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Tech News Today for July 29, 2016

Tech News for July 29, 2016

Security expert Jonathan Zdziarski warns that WhatsApp might not be as secure as you think it is. In a blog post today he writes that WhatsApp leaves a forensic trace of your chats even after you've deleted, cleared, or archived them. To be more specific, deleted SQLite records remained intact in the database. And don't think switching to iMessage will solve this problem because Apple's deleted messages leave a forensic trace too and Zdziarski says its even worse. Read more at zdziarski.com.

Instragram is about to tackle abusive speech on its network by giving users the keys to controlling their own content streams. Not only will users be able to filter their streams, they could go nuclear and turn off comments completely on their own personal posts. Users will be able to create personalized banned word lists to keep comments that include those words out from the start. Read more at techcrunch.com.

NPR reports on a new study that says Uber & Lyft have had no effect on drunk driving fatalities. The study by The American Journal of Epidemiology found that quote: "Uber services in a given metropolitan county had no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities, whether measured in aggregate or specific to drunk-driving fatalities or fatalities during weekends and holidays." By all means, take Lyft or Uber if you're drunk. But there's still more room improvement when it comes to drinking and driving. Read more at npr.org.

Microsoft has already admitted that its smartphone business would be taking a backseat to other platforms that its working on, an acknowledgment that its simply not performing well in the mobile phone market. In May, the company announced that it would be laying off 1,850 employees in its smartphone hardware business and sales divisions. And now, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, it appears Microsoft has plans to lay off an additional 2,850 employees from those divisions and particularly, Microsoft’s salesforce. 900 employees have already been notified of Microsoft’s layoff plans. Read more at zdnet.com.

If you're out of a job at Microsoft, you might consider heading across town to work at Amazon. The company hired approximately 23,700 employees worldwide in the second quarter. They now have 268,900 employees. Geekwire says this is a 10 percent increase of employees just in the last three months and a 47 percent increase in the last year. Amazon has also passed Exxon Mobile in market cap, as of this morning. Read more at geekwire.com

In related news, ZDNET reports that with the better than expected quarter, Amazon has also seen a rise in the US governments requests for customer data. The transparency report they released last night showed 1,803 different requests compared to last year's 851 requests. The requests come only from Amazon Web services and the company did not say whether they would expant the transparency report to requests made of information from the Amazon Echo. Read more at zdnet.com

Today, Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined by Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica to talk about all the latest gaming news with the PlayStation VR and controller customizations from Xbox Design Labs. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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