All Tech Considered
3:42 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Tech Week: Microsoft Layoffs, Comcast Call Hell And Call Of Duty

Between the Comcast kerfuffle and big layoffs at Microsoft, we weren't at a loss for tech news this week. So here's what happened since your last wrap-up, from NPR and beyond.

ICYMI

The Comcast Chronicles: As the week began, a Comcast customer service call went viral. It starred a pestering customer service representative and a guy — Ryan Block — who just wanted to cancel his service. Block told NPR's Elise Hu that he doesn't want the Comcast employee fired — because it's clearly part of a bigger, internal issue. And what timing! The broadcasting and cable giant is seeking regulators' approval to merge with Time Warner Cable.

Visa's Tech Switch: NPR's Aarti Shahani reports on Visa's new checkout system, which is aimed at making it easier for us to spend money online — and making the process more secure.

The Big Conversation

Microsoft's Big Layoffs: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella emailed employees about changes the company will make over the next several months, including as many as 18,000 layoffs. The staff cuts — the largest in Microsoft's history — follow the company's acquisition of phone maker Nokia.

A Comment Crash: A flood of comments about net neutrality crashed the Federal Communications Commission's commenting site, forcing the FCC to extend the deadline for accepting them. More than 1 million comments on the Internet-traffic proposal had been received as of week's end.

Curiosities

Bloomberg Businessweek: "How Russian Hackers Stole the Nasdaq"

Though it was disrupted, the hack reveals how vulnerable the U.S. financial infrastructure is to attack.

The Washington Post: Former dictator Manuel Noriega suing 'Call of Duty' makers

The 80-year-old deposed dictator of Panama is suing the makers of Call of Duty: Black Ops II for using his "name and likeness without permission."

The Guardian: FBI warns driverless cars could be used as 'lethal weapons'

An FBI report says the vehicles could revolutionize high-speed car chases, freeing up bad guys to use both hands to shoot from getaway cars that are driving themselves.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.