Facebook has postponed ruining WhatsApp

In a completely unexpected move, Facebook decided not to ruin WhatsApp for the time being. Facebook warned users back in the fall of 2018 that ads would be deployed inside WhatsApp, prompting some people to worry about the relationship between ads and end-to-end encryption. Facebook then reminded us, a few months later, that ads will start appearing in the popular chat app in 2020. But it turns out that Facebook has completely abandoned the idea of deploying advertising inside your chats for the time being.

WhatsApp disbanded the team responsible for ads integration, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, the ad-related code was deleted from the app, which is great news for anyone who has preemptively annoyed at the prospect of seeing ads in the WhatsApp status bar.

Facebook wasn’t going to break end-to-end encryption to deliver highly-targeted ads, the company said almost two years ago. WhatsApp would have remained just as secure as it is today (at least in theory). Not to mention that, more recently, Mark Zuckerberg pivoted towards end-to-end encryption for all of Facebook’s instant messaging apps, which should be linked at some point in the future.

The report notes that Facebook hasn’t canned the idea of monetizing WhatsApp with ads, but it’s no longer a priority, and it’s unclear when it will happen. Instead, Facebook plans to make money from the WhatsApp instant chat features it can offer businesses. Customer service features, as well as actual commerce, can be done via WhatsApp, which both users and retailers may appreciate in a world that’s increasingly reliant on instant messaging.

The Journal also notes a second reason why Facebook may have canceled the ads project: The current WhatsApp terms of service, updated in 2016, after the Facebook purchase, but before WhatsApp cofounders left the company — Jan Koum and Brian Acton departed Facebook after clashes on advertising — prohibit ads in the app. Facebook would have to update those terms and face backlash from the public. Changing the terms of service quietly might not be an option for a company that’s had to deal with several PR issues in the past few years.

Image Source: Martin Meissner/AP/Shutterstock

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite launches in India on January 21

Samsung is launching the Galaxy Note10 Lite in India on January 21. The company has been sending out emails saying exactly this to people who had registered on its Indian website to be notified about any news regarding the handset’s availability in the subcontinent.

Previously, Flipkart seemed to reveal a launch date of January 23, and both of these can be true. Perhaps the retailer will wait a couple of days until it does its own reveal. The phone was introduced internationally earlier this month.

According to the images Samsung has on its Indian website, the Aura Glow and Aura Red variants should be the ones up for grabs in the subcontinent. A recent leak talked about the price being INR 35,990, but Samsung hasn’t announced anything about that yet. Either way, we’ll know for sure in just a few short days.


Tile complains during Congressional antitrust hearing that iPhones are too complicated

Among the companies like Sonos and PopSockets that attended an antitrust-focused congressional hearing on Friday were representatives of Tile. It’s the company that makes Bluetooth trackers that can be attached to your personal possessions to help you keep track of them — and, in line with the hearing that took a broad look at allegations of antitrust from big tech companies like Google and Amazon (and whether they’re abusing their size to stifle competitors), Tile actually directed lots of its fire at Apple.

Apple, of course, has been cracking down on third-party apps and developers that track customers — especially going after those that track customers in the background and without their knowledge — with the iPhone maker building even more of those protections into iOS 13. That, though, is Tile’s beef with the company, claiming that Apple is purposely hurting its business and makes it too hard for iPhone users to adjust their settings (which are buried in “deep, hard-to-find” menus, according to the company).

Tile attorney Kirsten Daru said she thought Congress should step in “to level the playing field” because of Apple creating a “confusing and frustrating experience” for Tile’s users.

Tile’s problem Friday wasn’t even with Apple’s forthcoming “Apple Tags,” which will be Tile-like trackers that you can attach to items like keys to keep track of them. Tile’s complaint is with Apple’s “Find My” feature that helps you find Apple gadgets you might have lost like iPhones and Macs. It’s enabled on iPhones by default, in contrast with the need for Tile users to grant permissions for location — which the user will also be asked to reauthorize repeatedly over time.

