PostPoints tip: Higher-quality YouTube videos
Ever notice an item towards the right end of the toolbar underneath every YouTube video labeled "240p" or "360p"? That's a menu you click to request a higher-quality copy of a video on Google's site. Instead of the default 240p or 360p (rough equivalents of videotape quality, the numbers refer to how many lines of resolution a clip contains), you can usually upgrade to DVD-quality 480p. And an increasing number of videos come in a high-definition 720p format, the same resolution as a lot of broadcast HDTV.
You can also tell YouTube to select higher-quality video all the time, when available, by adjusting your account's preferences. What if your connection is on the slow side? You can tell YouTube to download a video into your browser's cache instead of trying to stream it in real time over the Web by clicking its play button twice--once to play it, again to pause playback--and waiting until the progress bar under the clip turns a solid pink before clicking it a third time.
And in other news:
* Sunday's column gave my initial assessment of the Verizon iPhone (perhaps you've heard of it by now?), comparing it to the AT&T model in such criteria as operating costs, battery life, mobile-broadband speeds, coverage and reliability.
* Help File discussed the compatibility of e-book readers with the digital loans many public libraries now offer--short answer, the Kindle comes up short--and addressed the experience of watching streaming video over entry-level DSL broadband.