The Way I See It: Dawn Porter and Pete Souza on their film, Obama and the power of empathy – CNET

Barack Obama and Pete Souza

Dawn Porter's new documentary, The Way I See It, looks at the presidencies of Barack Obama and Ronald Regan through the eyes of official White House photographer Pete Souza (seen holding a camera).

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

The new documentary The Way I See It looks at former presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan through the eyes of Pete Souza. During his time as an official White House photographer, Souza captured the profound, intimate, funny and dignified moments of two of the most iconic presidents in modern history. The Way I See It is directed by Dawn Porter, who also made the wonderful and inspiring documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble.

Both Porter and Souza were my guests on CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast. During our conversation, Porter explained why she was compelled by Souza and his perspective working for Regan and Obama. When Souza started photographing Obama, the future president was still a senator.

"He [Souza] was thinking, 'Who is this man?'" said Porter. "And that's what I was thinking about with Pete. How did he come to be? What has influenced Pete?"

Since hanging up his White House camera, Souza, as his Instagram profile states, has become a citizen of Earth. Over the last three years, the former photojournalist gained attention for having his own opinions about the current occupant of the White House. He registered his distaste as only a photographer can, by posting photos as a juxtaposition. The idea wasn't to be political but to remind the world of the dignity and empathy needed to be the president.

"I had a unique voice having worked for not only a Republican and a Democratic president, but what's arguably the most iconic Republican president and the most iconic Democratic president of certainly my generation. I could come at this with a nonpartisan view that this wasn't because Donald Trump's a Republican. It had nothing to do with it. He was not fit for office," said Souza. "For three years, we saw what it means to have someone who's ill-prepared and is not empathetic. What it means when you're faced with a global pandemic and trying to bluff your way through it. Tying to do everything that makes you look good, and not what's best for the country. So it wasn't really that difficult decision for me to make to start speaking out."

Over a lively 30 minutes, Porter and Souza discuss why empathy is important for a leader to have, the passing of John Lewis, the significance of professional athletes protesting the shooting of Jacob Blake and what it's like having Obama officiate your wedding.

Listen to my entire conversation with Porter and Souza on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. The Way I See It opens Friday in select theaters. Also, you can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.

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Roku, Comcast battle over Peacock could see NBC apps removed from the platform – CNET

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Roku may be about to lose NBC apps in its dispute with Comcast over the Peacock streaming service. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The battle between Roku and Comcast over Peacock is expanding, with the telecom and media giant now asking Roku to pull NBC apps from its streaming TVs and devices.

On Friday, Comcast asked Roku to remove NBC TV Everywhere apps from its platform. According to Variety, 46 apps could be affected, including the main NBC app. Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is the parent to a host of channels, including NBC, USA Network and Telemundo, in addition to the Peacock streaming service. 

At issue are negotiations for Peacock, Comcast's streaming service that launched nationally in July. Peacock is available on a host of devices but remains absent on Roku and Amazon's Fire TV, the two most popular streaming platforms in the US. 

"We recently learned that Comcast plans to revoke consumers' access to NBC TV Everywhere channels on the Roku platform by making Roku delete these channels on/or as early as September 18, 2020," a Roku spokesman said in a statement. "These consumers, a number of whom are Comcast customers, have paid to access these channels via their cable TV subscriptions and now cannot view this content on Roku, their platform of choice.

"Comcast is removing the channels in order to try to force Roku to distribute its new Peacock service on unreasonable terms. While the NBC TV Everywhere apps represent an insignificant amount of streaming hours and revenue on our platform, we believe they are important to those consumers who use them, especially when so many Americans are at home."

In a statement, NBCUniversal pushed back and called Roku's demands "unreasonable." 

"We are disappointed Roku is removing its users' free access to NBCUniversal programming - 11 network apps, 12 NBC Owned Station apps, 23 Telemundo Owned Station apps - and continues to block access to the only free premium streaming service available in the market, Peacock," the company said. "Roku's unreasonable demands ultimately hurt both their consumers and their consumer equipment partners to whom they've promised access to all apps in the marketplace."

Now playing: Watch this: Peacock pricing, bundles and shows: The lowdown on NBC's...

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NBCUniversal had handshake deals in place with Roku for both TV Everywhere apps and for Peacock before the streaming platform changed its terms, according to a person familiar with NBCUniversal's thinking. The person says that a Peacock app for Roku is already built and ready to launch if a deal is reached.

Roku sent out an email to customers letting them know of the impending removal of apps, though as of 11:45 a.m. PT on Friday the Roku website, as well as Roku devices we checked, still showed NBC's main app. Once the apps are removed from the Roku store they will also be removed from Roku devices on which they're already installed. 

NBC content will still be viewable in other apps on Roku, including the Hulu app, live TV apps such as YouTube TV and Fubo TV, as well as apps from cable companies such as Spectrum. 

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Creative Emmys 2020: Baby Yoda and Watchmen win big – CNET

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Disney's The Mandalorian series grabs the most awards at this year's Creative Arts Emmys.

Disney Plus

Baby Yoda seems to be a good luck charm for The Mandalorian in more ways than one. At this year's 72nd annual Creative Arts Emmys, Disney's hit Star Wars series The Mandalorian picked up multiple awards, as did HBO's Watchmen and other sci-fi and fantasy TV shows. 

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards celebrate extraordinary artistic and technical achievements in a variety of TV show genres, guest star performances in weekly series, as well as exceptional work in the animation, documentary and reality TV categories. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony, hosted by comedian-actress Nicole Byer, was virtual and was divided into five different nights leading up to Sunday's main Emmys event

Disney's The Mandalorian received awards for outstanding special visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, production design, and cinematography awards. 

HBO's Watchmen series picked up awards for best cinematography, outstanding fantasy/sci-fi costumes, music composition, sound mixing (for a limited series) and single-camera picture editing. Watchmen is up for numerous awards during Sunday's Emmy Awards as well. 

CBS' Star Trek: Picard won for outstanding prosthetic makeup for a series, limited series, movie or special. (Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale won for outstanding production design for a narrative contemporary program.

Netflix's Stranger Things grabbed the award for outstanding sound editing for a comedy or drama series (one hour). History Channel's Vikings snagged the award for outstanding special visual effects in a supporting role.

watchmen-2019-hbo-1

Watchmen also won big at the Creative Emmys this year. 

HBO

Science and space programs also won big. HBO's The Apollo won for outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, National Geographic Presents: Creating Cosmos: Possible Worlds for outstanding short form nonfiction or reality series, National Geographic's The Cave for outstanding cinematography for a nonfiction program, and National Geographic's Life Below Zero for outstanding cinematography for a reality program. 

CNN's Apollo 11 won awards for both outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program and sound editing.

Actor Maya Rudolph also won her first Emmy for character voice-over performance in voicing the character Connie the Hormone Monstress on Netflix's Big Mouth. Rudolph is also nominated for both her work on Saturday Night Live and The Good Place in the guest actress in a comedy category and could end up winning more awards. 

Here's the full list of the 72nd Annual Creative Arts Emmy winners. Find out more about the main Emmy Awards Show on Sunday here

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Creative Emmys 2020: Baby Yoda and Watchmen win big – CNET

5de54e6f79d7571aaa0155a2

Disney's The Mandalorian series grabs the most awards at this year's Creative Arts Emmys.