Along the lines of Tile wanting Apple to simplify what it says is a too-complicated process right now, Apple shared a statement as part of the congressional hearing suggesting that a kind of fix to this is coming soon. Per the statement shared by a CNBC reporter, Apple notes that:

“When setting up a new device, users can choose to turn on Location Services to help find a lost or misplaced device with ‌Find My‌ ‌iPhone‌, an app that users have come to rely on since 2010. Customers have control over their location data, including the location of their device. If a user doesn’t want to enable these features, there’s a clear, easy to understand setting where they can choose exactly which location services they want enabled or disabled.

“…We’re currently working with developers interested in enabling the ‘Always Allow’ functionality to enable that feature at the time of setup in a future software update.”

Image Source: Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock

One of the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s most anticipated features might not be all that impressive

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 is one of the most anticipated phones of 2020. The South Korean smartphone maker has scheduled a press event for February 11th, confirming recent leaks that said the S20 launch event would take place earlier than expected. Samsung is looking to put as much distance as possible between its newest phones and all the handsets that will be unveiled at MWC a few weeks later.

But all the secrets have already been spoiled, so the sooner Samsung unveils the phone, the better. This week alone brought several major leaks about the Galaxy S20 series, including one we’re about to share. However, this new report out of Korea seems to indicate that one of the highly anticipated Galaxy S20 camera features might not be quite as revolutionary as expected.

Several leaks have said that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will be the only S20 model to receive a periscope camera, which can significantly improve optical zoom. We’ve seen such lenses on Huawei and Oppo devices in the past. The same leaks indicated the S20 Ultra would be capable of a crazy 100x hybrid zoom, which combines optical and digital zoom. Other reports, meanwhile, claimed that the S20’s periscope lens would support 10x optical zoom.

This brings us to The Elec’s latest report. According to the publication, the Galaxy S20 is getting a periscope camera module that will only support 5x optical zoom. The report doesn’t specify the Ultra by name, but everything we know about Samsung’s lineup tells us that the standard S20 and S20+ will not have periscope cameras.

The report notes that the same supplier that provided periscope lens components to Oppo will service Samsung, and plans to work with Huawei and Vivo this year. Huawei introduced a 5x zoom periscope lens of its own with the P30 Pro last year. That handset supports 50x digital zoom.

In a recent tweet, noted Samsung insider Ice Universe teased the upcoming camera war between the S20 Ultra and the P40 Pro and teased the expected zoom capabilities of the various lenses onboard the two devices:

The war between “Telescopes” in 2020
S20 Ultra:
48MP IMX586 5X
Pixel cropping 12MP 10X
100X Zoom

P40 Pro:
8MP IMX520 10X

— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) January 17, 2020

He claims 5x, 10x, and 100x zoom for the Galaxy S20 Ultra, with the latter being the digital zoom. Is that 48-megapixel shooter with 5x zoom the periscope camera? Not so fast! Max Weinbach, a different leaker, known for his S20 revelations, said a few days ago that the 48-megapixel cam supports 10x optical zoom:

The S20 Ultra 5G is going to keep the SD Card slot. Support for up to 1TB.

It will also be available in 128GB/256GB/512GB and have a 12GB and 16GB RAM option.

108MP main, 48MP 10x optical, 12MP ultra wide.

5000 mAh battery with 45W option fast charge. 0 to 100% in 74 min.

— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) January 13, 2020

The camera will be one of

Watch SpaceX's Crew Dragon in-flight abort test at 8 AM ET on Saturday

One of the last major steps before SpaceX flies its Crew Dragon craft with real NASA astronauts onboard is an “in-flight abort test.” Scheduled to take place during a four-hour window on Saturday, Sunday or Monday morning, it will test the vehicle’s ability to safely get back to Earth if there’s a problem during ascent.

Tomorrow’s test will demonstrate Crew Dragon’s ability to separate from Falcon 9 and carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on ascent pic.twitter.com/Cji4S5JDHl

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 17, 2020

Last March, Crew Dragon successfully flew to the ISS and back, and if all goes well, a crewed flight could occur later this year. SpaceX is competing with Boeing’s Starliner in the NASA Commercial Crew program, so every test flight counts.

