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Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 1:42am

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

Updated: 5 months ago.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts gestures as he speaks during a cable convention in Washington, D.C., in 2013. This week, his company drew scrutiny for an agonizing customer service experience.

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.

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