Disney Plus

Baby Yoda seems to be a good luck charm for The Mandalorian in more ways than one. At this year's 72nd annual Creative Arts Emmys, Disney's hit Star Wars series The Mandalorian picked up multiple awards, as did HBO's Watchmen and other sci-fi and fantasy TV shows. 

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards celebrate extraordinary artistic and technical achievements in a variety of TV show genres, guest star performances in weekly series, as well as exceptional work in the animation, documentary and reality TV categories. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony, hosted by comedian-actress Nicole Byer, was virtual and was divided into five different nights leading up to Sunday's main Emmys event

Disney's The Mandalorian received awards for outstanding special visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, production design, and cinematography awards. 

HBO's Watchmen series picked up awards for best cinematography, outstanding fantasy/sci-fi costumes, music composition, sound mixing (for a limited series) and single-camera picture editing. Watchmen is up for numerous awards during Sunday's Emmy Awards as well. 

CBS' Star Trek: Picard won for outstanding prosthetic makeup for a series, limited series, movie or special. (Disclosure: ViacomCBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale won for outstanding production design for a narrative contemporary program.

Netflix's Stranger Things grabbed the award for outstanding sound editing for a comedy or drama series (one hour). History Channel's Vikings snagged the award for outstanding special visual effects in a supporting role.

watchmen-2019-hbo-1

Watchmen also won big at the Creative Emmys this year. 

HBO

Science and space programs also won big. HBO's The Apollo won for outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, National Geographic Presents: Creating Cosmos: Possible Worlds for outstanding short form nonfiction or reality series, National Geographic's The Cave for outstanding cinematography for a nonfiction program, and National Geographic's Life Below Zero for outstanding cinematography for a reality program. 

CNN's Apollo 11 won awards for both outstanding picture editing for a nonfiction program and sound editing.

Actor Maya Rudolph also won her first Emmy for character voice-over performance in voicing the character Connie the Hormone Monstress on Netflix's Big Mouth. Rudolph is also nominated for both her work on Saturday Night Live and The Good Place in the guest actress in a comedy category and could end up winning more awards. 

Here's the full list of the 72nd Annual Creative Arts Emmy winners. Find out more about the main Emmy Awards Show on Sunday here

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Hulu Plus Live TV vs. YouTube TV: Which live TV streaming service should you choose? – CNET

We're all staying inside watching more TV, and with sports such as NFL football and NBA basketball in full swing again, it could be a good time to consider a live TV streaming service. A subscription lets you cut the cable TV cord to save money while keeping your family's access to live TV channels (eg. CNN, ESPN and TNT) as well as your local stations including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Instead of a cable box you'll watch via media streamers like RokuAmazon Fire TV or Apple TV, your game console or your smart TV itself.

At CNET we've tested all seven of the major live TV-streaming services and our two favorites for premium users -- cord cutters who don't mind paying a bit more for a full package of channels and features -- are YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV. Both offer large selections of live channels, a cloud DVR that lets you record shows to watch later and extras like user profiles and multiple simultaneous streams. But they also have major differences beyond the $10 disparity in monthly fee. 

In general we like Hulu Plus Live TV best, because it's cheaper and includes Hulu's massive selection of on-demand shows and movies. But YouTube TV also has its advantages, namely a better DVR and numerous channels that Hulu lacks, including NFL Network and optional RedZone as well as your local PBS station. (Editors' note: CNET is owned by ViacomCBS, which owns CBS and several other channels mentioned below.)

Here's how they stack up.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Hulu's greatest asset is the integration of numerous live TV channels with a massive catalog of on-demand content for one price. With its recent interface upgrades and YouTube TV's price hike, Hulu has become the most attractive of the two services. Its channel count is solid, including some must-have channels -- like New York and LA-area sports networks -- missing from YouTube TV. But you'll have to pay another $10 a month to get the ability to skip commercials on Hulu's cloud DVR, which would bring it to the same price as YouTube TV. Read our Hulu With Live TV review.

YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV compared


YouTube TV Hulu Plus Live TV
Base price $65/month $55/month
Free trial Yes Yes
Number of popular channels (out of 100) 76 60
Local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels Yes Yes
Local PBS channels Yes No
Simultaneous streams per account 3 2 ($10 option for unlimited)
Family member/user profiles Yes Yes
Cloud DVR Yes Yes
Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR Yes No (Yes with $10 option)
Sarah Tew/CNET

With an excellent channel selection, easy-to-use interface and best-in-class cloud DVR, YouTube TV is still a worthy cable TV replacement. When the price jumped from $50 to $65, however, it became more expensive than any of the other services. If you don't mind paying a bit more, or want to watch live NFL games, YouTube TV offers the highest standard of live TV streaming. Read our YouTube TV review.

Read more: Best free TV streaming services: Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Sling TV and more

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Channels: YouTube wins but Hulu is solid too

The biggest difference comes down to channels. Comparing the total channel counts from our big list of the top 100 channels on every service, YouTube TV comes out on top with 76 from that list, compared to 60 on Hulu. That total doesn't include every channel the services carry, just the ones in the top 100 as determined by editors at CNET, but it still provides a good indication.

The two share most major national channels including Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News, TBS, USA Network and more, but there are a few differences. 

Here's a condensed version of that list showing the 18 of those 100 channels carried by one and not the other.

Major channel differences

Channel YouTube TV Hulu Plus Live TV
PBS Yes No
A&E No Yes
AMC Yes No
BBC America Yes No
BBC World News Yes No
Boomerang No Yes
History No Yes
IFC Yes No
Lifetime No Yes
MLB Network Yes No
NBA TV Yes No
Newsy Yes No
NFL Network Yes No
NFL RedZone Optional No
OWN Yes No
Sundance TV Yes No
Tastemade Yes No
Tennis Channel Yes No
Viceland No Yes
WE tv Yes No

Both services offer all four of the major local channels -- ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC -- in most areas of the country, and both also carry local affiliates from The CW and MyTV. Only YouTube TV carries PBS local stations; you can't watch your local PBS affiliate live on Hulu.

Both also offer regional sports networks -- channels devoted to showing regular-season games of particular pro baseball, basketball and hockey teams -- in many areas of the country although generally not as many as your local cable or satellite provider. To find out if the RSN you want is available in your area you can search YouTube TV by ZIP code here and search Hulu Plus Live TV by ZIP code here. New York and Los Angeles area sports fans should note that YouTube TV dropped YES Network, Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket, while Hulu carries all three RSNs. 

Beyond RSNs however YouTube TV has a big advantage in national sports networks, with NFL Network, MLB Network and NBA TV all available as part of its base package. You can also pay another $11 to get NFL RedZone, part of a "Sports Plus" add-on that also includes Fox College Sports, GolTV and Fox Soccer Plus. None of those channels are available on Hulu.

Premium channels like HBO, Starz and Showtime are also available for extra fees, and Hulu has two optional channel packages. One is an add-on for $8 per month with 11 channels including CNBC World, the Cooking Channel and Science, and the other is a Spanish-language package with seven channels for $5. YouTube TV doesn't have any additional channel packages, although you can add individual channels like Shudder and CuriosityStream for additional fees.

Read more: Best OTA DVR for cord cutters: Amazon Fire TV Recast, TiVo, AirTV and Tablo

Usability: YouTube TV has simpler menus, better DVR

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The YouTube TV interface on Roku.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The menus and interfaces on both are quite different from one another and from regular cable, and we like YouTube TV's menus better overall. 

YouTube TV: In general the YouTube TV interface is easier to use, and not just to people used to using regular YouTube. If you're using the desktop or app versions, Google's streamer offers a streamlined structure even if it's not as pretty as Hulu. 

Hulu Plus Live TV: Hulu recently rolled out a new user interface which brings it in line with its competitors. The new look is brighter, easier to both use and drill down into the kind of content you want to watch. If it was all a matter of which interface is more fun, then Hulu would now take it.

The difference in number of simultaneous streams is worth noting, especially for families and other households who watch a lot of TV. YouTube TV lets you stream to three different devices -- say, the living room TV, a bedroom TV and a tablet -- at the same time, while Hulu lets you stream to two. Pay Hulu a hefty $10 extra per month and it will upgrade your number of streams to unlimited. 

YouTube TV's biggest usability advantage is its excellent cloud DVR. It offers unlimited storage and works great, much like the hardware DVR inside your cable box. Hulu includes a 50-hour cloud DVR in the base $55 price too, but it has a big disadvantage: it lacks the ability to fast-forward through commercials on recorded content. To gain that ability you'll need to shell out for another $10 to upgrade the DVR, which also ups storage capacity to 200 hours. DVR advantage: YouTube TV.

Read more: Best TV antenna for cord-cutters in 2020, starting at only $10

On-demand and originals: Hulu with the runaway win

YouTube TV includes on-demand TV shows and movies from participating networks and shows, much like your cable service, and also offers YouTube Originals commercial-free. But it pales in comparison to Hulu. As we mentioned above, a Hulu Plus Live TV subscription unlocks all of the on-demand TV shows and movies available on the standard Hulu service, including thousands of episodes of network TV shows, as well as originals like A Handmaid's Tale, Catch-22, Letterkenny and the movie Palm Springs. The latest iteration of Disney-owned Hulu's push into originals is FX on Hulu, with exclusive shows like Devs premiering on the service.

Hulu Plus Live TV subscribers can upgrade their accounts for another $6 to remove ads from many of the on-demand shows, although some will still show ads.

Read more: 30 of the best TV shows to watch on Hulu

Which service is best for you?

Both services represent the peak of what live TV streaming has to offer, and both are better overall than the other two major premium options, Fubo TV and AT&T TV Now. Your choice between the two comes down to channel selection, usability and content, and in our book YouTube TV bests Hulu Plus Live TV in most of those areas. Hulu is the better value option, however, as it enables you to integrate a wide channel selection with its exemplary on-demand library, for a $10 discount. In the end though it's all about having access to your favorite channels so choose the service which gives you the channels you want.

Channel comparison

Below you'll find a chart that's a smaller version of this massive channel comparison. It contains the top 100 channels from each service. Some notes:

  • Yes = The channel is available on the cheapest pricing tier. That price is listed next to the service's name.
  • No = The channel isn't available at all on that service. 
  • $ = The channel is available for an extra fee.
  • Not every channel a service carries is listed, just the "top 100" as determined by CNET's editors. Minor channels like AXS TV, CNBC World, Discovery Life, GSN, POP and Universal Kids didn't make the cut.
  • Regional sports networks -- channels devoted to showing regular-season games of particular pro baseball, basketball and hockey teams -- are not listed. To find out if your local RSN is available you can search YouTube TV by ZIP code here and search Hulu Plus Live TV by ZIP code here.

YouTube TV vs. Hulu Plus Live TV: Top 100 channels compared

Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
Total channels: 76 60
ABC Yes Yes
CBS Yes Yes
Fox Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes
PBS Yes No
CW Yes Yes
MyNetworkTV Yes Yes
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
A&E No Yes
ACC Network Yes Yes
AMC Yes No
Animal Planet Yes Yes
BBC America Yes No
BBC World News Yes No
BET No No
Big Ten Network Yes Yes
Bloomberg TV No Yes
Boomerang No Yes
Bravo Yes Yes
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
Cartoon Network Yes Yes
CBS Sports Network Yes Yes
Cheddar Yes Yes
Cinemax $ $
CMT Yes No
CNBC Yes Yes
CNN Yes Yes
Comedy Central Yes No
Cooking Channel No $
Destination America No $
Discovery Channel Yes Yes
Disney Channel Yes Yes
Disney Junior Yes Yes
Disney XD Yes Yes
DIY No $
E! Yes Yes
EPIX $ No
ESPN Yes Yes
ESPN 2 Yes Yes
ESPNEWS Yes Yes
ESPNU Yes Yes
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
Food Network Yes Yes
Fox Business Yes Yes
Fox News Yes Yes
Fox Sports 1 Yes Yes
Fox Sports 2 Yes Yes
Freeform Yes Yes
FX Yes Yes
FX Movies Yes Yes
FXX Yes Yes
FYI No $
Golf Channel Yes Yes
Hallmark No No
HBO $ $
HGTV Yes Yes
History No Yes
HLN Yes Yes
IFC Yes No
Investigation Discovery Yes Yes
Lifetime No Yes
Lifetime Movie Network No $
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
MLB Network Yes No
Motor Trend Yes Yes
MSNBC Yes Yes
MTV Yes No
MTV2 No No
National Geographic Yes Yes
Nat Geo Wild Yes Yes
NBA TV Yes No
NBC Sports Network Yes Yes
Newsy Yes No
NFL Network Yes No
NFL Red Zone No No
NHL Network No No
Nickelodeon Yes No
Nick Jr. No No
Nicktoons No No
OWN Yes No
Oxygen Yes Yes
Paramount Network Yes No
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)
Science No $
SEC Network Yes Yes
Showtime $ $
Smithsonian Yes Yes
Starz $ $
Sundance TV Yes No
Syfy Yes Yes
Tastemade Yes No
TBS Yes Yes
TCM Yes Yes
Telemundo Yes Yes
Tennis Channel Yes No
TLC Yes Yes
TNT Yes Yes
Travel Channel Yes Yes
TruTV Yes Yes
TV Land Yes No
Univision No No
USA Network Yes Yes
VH1 Yes No
Viceland No Yes
WE tv Yes No
Channel YouTube TV ($65) Hulu Plus Live TV ($55)

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Facebook’s VR AR visionary on what comes after the Oculus Quest 2 – CNET

Egocentric. It's a weird word. To Facebook, regarding AR and VR, it means a world where computers start processing the world as you perceive it. It's a cornerstone of a strange future we seem to already be heading towards, where assistants and notifications and social media meet us where we're already looking. Or where we seem to be looking.

Virtual reality is already stellar at making us feel like we're somewhere else, and Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 has refined that ability. But augmented reality is a stranger beast. Facebook is planning smart glasses for next year, but is already kicking off field tests of world-scanning AR tech that could take years more. According to Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist of Facebook Reality Labs (Facebook's AR/VR division), the future interface needed hasn't been cracked yet.

