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Review: 'Mousemobile' by Prudence Breitrose

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MousemobileI would like to thank Mister Twister for calling this title to my attention by reviewing the first book in this series, Mousenet. This is its sequel.

Mousenet and Mousemobile are recommended for readers 8 to 12, grades 3 to 7. They are clearly juvenile fiction, but are well-written and imaginative enough that “all ages” might be a better recommendation. Megan Miller, the protagonist, who was 10 years old in Mousenet, is 11 years old here. The series is not just spinning its wheels; this is a true sequel.

In Mousenet, Megan and three others – her slightly older step-cousin Joey Fisher and two adults, Megan’s inventor uncle Fred Barnes who made the mouse-sized Thumbtop miniature computer, and Joey’s father Jake who invented the solar blobs that are its power supply – become the only humans who learn that all mice are intelligent, and want the Thumbtop for all mice around the world so they can communicate instantly via a Mouse Internet. They obviously need more than a single miniature computer curiosity if this is to happen, so Mousenet is about the two children and the mice – particularly Trey, the Talking Mouse, and the officious but smart head of the Mouse Nation, the Chief Executive Mouse (a.k.a. Topmouse, known as the Big Cheese behind his back) – persuading Fred and Jake to mass-produce the Thumbtop. The mice come up with the fiction that enables the two adults to get away with this, by creating a “cute” small company, Planet Mouse, to purportedly make miniature computers as novelty keychain fobs, in Megan’s and Uncle Fred’s home city of Cleveland, Ohio.

Illustrated by Stephanie Yue, NYC, Disney•Hyperion Books, October 2013, hardcover $16.99 (282 pages), paperback $7.99, Kindle $9.99.

Video: 'Meet Thomas: Creator of an Alternate Universe'

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Can a district manager capture inspiration sparked by a train ride – with assistance from a four-figure piece of consumer hardware? [Coyoty]

See more: Background on the creation of the Rabbit, Toad and Bird

Video: 'A dragon is coming!'

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Some have called it "a beast that easily outruns the competition". It's smart, it's cute, it can fry two fish at once, and it's coming this summer – to your phone! [tip: diadexxus; best in HD]

The Snapdragon is an popular mobile system-on-chip designed for the ARM architecture. Many cell phones use one, including U.S. variants of the heavily-hyped Samsung Galaxy S4.

Related video: Even trolls need a break - See also: The 'making of' video

Video: Twilight and Croc O'Dile sell flash storage solutions

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Few "furry" ads past muster with the fandom, but furs might make an exception for this one, featuring actual fursuiters Croc O'Dile and Twilight – and a monkey. [Spottacus]

Update: Croc O'Dile details the shooting experience

Review: 'PKP for President', by Beth Hilgartner

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

PKP for PresidentHousecats Fluffy and PKP (Princess Killer Pinknose) had it easy living as the pampered pets of musician Colin and novelist Dana Wickey -- until the humans got into financial hardship, and had to get JOBS that took them out of the house during the day. This was 2001, when American households were getting their first home computers. Dana tries to teach Colin how to go onto the Internet, while Fluffy lounges in the background taking notes.

Once the humans are out of the house for the day, the cats have unlimited access to their new computer to get onto the Information Superhighway. Fluffy wants to make enough money (using the Wickey’s names and SSNs) so their humans can become financially independent, quit their jobs, and return to spending all day at home with their music and their writing and fussing over the cats. But she has reckoned without PKP, her aggressively psychotic sister who doesn’t know when to stop. Soon the cats have become computer-savvy enough that they are in danger of getting Colin and Dana arrested for insider trading …

That was in Hilgartner’s Cats in Cyberspace (Meisha Merlin Publishing, September 2001). Now it is ten years later, but only a few months in story-time.

Brigantine Media/Voyage, Dec. 2011, trade paperback $14.95 (272 pgs.), Kindle/Nook/iOS $5.99.

Mozilla's two new firefoxes

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Ailurus fulgensThe Mozilla Foundation has adopted two baby red pandas, a move intended to highlight the species' threatened status.

The red pandas, or firefoxes, were born at the Knoxville zoo in Tenessee and can be observed 24 hours a day through a dedicated webcam. The cubs also have a Twitter feed. They are currently unnamed, but you can submit name suggestions.