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1. Hulu restructures under Disney, CEO Randy Freer departs
Hulu CEO Randy Freer is stepping down from his role as part of a major restructuring of Disney’s streaming business. The move signals Disney’s plans to streamline its direct-to-consumer operations, which also include Disney+ and ESPN+.
Disney took control of Hulu last year following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox and a subsequent deal with the service’s other owner, NBCUniversal. However, the company had largely left Hulu alone to operate as usual — until now.
2. BlackBerry and TCL will end their handset partnership in August 2020
BlackBerry and TCL announced that they would end their four-year brand licensing and tech support partnership in August 2020, with TCL ceasing to make new models of BlackBerry handsets after that point.
3. Launch startup Skyrora successfully tests 3D-printed rocket engines powered by plastic waste
Skyrora’s rocket engines are novel not only in their use of 3D printing, but also because the fuel that powers them is developed from plastic waste — a new type of fuel called “Ecosene” the startup says makes its launch vehicles greener and more ecologically sound than the competition.
4. Apple News adds coverage of 2020 US presidential election, including guides to candidates, issues & news literacy
The coverage includes curated news, information and election data from ABC News, CBS News, CNN, FiveThirtyEight, Fox News, NBC News, ProPublica, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, USA Today and others. The Apple News editorial team has also put together a series of curated guides, special features and other resources for readers from both sides of the political spectrum.
5. Nigeria is becoming Africa’s unofficial tech capital
Nigeria has become a magnet for venture capital, a hotbed for startup formation and a strategic entry point for Silicon Valley. Still, Jake Bright acknowledges that as a frontier market, there is volatility to the country’s political and economic trajectory. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
6. Watch this year’s tech-themed Super Bowl ads from Amazon, Google and more
Some of these ads come from tech giants like Amazon and Facebook, which have hired big stars to promote their products. Meanwhile, Dashlane found a fun way to remind viewers of the nightmare of life without a password manager, while Squarespace enlisted Winona Ryder to build a website on the platform.
7. This week’s TechCrunch podcasts
The latest full episode of Equity features a discussion of why Kleiner Perkins is investing its latest fund of $600 million at a rapid pace, while the Monday news roundup looks at the global market’s response to coronavirus fears. And over at Original Content, we review the Netflix cheerleading documentary “Cheer.”