Offers a Diet Option for Pudgy PCs: “Feather”

Stuck with a slow computer or lousy broadband access, but still want your fill of dogs on skateboards? Check out YouTube Feather, a lightweight version of Google’s  (GOOG) video site.

YouTube is rolling out the option today, via its TestTube collection of beta trials. The idea is straightforward: Make the site work better for people who lack high-powered PCs or robust broadband.

Feather users get the same clips, but with fewer options; Feather doesn’t appear to offer the “high-quality” large-screen option, for instance, and many commenting and sharing options have been removed or stripped down.

But if you’re just interested in watching YouTube, none of that is going to matter to you, and you may very well not notice the difference anyway. I might try it whenever I have to use my slow and unreliable Sprint (S) wireless modem.

I don’t think you’ll be able to tell the difference by watching this embedded clip–pretty sure you have to opt-in to the beta for this to work–but worst-case, you get to see Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson chew up the furniture for the umpteenth time.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus