Amazon Abandoning Pre-Owned Program in UK

The UK arm of retail giant Amazon has announced plans to close its trade-in scheme.

The initiative, which allowed users to send in games and receive payment for it–often in the form of credit–will cease operation from August 31. It is not clear if Amazon’s game trade-in scheme will cease in North America too; GameSpot has contacted the retailer for clarification.

“No Trade-In orders can be submitted online after the closure date,” the retailer explains on its UK website. “Please ensure your trade-in items are dispatched within 7 days after your submission.”

The post continues: “Trade-Ins sent after this time will not be accepted by us and will be returned to your address. Please note trade-in submissions sent via Royal Mail may take up to 6 business days to arrive before your submission is processed.”

According to the site, “all issued Amazon.co.uk Gift Cards will remain valid after the closure of our Trade-In Programme.”

Amazon Game Studios, the retailer’s internal division dedicated to video game development, recently lost three high-profile employees. Among them was Clint Hocking, who joined Amazon in early 2014 from Valve and LucasArts.

The second high-profile departure was Eric Nylund, who spent more than 13 years at Microsoft working on the Halo franchise and others, originally joined Amazon as its director of narrative design in July 2013.

The third person was Jonathan Hamel, Amazon’s principal game designer. He joined Amazon in April 2014, coming to the company after spending more than five years at Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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Watch a Japanese rocket launch with supplies for the International Space Station

A Japanese rocket filled with supplies for the International Space Station will launch today from southern Japan. After many high-profile failures of cargo resupply missions within the past year, there is extra pressure for this launch to go well.

On board the uncrewed vehicle is a H-II Transport Vehicle (HTV)-5 cargo craft, carrying more than 4.5 tons of food, water, spare parts, and other equipment for the ISS crew members. The launch is scheduled for 7:50AM ET, with live coverage of the event beginning at 7:00AM ET. If the mission is successful, the cargo capsule will dock with the ISS at 6:55AM ET on Monday, August 24th.

This is the second cargo resupply mission to launch after SpaceX’s failure in June — when a Falcon 9…

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Author: Loren Grush

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Metal Gear Solid 5 Trailer Sets Up Big Boss' Descent into Villainy

Sony has released a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, building the game up as the “conclusion” of the series.

The Japanese trailer, which you can watch below, also leverages the series’ close relationship with PlayStation platforms. Metal Gear Solid debuted on the first PlayStation, and every game since has been released for a PlayStation home console or portable.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launches on September 1 for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3. It will have a competitive online component called Metal Gear Online, but that mode won’t be available until October 6 on consoles and January 2016 on PC.

Konami has announced that PC owners will be getting a variety of bonuses. If you preorder the game on Steam, you will receive Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for free. All owners of the game on Steam will also receive a documentary, behind-the-scenes footage, and some extra in-game items.

Metal Gear Online, meanwhile, will be released on October 6 on consoles and sometime in January 2016 on PC. The delay is similar to what happened with the 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V. It took two weeks after the game’s launch before GTA Online was available for players.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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Watch a machine try to work out what's in the Star Trek intro

Watching a neural network trying to work out what it’s seeing in the opening credits of Star Trek: The Next Generation is both fascinating and kind of sad. In this video uploaded to YouTube by Ville-Matias Heikkilä, the pre-trained system tries to work out what planets, stars, and spaceship are, with its top three guesses displayed as text, and its best answer highlighted in green. It doesn’t do great.

like an indecisive charades player

The flickering text makes the neural net seem like a particularly indecisive charades player, with the computer gabbling answers and switching back and forth between them, wrongly identifying a star as a volcano and the USS Enterprise itself as an odometer. As Heikkilä notes, though, this is because the…

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Author: James Vincent

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The new Tile will let you find your keys or your phone

Tile was an early Kickstarter success story and now it’s hitting the big leagues. Starting today, there’s a new version that will be available both online and in retail stores. The Tile is designed to help you find your keys — or purse, or basically whatever else you can attach it to. That remains unchanged — pair it to your iPhone or Android device and you can tap a button on your phone to make the little square dongle beep. Tile says that said beep is three times louder now and will work within 100 feet — both claims ring (ahem) true in my testing. Tile also has another clever feature — if you lose something, you can tell the Tile hive mind and every Tile user’s phone will start looking for it. If it’s detected, you’ll get an alert on…

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Author: Dieter Bohn

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Intel’s new processors let you wake your computer with your voice

Intel’s newest Skylake processors have a slightly creepy new feature — they’re always listening to you. Shout “hey Cortana” or “Cortana, wake up” at a Windows 10 machine with one of the new chips, and your voice will be picked up by a digital signal processor secreted inside the chip that will rouse your PC from its low power state. Once it wakes up, Cortana takes over and you can use all the standard voice commands, including telling the digital to play music or videos.

The company announced the new feature at its Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco today. A similar option also appeared on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Motorola’s Moto X smartphone, but as with those devices, after the novelty wears off, you might find it easier to simply…

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Author: Ariha Setalvad

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Hack Amazon's Dash buttons to do your bidding

It was only a matter of time before someone discovered how to hack Amazon’s dash buttons, the tiny, Wi-Fi enabled devices you can use to buy more detergent or toilet paper at the literal push of a button. As cofounder and CTO of software firm Cloudstitch Ted Benson discovered, with some basic programming skills, you can hack them to do almost anything.

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Author: Ariha Setalvad

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