At Facebook's virtual Connect conference, a VR and AR event normally held in a convention center, the company looked ahead to new neural interfaces (armbands developed by CTRL-Labs, an acquisition made last year) and eyewear that will build 3D world maps and explore how AI can be developed to learn from our attention.

The idea of combining smart glasses with an assistant made me think of William Gibson's last book, Agency, or Tim Maughan's Infinite Detail: It sounds weird, it sounds scary, it sounds wild too. I spoke with Abrash virtually (over video chat, not VR) to discuss what could come next. This transcription has been lightly edited for clarity.

frl-research-project-aria-research-participant

Project Aria on a tester: It's a pair of thick glasses containing lots of sensors and cameras.

Facebook

True AR glasses sound like they're further off, but Facebook smart glasses are coming soon. What do you see as the difference between smart glasses and AR glasses, and what features do you think might be included or added over time?

Conversations about AR glasses are often kind of split personality. Everybody sees that AR glasses are the things that come after phones. There's this progression that goes: desktop, laptop, smartphone, AR glasses. And in each case, when those things appeared, they did exactly the same things the predecessor did, and actually did them worse. They just made them more available ... really, you think about that first iPhone and it did what a phone could do: It did internet badly and it did music. All those things you could already do.

That is going to be an important part of why people start to put smart glasses on their face and what true AR glasses will do in the long run, for sure. How do you do messages? How do you get navigation? Definitely valuable.

Then there's the analogy to the first computer when it first came out. The first personal computer didn't implement anything that you used to do. It actually was a qualitative change in how you interacted with the world. I mean, you could say a spreadsheet is like using a calculator, but it's not like using a calculator. And even a word processor is not like using a typewriter. 

There are two things that really are unique about AR. One is you have shared virtual persistent objects. The fact that you have those is a radical change. It makes the world basically an index for all sorts of things that makes it a sharing environment. That's the obvious one. The less obvious one is an assistant that really becomes an extension of you.

I have no idea, 40 years from now, what people are really going to be doing in AR and VR. For collaboration in VR, people say, how close can it be to real-world collaboration? I think the answer is really, how much better can it get? 

Those two things -- shareable virtual persistent objects, which becomes an index of the world, and this personalized assistant -- if you look back the day you retire, and you've covered this whole revolution, and you think what really matters, what changed the world, it won't be the things people think today ... It's like how social media has changed the world. Online, retailing. We can't see what it will be, but it will be.

An exploded view of the Project Aria research glasses, being worn by testers to collect environmental data and explore how world-sensing could function in AR.

Facebook

Which leads me to a question: I know this vision for Facebook with 3D mapping is also a vision for a couple of other companies, to map space. It makes me think about where we're at with different OS versions and different apps. How do you see that resolving in AR? Is that a competition where you have different operating systems or apps? Is it channels? Do you see interoperability? 

I personally think of it more like the internet, except that it's going to be internet times a few orders of magnitude in terms of the amount of data. So it has to be something that's OS agnostic, right? You would be crazy to say, well, you can only use the internet using Windows. I view it as something that is not platform dependent and can't be platform dependent. And you know how these things always go: Reaching standards takes a long time, settling on where you want this to be. Ultimately, I think that that's what will happen.

Well, I think about the internet. The way it was built versus all the companies pursuing world-mapping now. Right now, in VR, Oculus doesn't interconnect with phone apps on iOS and Android. Do you see that we'll start having a flow between them?

That's really more what I would call the product side consideration. You know, I really am the person who thinks about what the future is going to be like. So really, the way I look at that one is, the big trick is get it to work, get it started getting bootstrapped, and that's what we're trying to do. Then where it goes from there is kind of out of my hands. So I would say stay tuned, we'll see this is going to take years.

I'm curious how you see the gap bridging for AR and VR over the next few years? Obviously, there are going to be multiple devices, and smart glasses are coming in some form next year. Do you see VR being a way to bridge a lot of those AR tools? Will smart glasses kind of meet and handshake over time?

I think it will be a bit before there's real bridging there. Because I look at VR and I say you have infrastructure, you have thermals, you have power. I mean, you have much more capability there. It doesn't mean you couldn't potentially do some of those things in AR. But for example, you want to sit in a meeting in VR, you've got a field of view of, say, 100 degrees, that means you can actually see people sitting around a virtual table. You do that in AR, and you can see the person you're looking at, but you have no peripheral awareness. And those little details add up to so much difference in the experience.

FRL Research's wrist interface navigating with a VR headset: an electromyography (EMG) wristband can sense motor neurons that signal intended finger movement.

Facebook

VR can draw black because it controls every pixel. AR can't actually draw black; it's additive blending. You don't get as much crispness out of things. So what I think you'll see is this ubiquity thing with AR where those glasses are basically offering less rich experiences, but in a way that can spread across much more of your life and many more people, while VR is delivering what I'll call rich heavyweight experiences that have high value, but are limited in terms of who will use them and where they can use them.

You can have a VR headset with mixed reality that you could just wear all the time, hypothetically. And you could have very good control over the experience. But not socially acceptable, not light enough to be wearable all the time. I mean, there are these other problems you run into. I've always felt like AR and VR are like a water balloon ... when you try to get all the axes exactly where you want them, you can't squeeze every one of them in there. And so the big divide really is, are you location-based with infrastructure and power and thermals, or are you part of every moment in your life potentially? Those two things are not yet capable of being joined. 

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8:56

Could the Oculus Quest 2 and its improved chip and cameras do some of that world scanning and AR work, like hand tracking now?

I'll be honest with you, I actually don't really know what the plans are there. what the possibilities are. My job is really to think five years from now what lands in a product that is, like, an integer multiplier on that. I don't mean to downplay that work. I mean, the polish that has been done really going all the way back to [Oculus] DK2 -- think about where we were with DK2 and where we are now and it's pretty astonishing how much better it is at doing those things. But I'm thinking, well, OK, now how do we change that experience? What happens if you get depth of focus? What happens if you get haptics, because I've talked about haptic gloves in the past. What happens if your audio is perfectly spatialized? Just saying that [regarding Quest 2], not that I don't value it, it's just not where my mind tends to be.

The CTRL-Labs work with neural inputs is really fascinating. I think about things even like health sensors or other biometrics and how they can be part of the equation. What role do you see with that?

There's certainly potential for that -- there's a separate team that looks at that -- that has been discussed. I have this specific vision about building a platform. And then something like that is one of the things that platform enables. So how do we make it so that you're wearing those glasses? You woke up this morning, you put your glasses on. They stay on your face until you go to sleep tonight, exactly like me, right? And the question is, how do we get the glasses to be there? And once they're there, all these other things will come along with that, but you won't get people to wear the glasses for those reasons you're talking about.

frl-research-audio-demo-1

Facebook Reality Lab's AR audio research is using prototype glasses frames with directional microphones for focusing attention.

Facebook

I'm also thinking about that egocentric idea: eye tracking, and spatial audio. Attention seems part of the picture. It's something that now seems to meet you as much as you're going to it. That's definitely like a different dance than VR where it feels more like I'm kind of moving to make things happen. While AR is reading your information in order to help you navigate what's a much wider open field?

