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The Mercedes G-Wagen, the ultimate off-road status symbol, goes electric

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The Mercedes G-Wagen, the ultimate off-road status symbol, goes electric

For those who prefer to grind gravel and bound over boulders while surrounded by luxurious napa leather — and can’t imagine emitting even a single molecule of carbon dioxide while doing so — the fully electric Mercedes G-Wagen is for you.

The very expensive, boxy status symbol is now even status symbol-ier thanks to a 116 kWh battery and all-electric drive train, complete with four individually controlled motors with a maximum total output of 432 kW — or the equivalent of about 580 horsepower — and a max torque 1,164 Newton-meters.

“I recently joked that it’s like the Birkin bag of Mercedes,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius said on the Decoder podcast back in 2022. “Everybody wants one, and the waiting time is really long. It may even be the most desirable car in our portfolio.”

But with great power comes great expense. The Mercedes-Benz G 580 with EQ technology (an ungainly name for an exotic EV, but I’ll allow it) will start at €142,621.50 ($152,184.27), while the first edition trim goes for €192,524.15 ($205,432.89). That’s a premium over the gas models, which typically start at around $143,000. At launch, the Edition One trim will be exclusive to the US market and will arrive at dealerships in the second half of 2024.

The G 580, or EQG if you will, will be built on a ladder frame concept, which the automaker says is fundamental to its off-roading. Like its gas-powered equivalents, the ladder frame includes an independent front suspension with double wishbones, as well as a newly developed rigid rear axle for a lower center of gravity. The battery will propel the EQG to an estimated 473 km (293 miles) on the WLTP standard, which will likely be even lowered when based on the less optimistic EPA rating.

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The electric G-Wagen will come with a whole caravan of nifty circus tricks, including a tank turn (which Mercedes has branded its G-Turn) for sharper, on-axis rotations. G-Turn will work on loose, unpaved roads and trails and only at low speeds. And a three-speed intelligent off-road crawl function will keep the electric SUV at the optimal speed while traveling over uneven surfaces. And Mercedes boasts that the EQG will remain stable on slopes up to 35 degrees and has a maximum fording depth of 850 millimeters (33 inches).

Of course, all that off-roading requires extra protection for the battery, which is stored in the floor of the vehicle for that low center of gravity. Every grain of gravel is a potential hazard when you’re driving around with a two-tiered lithium-ion battery with 216 cells installed in 12 cell modules between three cooling levels under your feet.

The underbody skid plate, which is unique to the electric G-Class, is made from “an intelligent material mix” that includes carbon, which “increases rigidity compared to alternatives made from steel or aluminum,” the company says. It also ensures long-lasting corrosion protection and saves weight. The plate is 26 millimeters thick, weighs 57.6 kilograms, and is attached to the ladder frame with more than 50 steel screws.  

And in what is becoming an increasingly normal thing to do with new EVs, Mercedes has decided to give its electric G-Wagen a fake engine noise, branded here as G-Roar. Inspired by the gas lineup’s “emotional V8 sounds,” the G-Roar will use external speakers to emit a sound that simulates the “deep bass and sonorous tones” of its fuel-sipping sibling. The sounds can change when switching between drive modes: Comfort produces a more restrained fake engine noise, while Sport will hit you right in the feelings (Mercedes also describes it as “emotional”).

Even with an emphasis on off-roading over performance, the G 580 with EQ technology (nope, still ungainly, going back to EQG) is no slouch on the pavement. The electric SUV can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds and will be electronically limited to a maximum speed of 180 km/h (or 112 mph).

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The exterior is nearly identical to the current model year of gas-fueled G-Wagens. You do get illuminated accents on the grille, which also can be replaced with an optional blacked-out front panel. The bonnet is slightly raised, and the rear wheel wells include air curtains for better aerodynamic performance. There’s also a new A-pillar cladding and a spoiler lip on the roof. But otherwise, it would be difficult to pick out the EV in an all-G-Class lineup.

A rear-mounted design box looks ideal for a spare tire, but open it up and — surprise! — it’s charging cables and other optional goodies, like snow chains. Of course, if you want to be a traditionalist, you can absolutely stow your spare tire in there. No judgment.

Inside, the electric G-Wagen is sticking to what works, keeping the passenger grab bar and surrounding everything with carbon fiber. There are plenty of physical buttons, and the air vents are delightfully tactile and circular. The pedals are covered in raised rivets because, you know, off-road. And the 12.3-inch digital display runs on Mercedes’ well-received MBUX infotainment system — but also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Rear-seat passengers can enjoy a variety of media on their personal 11.6-inch touchscreens that are mounted on the back of the front seats. Content can be moved from the rear to the front display — but video watching and internet browsing are reserved for parked mode only.

