If you have ever tried the 80's breakfast staple Tang, you know a little about what astronaut food tastes like compared to the real thing. Tang is nothing compared to actual OJ. The same goes for the coffee aboard the ISS. It seems the Italian component of the ISS crew is tired of drinking instant coffee.
Italy is currently investigating a special espresso machine that may be sent to the ISS. An Italian engineering and software firm called Argotex is working with a coffee giant called Lavazza to create an espresso machine that can be used to make espresso in space.
In the US, self-driving and autonomous vehicles are something that is being worked on in the military and private sectors. Google is one of the largest firms working in the autonomous vehicle market, but many automakers are working on the tech as well. We are still likely several years away from autonomous vehicles on the roads in the US.
In the Netherlands, a trucking company is pushing hard for self-driving trucks to cruise the streets between Rotterdam and other Dutch cities. Rotterdam is the largest shipping port in Europe. The trucking firm wants these self-driving trucks to be cruising the streets in the next five years.
A report has surfaced that claims the speech recognition firm Nuance is currently talking with suitors about a potential sell off. The report claims that among the suitors looking to buy Nuance are Samsung and several private equity firms.
Nuance is a company that is behind some of the more popular speech recognition tech on the market today. Nuance tech is being used in a number of Samsung products including smartphones and tablets. Nuance is also the behind the scenes source of Siri's power on Apple devices.
For a number of years the US government has limited the resolution of satellite images that could be used by commercial firms. The restrictions on images meant that anything smaller than 50cm had to be pixilated. Those restrictions have now been lifted.
Under the new rules objects as small as 50cm are now allowed to be used commercially. This decision means that Google and others can now use significantly higher resolution images. One company has said that it plans to use images with features as small as 31cm.
Google announced Project Loon about a year ago and to many it sounded like something farfetched that would never come to reality. As it turns out Google was very serious about Project Loon. The project uses high altitude balloons to provide internet connectivity to an area at broadband speeds.
Google has been testing and tweaking Project Loon in Brazil using the high-flying balloons to provide internet connectivity to a small rural town called Campo Maior, which didn't have web access before. Google has also had one of its balloons circle the globe in 22 days and has units in its network designed to stay in the air for over 100 days.
Amazon has been operating its Appstore for a while now and it has bragged recently that it has significantly increased the number of apps on its store. Amazon says that in the last year alone it has tripled the number of apps available. Amazon also says that its developers earn similar money compared to developers focusing more on the Apple App Store.
That claim comes from a survey performed by IDC and sponsored by Amazon. Amazon is seeking more developer attention for its Appstore. Currently Amazon has over 240,000 apps and games in its collection. That is a fraction of the million apps Apple claims in its store as of October 2013.
We were one of the first media to post about Ubisoft deceiving gamers with the PC version to one of its biggest launches ever, Watch Dogs. There has been a mod created which makes the game look like it did back when it was first shown off at E3 2012.
Since then, we've seen Watch Dogs look worse when it was better shown in 2013, and then the delay was announced - pushing it over 6 months from its original launch date. There were obvious problems with the development of Watch Dogs, but why would Ubisoft hold back much more advanced graphics when compared to consoles and even next-gen consoles.
If you visit Reddit right now, and visit /r/pcmasterrace, you'll see some very disgruntled PC gamers - and rightly so. PC gamers seem to have been robbed by shafted.
Back in April of this year, Nest stopped selling the Protect smoke alarm after an issue surfaced with the wave feature. The wave feature was designed to allow the user to silence the alarm and that feature was malfunctioning leading to Nest issuing a patch that disabled it on units in use.
Nest has now announced that the Protect is available for purchase again. However, the wave feature is still disabled on the Protect. An investigation into a solution for the wave issue is underway. The Nest Protect is designed to alert a smartphone if smoke is detected so you can keep an eye on your home or office from afar.
Fresh from its theatrical debut which pulled in a respectable (albeit below expectations) $700 million worldwide, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia have announced the release of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro' on Blu-ray for August 14, in both 2D and 2D + 3D flavours.
Whilst Sony have yet to detail the specifications of the local release, the Blu-ray should mirror the US release which includes Audio Commentary from Director Marc Webb, Deleted Scenes, a feature length documentary entitled 'The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and a music video.
I took a look at the film in its theatrical release back in April.
Mario Kart 8 on its own is selling a buttload of copies, but the game has also helped Nintendo push more Wii U units than ever before. Nintendo has sold seen a huge 400% increase in Wii U sales since Mario Kart 8 launched. Mario Kart 8 is even helping Nintendo hurt Sony's sales of the PS4 in Japan.
Nintendo America boss Riggie Fils-Aime said during an interview with VentureBeat: "Mario Kart 8 has increased the sell-through of the Wii U hardware business by a factor of four. In the two weeks prior to the launch, versus what we've seen now following the launch, we're selling at a daily rate four times higher than where we were before".
I can attest to that, as I will be picking up a Wii U next week all because of the release of Mario Kart 8. I always said to myself that when Mario Kart went next-gen, I would buy it, so come back to TweakTown next week for our look at the Nintendo Wii U and Mario Kart 8!