Come back here just before 8 AM ET on January 18th, and if the weather holds then you should see the Crew Dragon separate from its Falcon 9, then eventually land in the Atlantic Ocean. Even if you wake up a little late, keep an eye out — according to SpaceX, weather data suggests their best opportunity

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra full specs leak

Samsung is announcing the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra at an event on February 11 (alongside the Galaxy Z Flip), and lately we’ve seen a lot of leaks about the company’s upcoming flagship family. Nothing beats a full spec sheet, though, and today this is exactly what got leaked.

So here’s what you can expect. Note that these are all 5G versions, and specifically the ones headed to Europe and other places where Samsung doesn’t generally use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets.

Galaxy S20

This model comes with a 6.2″ 1440×3200 Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED screen with 20:9 aspect ratio and a centered punch-hole housing a 10 MP selfie camera with support for 4K video recording at 60fps. The panel supports 120Hz refresh rate, but earlier rumors mentioned that you’ll have to choose between that and the maximum resolution – as it will only be enabled if you switch to the lower 1080×2400.

The phone is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 990 chipset that’s built using a 7nm process, and it gets 128GB of storage that’s expandable via microSD. There’s no word on the RAM amount, but past rumors talked about 12GB being the standard.

On the rear the S20 has three cameras: a 12 MP wide, a 64 MP telephoto capable of 3x optical zoom (and up to 30x digital zoom), as well as a 12 MP ultrawide. You can record 8K video at 30fps.

The device has Dolby Atmos stereo speakers by AKG, a 4,000 mAh battery, IP68 water and dust resistance, and it runs Android 10 with One UI 2.0 on top. Its dimensions are 152x68x7.9mm, and it weighs 164g.

Galaxy S20+

This handset is very similar to the S20, but bigger – and with an added ToF 3D camera on the back. It’s got a 6.7″ display with the same resolution, refresh rate, and design as the S20’s, and a 4,500 mAh battery. Its dimensions are 162x74x7.8mm, and it weighs 188g. Everything else is the same.

Galaxy S20 Ultra

This phone is even bigger, coming with a 6.9″ display – once again with the same features as the panel in the S20, including resolution and refresh rate.

There’s an additional 512GB storage option, and a beefier 5,000 mAh battery. The camera system differs too. The selfie snapper in the centered punch-hole is 40 MP, still supporting 4K60 video.

On the back there’s a 108 MP main wide sensor, a 48 MP telephoto, a 12 MP ultrawide, and a ToF 3D cam as well. You have 10x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom from this setup. This device measures 167x76x8.8mm and weighs a hefty 221g. Everything else is the same between the three models.


Possible norovirus outbreak linked to Yosemite National Park

Spending a day at a national park can be an exciting adventure. Reconnecting with nature is always a good time, but nearly 200 visitors to California’s Yosemite National Park may have gotten a little more than they bargained for. Health officials are now investigating upwards of 170 suspected cases of norovirus linked to visitors returning from Yosemite.

As NBC News reports, the vast majority of the individuals reporting norovirus-like symptoms sprung up in early January. The number of cases has steadily decreased in the days since, but as the virus is highly contagious, it’s still a potentially troubling matter.

Symptoms of norovirus infection can be serious, including vomiting and diarrhea, and the illness can quickly spread from person to person via direct contact. Norovirus, also known as the “winter vomiting bug,” can be hard to identify at first since it presents symptoms that are similar to simple stomach flu. for even food poisoning.

Officials say that at least two of the reportedly sick individuals have been confirmed to have norovirus. However, as almost all of the affected individuals are reporting identical symptoms, and the vast majority of them visited or even worked in the park during the same timeframe, it’s suspected that all the cases are indeed linked.

That being said, it’s not immediately clear where the virus originated or how nearly 200 park visitors became infected in such a short period of time. Park officials are still trying to narrow down the possible sources of infection and are reportedly interviewing individuals who are sick to get a better idea of how this all started.

In the meantime, if you visited Yosemite in late December 2019 or early January 2020 and are experiencing similar symptoms, it’s definitely a good time to contact your doctor, explain the situation, and decide on the best course of treatment.