I love it because it means that my talk actually got the message across. You just got right to the heart of it. The way I think of it, AR glasses, in particular, can basically just be an extension of you because they're going to be tightly coupled to your perceptions and your actions. The hearing thing says, this is how you would hear if you could engineer yourself to hear. You're not telling it, "do this for me, do that for me." It just automatically brings the information to you. You can also imagine contrast enhancement for people who don't see well in low light, like my family tends not to. And it can also help you remember things because it understands your context.

Think of it as, it's nothing that you wouldn't do yourself, if only you worked better. If your memory was better, if your eyes were better if your ears were better. So it really is an extension of you and an enhancement of you, which is very different than saying it's a device that you manipulate to do things that you want to do. Which is how it works today. 

I read a book about AR by Helen Papagiannis a couple of years ago, Augmented Human, that changed my mind thinking about AR away from visuals and towards other senses. Like spatial audio. It's almost like an ambient thing where your sensory awareness could take many forms. It's an all pervasive thing?

People always think of the visuals because we're visual creatures, right? It's the sizzle. Audio, people very much underestimate how powerful it is. And one of the things I really regretted about the recent spatial audio event we did was that, because of the coronavirus, we couldn't do demos. There is one specific demo where they record binaural audio in your ears as actions happen around you, and then they play it back perfectly. And not only can't you tell the difference, but there's a point at which the person comes close to you, using scissors around your head. And you can actually feel the heat of their body being there, even though they're not there. And people do not understand how powerful truly great audio is because they've never experienced it. It's much more tractable than the visual part. Building a new display system is hugely difficult, building a new display system that can sit on your head within a very tight weight and thermal budget is just insanely difficult. Audio, there's nothing about it where a miracle needs to occur. 

But then there's the other part you were talking about, which is just pure sensory input. Really what you want is you want more valuable information coming to you. And that doesn't just mean sensory input. It means your context and awareness of other things. Audio can be text, like the assistant is trying to make your world a place that serves your needs better, and only part of that is perceptual.

frl-research-audio-iem-new

FRL's prototype in-ear monitors for creating spatial audio.

Facebook

Audio seems like a possible starting place for AR glasses because of the achievability. Like audio is first cue and then the visuals come after. Companies have already been looking at audio and smart glasses a little bit, could that be [Facebook's] starting point?

You could build glasses that were audio based. I think, though, that everyone has in their head this picture of what glasses are going to do for you. The question is, when do we get that true AR imagery imagery? Sure, there could always be intermediate things that pop up. Did you ever hear of smart typewriters? In the '70s, as microprocessors were developed, they started to make typewriters where you could have a little LCD window that would let you edit the last few lines. When you made a mistake, you could actually go back and fix it. And that was a big business. The reason I bring it up is that smart typewriters were successful, they were a big business category, and no one has ever even heard of them these days. Those intermediate things, people will do them. Focals by North was a good example of someone doing what I would call an intermediate product of limited capability. But I want to get to that thing where you see it, and you go off and you write the articles that say I've seen the future. You'll know when it happens. It's kind of like the first time you put on a VR headset, you said, this is not like anything I've ever done. It wasn't like, "oh, this is interesting," or this is a better version. It was like, no, this is a new thing. And that's what I'm trying to build here.

With everything this year, the pandemic and the way people have changed, has it changed your philosophy? A lot of things this year seem to have reinforced these ideas, like working at home. But some things about VR work, some things don't. Things have failures.

The thing that made the personal computer was VisiCalc. If you look at Apple II sales, the knee of the curve was VisiCalc. And if you look at PC sales, the knee of the curve was the IBM PC. It was really about personal computers making it so that businesses could be more productive. Now, virtual collaboration seems even more powerful than that to me. This year, for all these horrible aspects -- I'm looking out my window at smoke and an air quality index of 200, for the ninth straight day, it has been a pretty bad year -- the silver lining for me is that suddenly the entire world understands that we need better ways of working remotely. And if we had the remote collaboration environment and VR that I have been talking about for five years, it would be the most valuable thing on the face of the Earth today except the vaccine. I mean really, you'd be using it. We'd be doing this in it, everybody would be more productive. And so now we're never going to stop thinking that, right? Because you never know if there will be another pandemic, you never know what might happen. And companies are moving towards working more remotely. Mark said that for us, but I mean, companies now see it can work, but it can work so much better. So, to me, it was just like this was the year of validation of that. My only regret was that we didn't have five more years, because by five years from now, maybe we could have been there.

I do believe that there is no reason why, over time, this can't happen. No miracles need to occur, just a huge amount of research and work. But I'm very confident about that.

I'd love to know what you've been reading, what's obsessing you lately.

For me, it's been fiction. Not very much of it, but when I have, it triggers me to say, "I see how that could work, I see how that could be real." Ready Player One, when I read it, I came out of it and I'm like, easily 80% of that seemed feasible, maybe all of it in the long run. For AR, Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End is really the only thing that I've ever read where I say, I still don't think [AR] contacts are going to be a thing for a very long time, but even the twitching in your clothing for the interface, it's like he has actually tried to do how you would interact, rather than just saying we're going to do exactly what we've been doing for years. Those two really are the most seminal. Most science fiction tends to be more like, "oh, it's VR, we can do whatever we want." That's kind of what the Ready Player movie one movie was: Hey, you know, it's just a complete blank slate. We can do anything.

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Episode 87: Vulnerabilities Affect Discount Rules for WooCommerce Plugin, ModSecurity & Windows

Vulnerabilities were recently patched in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin installed on over 40,000 WordPress sites. Developers from OWASP Core Rule Set said ModSecurity v3 is exposed to denial of service exploits, though the maintainers of ModSecurity reject that claim.

A severe vulnerability called Zerologon in Windows Netlogon was patched in August; this bug could be exploited to attack enterprise servers. And a security researcher also discovered that the Windows TCPIP Finger command can also function as a file downloader and a makeshift command and control server.

Last weekend, nearly 2,000 Magento stores were compromised in the largest hacking campaign since 2015.

Here are timestamps and links in case you’d like to jump around, and a transcript is below.
0:13 High-Severity vulnerabilities patched in Discount Rules for WooCommerce
2:26 ModSecurity maintainers contest denial-of-service vulnerability claims
4:43 Netlogon cryptographic weakness has critical impact on enterprise servers
6:30 Windows 10 ‘Finger’ command can be abused to download or steal files
7:29 Magento online stores hacked in largest campaign to date

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Click here to download an MP3 version of this podcast. Subscribe to our RSS feed.

Episode 87 Transcript

Scott Miller:

Hey everyone. It’s Scott from Wordfence, you’re listening to Think Like a Hacker, the weekly podcast about WordPress security and innovation. Let’s jump into this week’s stories.

Our first story of the week takes a look at several vulnerabilities found in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin. On August 20th, our Threat Intel team here at Wordfence was made aware of multiple vulnerabilities that had recently been patched in the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin, which is installed on over 40,000 sites. We initially released a firewall rule to protect against these vulnerabilities on that same day. During our investigation, we also discovered multiple other unpatched vulnerabilities, and released a firewall rule to protect against these issues the next day, on August 21st. We then, reached out to the Flycart team on the same day and received a reply almost immediately. They were aware of one of the additional issues that we had found and released an interim patch the next day, on the 22nd, followed by a more comprehensive patch on September 2nd. They then addressed the last of the issues on September 9th.

The Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin works alongside the WooCommerce e-commerce plugin to create custom rules for discounts such as a two-for-one special discount. So, their initial patch added a check to prevent switching between the V1 and V2 code bases which, at the time, were both accessible. At this point, sites using the V1 code were still vulnerable. Once the plugin was set to use the V1 code base, a number of AJAX actions became available providing similar functionality to the patched actions in V2.

Ultimately, the end result is that attackers were able to send a post request and inject malicious JavaScript into one of the fields of a discount rule, which would be done simply by adding it to the data parameter. Following that, the next time an administrator viewed or edited discount rules the malicious JavaScript would then be executed in their browser and could ultimately lead to a site takeover by adding a backdoor plugin, or theme file, or potentially adding malicious administrator among other malicious actions.

Sites still running the free version of Wordfence will receive these rules after 30 days on September 19th and September 20th. If you’re using the discount rules for WooCommerce plugin, be sure you’re updated to the latest version.

In our second story of the week, ModSecurity maintainers contest denial of service vulnerability claims. You likely know ModSecurity as the popular firewall that’s designed to stop attacks against applications by monitoring HTTP traffic in real-time. This project is open source and maintained by Trustwave’s SpiderLabs. Now, the ModSecurity firewall works off of WAF rules, and admins can create their own rules, or deploy one of many existing libraries to block malicious attacks and attempts on the server.

A recent discovery suggests that ModSecurity opened itself up to denial of service vulnerabilities. And, as a response, a Trustwave spokesperson said that while changes were made to the ModSecurity engine, they did not introduce a security vulnerability. The Trustwave spokesperson stated that there was a change in regular expression matching in ModSecurity 3.x that provided additional functionality, and that is not considered a vulnerability for a few reasons, such as an attacker would need to know that a rule using a potentially problematic regular expression was in place. Also, the attacker would need to know the basic nature of the regular expression itself in order to exploit any resource issues. And while those resource issues may cause a slow down, they have not been able to replicate.

Christian Folini, the co-lead of the OWASP Core Rule Set development team, challenged this response saying, “As ModSecurity is only the engine. You need rules to expose the vulnerability. And, also, to blame the problem on the rules does not make much sense in this architecture.” He mentioned that it’s like stating that the server would be secure if nobody was hooked in on the internet. The co-lead of the OWASP development team has insisted that ModSecurity maintainers fast track a release to include mitigations to the alleged vulnerability.

SpiderLabs, as a response, is maintaining the changes made, have not introduced any security flaws. The OWASP development team has since said that it would roll out its own changes to mitigate the issues saying that it will release a patch, so users can fix this themselves, as well as providing work arounds for users being stuck on the old and insecure ModSecurity 3.0.4.

In our next story, the Zerologon vulnerability in Netlogon could allow attackers access to Windows Domain Controller Netlogon is an authentication protocol that will verify users and services by way of secure channel between a machine and a domain controller. This Windows service is a background process, and is important for authentication on networks. Microsoft patched a severe vulnerability described as a privilege escalation vulnerability in their August patch, which could be exploited by attackers to take over enterprise servers. And this was due to cryptographic weaknesses in Netlogon. The vulnerability was discovered by Secura’s Tom Tervoort.

So, if you’re not familiar, the Netlogon remote protocol is used to alter account credentials within a domain. And can also be used to establish user domain control relationships. Secura’s technical paper, which examined this vulnerability, mentions that all an attacker needs is access to a network to establish a link to a domain controller using MS-NRPC. So, the paper then mentions that no credentials are required to perform an attack. The vulnerability itself in the newest encryption was caused by incorrect use of an AES operational mode and allows attackers to, “spoof the identity of any computer account, and set an empty password for that account in the domain.”

Microsoft notes that the flaw is going to be addressed in a two-stage rollout due to the scope of the vulnerability. And it looks like it might be awhile before it’s fully patched. At the moment, domain controllers need to be patched as soon as possible. And Secura has released a tool on GitHub, which allows administrators to see if a domain controller is vulnerable.

In our next story this week, the Windows 10 Finger command can be abused to steal files. So, sticking with Windows finger.exe is a command in Windows that allows you to grab information about users on remote computers, running the finger service or daemon. The communication is carried out via the name/finger network communication protocol.

John Page, a security researcher, found that the Microsoft Windows TCPIP Finger command can also allow access to download files, as well as function as a command and control server that can ultimately allow an attacker to send commands and retrieve data. According to Page, the C2 commands can be disguised as Finger queries sent to retrieve files and pull data all without Windows Defender intervening or alerting a user of the activity. One thing to be sure of is that you are blocking port 79, which is used by the Finger protocol.

In our last story of the day Magento online stores are hacked in the largest campaign to date. Over 2,000 stores were hacked over the weekend in, what researchers called, the largest campaign ever. So, this was a Magecart scheme where hackers compromised sites and used malicious scripts that stole payment information, which shoppers were inputting during checkout. Now, most of the compromised sites were running on version 1 of Magento’s online store software. The, now, depreciated Magento version 1 software was seen as a target as early as last year when Adobe, who owns Magento, put out an alert, telling users running version 1 to update to the version 2 branch. Mastercard, and Visa, both echoed those warnings to update to branch two over the spring. Over the past year or so, the number of Magento version 1 users have dropped from over 200,000 to less than 100,000 recently.

Attackers seemingly waited for version 1 to be depreciated, or for the end of life of the software before exploiting the vulnerabilities. At this point, Adobe would no longer be patching their bugs. The Magento version 1 zero-day vulnerability has been seen posted on underground hacking forums last month. And it confirms that attackers had been waiting for the end of life to come. It was also noted that some high-traffic sites are still running on version 1, and relying on their firewall, now, to keep the sites protected, which is mentioned to be a risky strategy. If you’re still running Magento version 1, it’s recommended to update to version 2 as soon as possible to mitigate risk.

That’s all for this week on Think Like a Hacker. I hope the news found you well. Check us out on Tuesday at noon Eastern time on YouTube for Wordfence Live, where we always discuss best security practices, and how to keep your sites safe. In the meantime, be sure you’re subscribed to our mailing list. It’s in the footer of the wordfence.com homepage. Until next time, have a great weekend, and thanks for listening. We’ll catch you soon.

Follow me on Twitter @wfscottmiller. You can find Wordfence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. You can also find us on YouTube, where we have our weekly Wordfence Live on Tuesdays at noon Eastern, 9:00 AM Pacific.

The post Episode 87: Vulnerabilities Affect Discount Rules for WooCommerce Plugin, ModSecurity & Windows appeared first on Wordfence.

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Best fuel injector cleaners in 2020 – Roadshow

The vast majority of vehicles sold today have fuel injectors, which deliver precise amounts of gasoline (or diesel) to each cylinder exactly when it's needed. While providing this all-important go-juice, the fuel injectors themselves can get quite dirty over time, and in order for them to operate at their best, they need to be cleaned intermittently.

The easiest way to clean your dirty fuel injectors is with a special solution designed specifically for this task. "Fuel injector cleaners, and more general fuel system cleaners, are fuel additives that help you clean the fuel system," says Fabio Rosato, founder of Roadologist.com, a site dedicated to helping readers improve their automotive knowledge and driving skills. Rosato has a background in engineering that he supplemented with automotive research. "They are basically fluids that you pour into the gas tank that dissolve the buildups."

