It’s time to get back into the grind of the weekdays. Hopefully you’ve all enjoyed the all too short weekend just past. Here are some of the stories that you might have missed while you were taking a break from it all. Some of the more interesting weekend news from science and technology that’s occurred.
WTT Weekend News – Bixby 2.0 to debut with Note 9
One of the most underwhelming (and yet entirely predictable) releases last year was Bixby. Underwhelming because it wasn’t any good, and predictable because Samsung has a track record for half baked software features. Let’s face it, the Samsung Galaxy S4’s entire user interface was a case in point. We still have a tic from trying to use that.
Bixby is Samsung’s answer to all the established AI personal assistants out there. It simply wasn’t able to compete. However, the second version of Bixby is slated to land with the Galaxy Note 9. Samsung promises Bixby’s upgrade will make it better at natural language responses, improve its capabilities in noisy environments and other improvements.
Hopefully this version of Bixby is able to fulfill the promises Samsung is making. After all, it would prefer its customers to use Bixby over Google’s assistant, as it might encourage them to buy more Samsung gear for their home.
WTT Weekend News – No Man’s Sky will get multiplayer
Speaking of disappointments. Remember that computer game called No Man’s Sky? It promised a procedurally generated, science fiction exploration and combat extravaganza. What we got was a fetid swamp of hype, poor journalism, tedious mechanics and mediocre graphics under a veneer of pomp and ceremony. Basically, it was entirely like the Royal Wedding. Actually, it was like all of the royal weddings.
Sadly, here in Australia, we have to contribute to the monarchy.
While that might not be an issue easily resolved, No Man’s Sky is made of code. It can be changed. Sean Murray and his team have been building new free expansions and features into the game to at least get as close as possible to its original intent and promise. One of these is multiplayer, which was definitely not delivered on launch.
However, this feature will be coming on 24 July in the games Next update. Yes, its next update is called Next. It will coincide with the launch of the game on XBox One as well. It will let players explore, scan and grind together on planets where (hopefully) no one has gone before.
WTT Weekend News – NASA’s TESS takes its first photo
And finally, we keep with the theme of places where no man has ever been. TESS is NASA’s latest planet hunting satellite. It’s used its cameras for the first time to take a test shot. This shot contains over 200,000 stars, pointed at the constellation of Centaurus. This is only 1/400ths of the craft’s full field of view (though one needs to remember there are over 100,000,000,000 stars in the galaxy).
TESS will find planets using its instruments, and the James Webb Space Telescope will then follow up with more detailed observations. TESS is still scheduled for a final orbit insertion burn at the end of this month prior to it starting full operations.