Image Source: Oliver Dixon/Shutterstock

Get over 2 lbs of mini Snickers bars for $7.18

Stop whatever you’re doing right now, because there’s a deal that you absolutely have to take advantage of before it disappears. Amazon sells 35-ounce bags of SNICKERS Variety Mix Fun Size Candy Bars for $9, which is already a crazy value. Think about it… that’s more than 2 lbs of Snickers, and it’s a variety bag with all four of the best flavors. Well, if you thought that was a great deal then you’re in for a treat, because there’s a limited-time 20% coupon that slashes the price to only $7.18!

Here’s more from the Amazon page:

Contains one (1) 35.09 ounce bag of SNICKERS Fun Size Chocolate Candy Bars Variety Mix Bag This variety mix contains fun sized SNICKERS Original, SNICKERS Peanut Butter and SNICKERS Almond and SNICKERS Crisper Chocolate Bars Fun size candy bars are ideal for holiday parties, the office, for Halloween, or birthday parties This chocolate variety mix is packaged in a stand up bag that you can place at the center of any party to share Share an assortment of SNICKERS Fun Size Candy Bars with friends, family and the office

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply. BGR may receive a commission on orders placed through this article.

What to Stream on Hulu This Weekend

Hulu has a lot to offer, however, deciding what to watch on the platform isn’t always easy. If you need help putting together your binge-watching lineup, you’ve come to the right place: We’ve picked the top documentaries, TV series, and movies to stream on Hulu from January 17 to January 19. Alien visitors, reunited twins, and eerie detectives will probably sabotage your weekend plans, because you’ll want to stream Hulu all day and night.


Four foster kids come together to welcome an alien buddy to Earth in the sci-fi series Endlings. When their extraterrestrial friend rescues one of the last creatures on the planet, the squad has to work together to protect other animals from a secretive industrialist.

Stream it Here

Lodge 49

An ex-surfer named Dud is having a life crisis in the quirky show Lodge 49. Thankfully, an old fraternal lodge, a new companion, and happy hours help him shed light on his greatest desires, fears, and ambitions.

Stream it Here

The Skeleton Twins

After spending a decade apart, two siblings have a reunion in The Skeleton Twins. The movie stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as the dynamic duo, who try to patch up their relationship amid spontaneous dance parties, disappointments, and family secrets.

Stream it Here

Fast Color

Paranormal powers could be life or death for a young woman in Fast Color. On the run from a local sheriff and bizarre forces, she heads back home to train her supernatural abilities for the ultimate showdown.

Stream it Here


Midnighters is so damn creepy because you don’t know who’s up to shady business: New Year’s Eve goes really bad for a couple who accidentally run over a mysterious man. While trying to cover up the evidence, a psychotic detective is thrown into their horrifying situation.

Stream it Here

Kill la Kill

Ryuko Matoi, also known as the “woman with the scissor blade,” tries to solve the mystery of her father’s death in the anime series Kill la Kill. An academy of superpower students, along with special uniforms, could help her unlock the fate of her dad.

Stream it Here

For more streaming coverage, check out our sister sites, PCMagMashable, and AskMen

More on Geek.com: 

Leak shows the PS5 controller will be backwards compatible with the PS4

We’re still anxiously awaiting any official news from Sony about the reveal of the PlayStation 5, but in the meantime, there have been plenty of leaks to keep us occupied. Several of those leaks have revolved around the controller that will ship with the new console — expected to be dubbed the DualShock 5 — but the latest actually comes from Sony itself. It appears that for a short time, on a page that explained the differences between the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the PlayStation France website included the DualShock 5 on its list of compatible controllers.

If you visit the same page on the UK site, you will only see the DualShock 4 listed under the “DualShock compatibility” section, but here’s a screenshot that Video Games Chronicle snagged from PS France:

Image Source: VGC

The page has since been edited, but Sony might have accidentally confirmed that the DualShock 5 will be compatible with both the PS4 and PS4 Pro. There are plenty of reasons why this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, perhaps most notably because the DualShock 4 could be used with the PlayStation 3 fairly flawlessly. Furthermore, the leaks (providing they’re accurate) have indicated that the DualShock 5 will be similar to its predecessor.