When fuel passes through the injectors, the fuel injection system cleaner gets rid of any leftover gunk that's formed. "Using a good fuel injector cleaner can solve the buildups, thus restoring your engine to its original condition," Rosato says. "This, in turn, restores fuel economy (miles per gallon) and responsiveness upon acceleration."

Here are some of the best fuel injection cleaners, based on expert opinions and customer satisfaction ratings.

Chevron

When it comes to fuel injector cleaners, the type of vehicle you drive matters less than the type of engine that powers it. Again, most vehicles in the US have gasoline-powered engines, but some are powered by diesel engines. Older vehicles may use carburetors, which means they won't even have fuel injectors.

What makes the Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus fuel system cleaner so popular (it's the top cleaning product on Amazon) is that it works on all kinds of vehicles -- cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs and more -- so long as they run on gasoline. Chevron makes a different Techron product for diesel engines. Between the cleaner's versatility and its high customer ratings (Amazon users have given it a 4.6 out of 5), it's no wonder that analysts and consumers alike swear by it.

Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus contains polyetheramine, or PEA, an ingredient that aids in cleaning and helps make the product so effective. It allows the cleaner to erode the carbon deposits that build up as a result of normal usage, and thereby help the engine (and the vehicle) run more efficiently.

One final note: This product is an entire fuel system cleaner, not just a fuel injector cleaner, which means it's designed to clean out the entirety of your vehicle's fueling system, including your fuel lines and fuel pump. Chevron also sells a Techron Concentrate Plus designed just for fuel injectors, which has less PEA and is less expensive.

Lucas

Many people think diesel engines are reserved for large trucks, but they're popular in passenger cars in Europe and Asia. Diesel engines run differently than gasoline engines, so it's no surprise that they'd need a cleaning product specifically formulated to reduce buildup on their fuel injectors.

Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner is just such a cleaning product -- it's designed to clean the fuel systems of diesel engines and gasoline engines whether they're fuel injected or carburated, putting it at an elite level of versatility. The fuel additive also lubricates the various components of these fuel systems, allowing fuel to pass more efficiently -- that means you get more bang for your buck when it's time to fill up, and less sediment will be left behind in the future.

For diesel engines, Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner is particularly helpful. According to the manufacturer, it "neutralizes the harmful effects of low-sulfur diesel fuel." This allows the fuel to comply with environmental sulfur regulations without causing some of the associated problems, like seal shrinkage. All this makes it an ideal choice for diesel engines. Lucas offers it in 5.25-ounce, 32-ounce and 1-gallon containers.

Gumout

If your vehicle has accrued a lot of mileage (more than 75,000 miles, say), it's likely that the fuel injectors have accrued a good deal of sedimentary buildup. This is especially true if you've never used fuel injection cleaner, or if you've been using weaker fuel cleaner products.

For high mileage engines, you'll need a particularly strong fuel system cleaner, and Gumout's Regane High Mileage formula fits the bill. It contains PEA, which helps erode the deposits that form on fuel injectors after repeated usage. And, according to Gumout, the cleaner "reduces friction in the upper cylinder to improve fuel economy." It also works to prevent future carbon buildup after usage.

Customers on Amazon have made their satisfaction with the Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner quite clear. The product has a 4.6-star rating out of a possible five and 84 positive reviews touting everything from its cleaning efficacy to its temperature versatility. You can purchase Gumout's high mileage cleaner individually or spring for a six-pack.

Royal Purple

Direct-injected engines differ from standard, or manifold-injected engines by squirting gasoline directly into the engine's combustion chamber, rather than spraying it in the intake tract. Direct injection engines are touted for providing better performance and fuel efficiency, and they have become increasingly prominent over the past decade.

Since direct-injected engines function differently, it's no surprise that they collect buildup differently and need to be treated differently. Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner is specifically designed to treat these engines' fuel injectors. It also maximizes horsepower and will not cause any damage to emissions systems. That said, the cleaner can be used on any gasoline or diesel engines, making it one of the more versatile fuel injector cleaners on the market.

One of the things that makes the cleaner so effective is that it contains the PEA necessary to give your fuel injectors the most complete cleaning -- provided you use it often enough. Royal Purple recommends adding a bottle of the Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner to your gas tank every time you fill it up but suggests using a bottle every 3,000 miles at the bare minimum. If you do take Royal Purple's advice and use one at every fill-up, it's available in packs of 10 at a healthy discount.

AMSOIL

Introduced for automobiles 70 years ago, Chrysler's Hemi engine is a gasoline-burning powerplant named after the hemispherical shape of the combustion chambers. Hemis are considered high-performing engines and can typically be found in muscle cars and pickup trucks, but they are also thought of as less efficient and environmentally sound than regular engines.

Many drivers of Hemi vehicles recommend the Amsoil P.i. Performance Improver, a cleaner for your car's entire fuel system. While it's not geared toward Hemi engines specifically -- Amsoil P.i. will work with any gasoline direct-injection, or GDI, engine -- the benefits the cleaner offers may be particularly attractive to those with Hemi engines in their cars.

By cleaning deposits as effectively as it does (Amsoil's site says "testing shows P.i. restored GDI fuel injectors to a 100% flow rate after one tank of fuel"), Amsoil P.i. gives Hemi engines quite the helping hand. It reduces emissions such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen, and improves fuel economy, addressing two major concerns when it comes to Hemis.

Comparison of best fuel injector cleaners


Brand Name Size Price
Best overall fuel injector cleaner Chevron Techron Concentrate Plus Complete Fuel System Cleaner 12 ounces $4.49
Best fuel injector cleaner for diesel engines Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner 5.25 ounces, 32 ounces, 1 gallon $3.97, $9.99, $26
Best fuel injector cleaner for high mileage cars/engines/vehicles Gumout Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner 6 ounces $4.94
Best fuel injector cleaner for direct injection cars/engines Royal Purple Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner 6 ounces $7.49
Best fuel injector cleaner for Hemi engines Amsoil P.i. Performance Improver 12 ounces $13.85

For the best results, Royal Purple says you should use a bottle of Max Atomizer Fuel Injector Cleaner at every fill-up.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

What you need to know about cleaning your fuel injectors

While there is a difference between fuel system cleaners and fuel injector cleaners, the former can typically be used in place of the latter. In fact, many drivers prefer to use full fuel system cleaners, as they're often stronger than cleaners designed specifically for fuel injectors. Fuel injector cleaners, on the other hand, are typically a bit cheaper than their full-system counterparts.

There are a few ways to tell if it's time to clean your fuel injectors. Your car's gas mileage may dip, and may have a rough idle due to dirty injectors. Your engine may stall or have difficulty starting. As far as how long it will take to fix those problems, it really depends on your fuel injector cleaning product. Higher-quality cleaning-fluid products will lead to improvement in fewer applications than others -- you may even see improvement after running through just a single tank of fuel. A severely clogged fuel injector may need to be sent to a cleaning service for ultrasonic cleaning before your engine can return to proper working order.