As always, there’s a chance that this was nothing more than an innocent mistake that doesn’t reflect Sony’s plans for the future of the PlayStation brand, but with the PS5 reveal event expected to take place next month, it’s also possible that the company is beginning to do some work behind the scenes to prepare for the console’s arrival. We know that Sony is skipping E3 2020, so we expect the unveiling — whenever it takes place — to feature every possible detail that anyone would want to know about the next-gen console (and its controller).

In case you’re curious, here’s what the DualShock 5 might look like, based on recent patents from Sony.

Image Source: Olly Curtis/Future Publishing/Shutterstock

Apple’s Powerbeats Pro are better than AirPods in every way, and they’re $50 off today

Apple’s AirPods are by far the most popular true wireless earbuds out there right now, and both versions of the AirPods 2 are back down to Black Friday’s deeply discounted price. But if you want better sound quality, a better fit, and much better battery life, there’s another Amazon sale that you need to check out. The Powerbeats Pro True Wireless Earphones are better than AirPods in literally every way, and that’s why they retail for $250. That’s exactly how much you’ll pay of you buy them right now from Apple, but they’re only $199.95 if you snag a pair at Amazon instead.

Here’s more from the product page:

Totally wireless high-performance earphones Up to 9 hours of listening time (more than 24 hours with charging case) Adjustable, secure-fit ear hooks for lightweight comfort and stability Reinforced design for sweat & water resistance during tough workouts Volume & track controls on each earbud, voice capability, and auto Play/pause Enhanced phone call performance and call handling from either earbud Powerful, balanced sound with dynamic range and noise isolation Earbuds connect independently via class 1 Bluetooth for extended range and fewer dropouts With fast Fuel, a 5-minute charge gives 1. 5 hours of playback when battery is Low1 What’s in the box: Power Beats Pro totally wireless earphones, charging case, ear tips with four size options, Lightning to USB-A charging cable, quick Start guide, warranty card

Follow @BGRDeals on Twitter to keep up with the latest and greatest deals we find around the web. Prices subject to change without notice and any coupons mentioned above may be available in limited supply. BGR may receive a commission on orders placed through this article.

Valve is definitely not working on 'Left 4 Dead 3'

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Valve Software

An HTC executive is learning first-hand about the dangers of making unsupported statements in your presentations. Valve has rejected speculation that it’s working on a third Left 4 Dead game after Alvin Wang Graylin, HTC’s president for Vive in China, posted a slide claiming that “LFD3” (along with Half-Life: Alyx) would spur demand for VR in 2020. The developer’s staff are “absolutely not working on anything L4D related now, and haven’t for years,” according to a statement to IGN. While Valve did “briefly” look at a next-gen version of the co-op shooter a few years prior, there’s nothing in the works now.

The company speculated that people were “having fun creating misinformation” to fire up the community. There have been other rumors, including Valve News Network’s claim that it had leaked L4D3 concept art and screenshots.

This is bound to be disappointing news if you have fond memories of L4D‘s desperate escapes, last-minute rescues and valiant last stands. Valve clearly sympathized with

You may almost be out of time to get a free year of Apple TV+ – here’s how to sign up

If you bought a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod touch last fall, there’s a good chance you already took advantage of Apple’s promotion for a free year of Apple TV+, but if not, time is running out. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple has begun sending out push notifications to remind those eligible for the promotion that they have to redeem the offer within 90 days of activating their device, and the first wave of expirations are rapidly approaching.

The terms of the offer state that anyone who bought an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac from Apple after September 10th, 2019 is eligible for a free year of Apple TV+, as long as they sign up within three months of the date of the purchase. If you bought the device before November 1st, that’s when your three-month window begins, which means that anyone who bought an iPhone 11 on launch day has until January 31st to sign up.

On the other hand, were you to jump online and buy an iPhone 11 today, you would have until April 16th to get your free year of Apple TV+. In any case, signing up and getting a year of access for free couldn’t be easier. Just head to the Apple TV app on any of your Apple devices and a message will pop up right away if you are eligible for the offer. A free year of a video streaming service is nothing to sneeze at, so it doesn’t really make much sense to pass up the offer.