If your car is running rough and returning decreased fuel economy, one of these fuel injector cleaners may help.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

You also don't need to wait until you have a problem before you decide to clean your fuel injectors -- regular maintenance can save you the trouble of a poor-performing vehicle. By using a cleaner every 1,550 miles on a gasoline engine (or with every tank on a diesel engine), you can get rid of sediment buildup before it reaches a noticeable level, and avoid the symptoms associated with clogged injectors. You should note, however, that using a cleaner every 1,550 miles is simply a rule of thumb, and many products have their own specific instructions associated with frequency of use for optimal fuel injection cleaning.

Fuel injector cleaners are just one kind of fuel additive, or product that can be added to your fuel in order to affect your vehicle's performance and overall condition. There are other additives that affect the fuel itself. For instance, a fuel stabilizer can be added to a car that won't be used for a long period of time in order to preserve the gas and prevent it from causing damage to the engine.

There's no harm in adding fuel injector cleaner and fuel stabilizer to the same gas tank. "Most fuel injector [or] system cleaners actually double up as fuel stabilizers: They preserve and clean the fuel so that it doesn't go bad after some time without using it," says Rosato. "These cleaners are actually recommended if you plan on leaving your car parked for a long period of time."

Lucas Upper Cylinder Lubricant and Injector Cleaner is available in 5.25-ounce, 10-ounce and 1-gallon bottles.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Even if a fuel injector cleaner isn't also a fuel stabilizer, it's still OK to leave it in your tank for extended periods of time. "Generally speaking, however, even if you use a particularly strong cleaner, you just pour it into the fuel reservoir," says Rosato. "If you don't use your vehicle the cleaner is just going to stay there in the reservoir and do nothing 'actively.' So, unless you're pouring lava into the reservoir, you can just relax. The worst that could happen is that the cleaner goes stale and becomes useless after quite some time. Nothing to be worried about."

Some consumers also express concern about whether or not fuel injector cleaners can be used in turbocharged or supercharged car engines. "The simplest and safest answer is to look up what the manufacturer of the vehicle recommends," says John Burkhauser, director of education at Bolt On Technology and an auto repair specialist with over 35 years of experience. He has been published in the US and Europe. "My opinion is using these additives properly for normal street driving is acceptable."

Finally, when it comes to selecting the best fuel injector cleaner, your vehicle type will affect your choice, but certain features are universally helpful -- namely, the presence of PEA and the shape of the container. PEA is especially effective when it comes to dissolving sediment and cleaning engines, and its presence should be a priority in your selection. (Many reputable cleaner brands will make their products' ingredients public via safety data sheets.) Additionally, certain containers have spouts and are measured to exact application amounts, making pouring easier.

Chevron offers a full lineup of fuel additives for a variety of applications.

Chevron

Five things to know before using fuel injector cleaner on your vehicle

  • Are you experiencing vehicle-performance or fuel-consumption issues? If so, you may have dirty fuel injectors and it might be time for a clean. Even if you aren't, you should consider using fuel injector cleaner every set number of miles -- 1,550, or whatever amount is recommended by the cleaner manufacturer.
  • How severe are the problems you're experiencing? If they greatly impact your driving -- or if they don't show any improvement after fuel injector cleaner treatment -- you may need to skip straight to ultrasonic cleaning.
  • What kind of engine does your vehicle have? Most have gasoline engines, but diesel engines also represent a significant percentage of vehicles on the road. You'll need to get a cleaning product specifically designed for your type of engine.
  • Do you want a fuel system cleaner or a fuel injector cleaner? Fuel system cleaners are typically stronger since they need to clean all parts of the system, but fuel injector cleaners are usually cheaper.
  • Does the cleaner you're considering contain polyetheramine? PEA is an ingredient that makes fuel system and injector cleaners more effective, and many drivers won't consider a fuel cleaner product that doesn't have it.

Written by Scott Fried for Roadshow.

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T-Mobile is offering first responders up to 25% off Samsung 5G phones – CNET

samsung-galaxy-note-20-ultra-5g-6093

First responder agencies can get discounts on Samsung phones through T-Mobile.

Angela Lang/CNET

State and local agencies that offer first responders free unlimited talk, text and data through T-Mobile's Connecting Heroes program can get up to 25% off Samsung 5G phones for a limited time, the carrier said Friday. That includes phones like the recently released Galaxy Note 20 5G, as well as the Galaxy S20 5G, Galaxy A71 5G and Galaxy A51 5G. The $250 Galaxy A21 with 4G LTE is also an option. 

"During a time when connectivity and reliability has become increasingly essential, we're excited to give first responder and public safety agencies, who need secure and cost-effective mobile technology, access to some of our best 5G devices," Taher Behbehani, head of Samsung Electronics America's mobile B2B division, said in a statement.

State and local fire, police and emergency medical service agencies get free unlimited smartphone service through T-Mobile's Connecting Heroes program, which kicked off earlier this year..

Companies are launching more 5G phones as the next-generation wireless network continues to roll out. Apple is expected to unveil a 5G phone later this year, which could be a big win for helping bring the new cellular tech to the mainstream. In addition to higher speeds, 5G is hyped to revolutionize niches such as self-driving carsvirtual and augmented reality and telemedicine services such as remote surgery.

T-Mobile's new offer, an update to its Connecting Heroes program that was rolled out in May, is the latest perk in a year that has seen all three major US wireless carriers offer discounts to those who help their communities. In April, during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Verizon expanded its first responder discounts on Fios and wireless service to include nurses and teachers. In July, AT&T expanded its first responder discounts to include nurses, teachers and physicians.

T-Mobile didn't specify how long the Samsung phone offer will last.  

CNET's Eli Blumenthal contributed to this report. 

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Cadillac Super Cruise subscription prices: Prepare to drop a few hundred bucks – Roadshow

You'll soon be able to drive hands-off like this in every Cadillac model.

Cadillac

Cadillac provided some much-needed clarity surrounding its impressive Super Cruise hands-free highway driving assistant. After a couple weeks of confusing news back in August, Cadillac shared final prices with Roadshow on Friday, and the technology will cost drivers $25 a month.

That's a total of $300 a year if you want your Cadillac to handle many highway driving tasks without putting a hand on the wheel. It's also, frankly, a little steep. Then again, Super Cruise is a darn good system. A Cadillac spokesperson added owners will be able to bundle Super Cruise capability with "select OnStar and Connected Services bundles for an additional $15 per month."

If you let the system's three-year free trial expire, the car's adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist systems will still work normally, but all Super Cruise functions will deactivate. Surely, there will be some sort of alert noting the hands-free highways driving assistant requires a payment -- a trend we're really not fans of at Roadshow.

With payment, General Motors activates map updates and the "precise GPS corrections required for Super Cruise to function," the spokesperson added. It also allows the car to contact OnStar in the event a driver doesn't respond to a series of alerts asking them to retake control of the car.

If you're wondering when Super Cruise became a subscription service, Cadillac told us previously it made the decision last year. Originally, we were all under the impression the function was built into the car for life when the technology debuted with the now-defunct Cadillac CT6. Instead, Cadillac changed its plan and will provide three years of service moving forward on all new Cadillacs. Those who fit the early adopter criteria (by buying one of the first CT6 sedans equipped with Super Cruise) get one extra complimentary year on Cadillac. Those owners won't need to cough up any cash until next year now.

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