It’s worth noting that when or if you do finally pull the trigger on the offer, you will be automatically signed up for an auto-renewing subscription to Apple TV+ at $4.99/month that will take effect as soon as the trial runs out. If you cancel the free trial, you will immediately lose access to the service, so it might be worth setting a reminder in your calendar for the billing date, which can be found in Settings > [Your Name] > Subscriptions.

Image Source: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

What’s It Like to Wear A 3D-Printed Sneaker?

What does a shoe with a sole 3D-printed from a base of light and oxygen feel like on your feet? The short answer: a little heavier than you might expect, but pretty good. The long answer is way more interesting though, I promise.

One of the great sneaker innovations of the last decade was adidas’ innovations in 3D printing. Using a process called Carbon Digital Light Synthesis, they pioneered the adidas 4D line, a series of shoes with soles printed using a process primarily based on light and oxygen particles to create pliable, sturdy shoe soles that are designed to best aid in human performance.

The tech first launched in April of 2017 in tight, limited quantities that restricted accessibility. Since then though, it’s expanded, adorning dozens of adidas sneakers and becoming far more accessible to the public.

Traditional shoe soles of just about any kind are created with injection molding. Carbon Digital Light Synthesis does away with the process entirely, instead opting for an elaborate building process that went through 50 different designs before being settled on – the current process allowing for the sole’s performance to be tested early on in the design phase, which eliminates the need for prototypes.

When speaking with sneaker publication High Snobiety, adidas explained that, “It is a photochemical process. It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin.

Informed by a data-driven process.#ALPHAEDGE 4D is available now: https://t.co/xnTQqAiM8L pic.twitter.com/NSVgUcLZ9L

— adidas Running (@adidasrunning) November 17, 2018

As a sequence of UV images are projected, the part solidifies and the build platform rises. Oxygen inhibits the photochemical reaction so that there is always a thin, liquid interface of uncured resin between the window and the printing part.” What sets this tech apart from traditional 3D printing is that UV-curable resin – traditional 3D printing uses plastics, which are stiffer and more difficult to mold.

So what’s the end result? What’s it like wearing a shoe that has been 3D-printed using light and oxygen?  Recently I got the chance to try out the adidas Alphaedge 4D and, well, it’s like I said: a little heavier than you might expect. Given that adidas’ most popular sneaker innovation of the last decade has been Boost foam, you’d expect a comparable lightness, right?

Boost is famous for being ultra lightweight and responsive. Wearing it makes you realize just how heavy every other shoe you’ve ever worn is. It’s cushy and pliable, making for one of the most comfortable shoes on the market today. Given this, wouldn’t a heavier shoe feel like something of a downgrade?

Born from liquid. Sculpted by light. Perfected by oxygen.
This is what happens when sport meets Silicon Valley.

ALPHAEDGE 4D, available at https://t.co/a8wPOU9UFo#ALPHAEDGE #ADIDAS4D pic.twitter.com/p6SNkqfJTU

— adidas (@adidas) May 31, 2019

Not necessarily. Yes, these 4D soles have a bit more heft to them than something like an Ultra Boost. But the weight serves a purpose, the first being durability. It

Steve Martin and Martin Short will team up again in a new Hulu series

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Hulu has just scored what will likely be a huge show for long-time comedy fans. The Disney-owned service has ordered a series starring comedy giants Steve Martin (his first leading TV role, apparently) and Martin Short. There’s no title yet, but Martin and This is Us creator Dan Fogelman developed the story. It revolves around three true crime obsessives who find themselves entwined in a crime story of their own. The as-yet unnamed third star is expected to be a young woman.

There’s currently no release date, although each episode should be half an hour.

This isn’t the first streaming project Martin and Short have done together. They received Emmy nominations for their Netflix one-off An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life. This is a considerably more ambitious undertaking, though, and it could help Hulu get attention at a time when rivals like Amazon and Netflix are landing comedy mega-deals of their own.