The electric G-Wagen first emerged in concept form back in 2021 and then again in 2022, despite the company’s lack of clarity around production plans. (To compensate, Mercedes released a ridiculously high concept promotional video set in a 1970s-era space opera with aliens.)

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But since then, there have been a lot of electric off-roaders, including the Ford F-150 Lightning, Chevy Silverado EV, Hummer EV, and Rivian R1T and R1S. Whether any of these vehicles actually spend a single second doing real off-road stuff — as opposed to picking up grass fertilizer at The Home Depot — is entirely up for debate. The electric G-Wagen will likely be no different, as the boxy SUV has always been seen more frequently in the driveways of the über rich than on the trails in Moab.

Still, the EQG is a sign that while it has pulled back some of its early predictions about electrification, Mercedes still understands that even its super luxury status symbols will need to go electric.

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Leak: the Asus ROG Ally X will have twice the battery at 80Wh and two USB-C ports

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Leak: the Asus ROG Ally X will have twice the battery at 80Wh and two USB-C ports

While we already knew the Ally X was shooting for double the battery life by including a larger pack, VideoCardz has leaked marketing materials that confirm it’s literally doubling the capacity to 80 watt-hours, up from the original 40Wh pack. And yet, the handheld only weighs an additional 70g (2.5oz) and is just 5mm thicker, a bit thinner than my hands-on estimate. It’s 36.9mm (1.45 inches) thick in total, versus the 32mm (1.27 inches) of the original.

That’s partially due to a thinner fan design: 23 percent smaller, with 50 percent thinner fins, according to the leak, yet with 10 percent increased airflow.

Aside from battery, the most welcome spec might be the addition of a second USB-C port with USB4 speeds. VideoCardz says it replaces the proprietary eGPU port that Asus included previously but doesn’t say if we can charge from both the top and bottom now. (I would expect so since Asus taped up both the top and bottom of the engineering prototype I touched to keep me from sussing ports out.)

As we’ve reported, the Ally X shouldn’t have much increased performance over the original, with the same Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip and seven-inch 120Hz VRR screen, but VideoCardz also corroborates the rumor that it’ll come with 24GB of faster LPDDR5 memory, giving it an additional 8GB of overhead to share with the GPU that could possibly lead to a slight improvement in games.

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Stop thinking about retirement by tapping tech to rediscover what gets you excited

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Stop thinking about retirement by tapping tech to rediscover what gets you excited

Even if you’re retired or well into your career, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. And because you don’t need to go back into a physical classroom to learn those skills anymore (something that can be very anxiety-inducing for some people), taking the leap to study may be much less daunting when you can do it online.

Whether you’re looking for a career change, want to stay relevant at your current job or are looking for something to do post-retirement, why not try something new?

There are so many websites that offer low-cost or even free courses where you can advance your skills on your own time without having to borrow thousands of dollars or change your routine and dedicate yourself to it full time.

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Two women looking at computer (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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What are the highest-paying jobs in 2024?

If one of the reasons you’re looking to learn a new skill is that you’re interested in a higher-paying job, that’s understandable. Or maybe someone younger than you is asking for advice, and you want to give them some tips on what they can pursue. Perhaps you’re just curious about what the highest-paying jobs are these days. Whatever the reason, it’s good to be current on these questions.

Though year after year doctors, lawyers, accountants and electrical engineers are at the top of the list of the highest-paying jobs, that’s not always the most realistic career path for everyone, especially if you’re looking to skill up quickly for a career change or a hobby. In either case – or maybe you’re just curious – here are the highest-paying jobs in 2024, according to several sources like Yahoo! Finance, Indeed and U.S. News Money.

  1. Loan officer: $192K
  2. IT manager: $164K
  3. Financial manager: $140K
  4. Marketing manager: $140K
  5. Sales manager: $131K
  6. Software developer: $127K
  7. Computer network architect: $127K
  8. Actuary: $114K
  9. Information security analyst: $112K
  10. Scrum master: $106K
  11. Data scientist: $104K
  12. Tax manager: $130K
  13. Real estate analyst: $90K
  14. HR manager: $79K
  15. Virtual assistant: $75K
  16. Digital marketer: $67K
  17. Life insurance agent: $67K
  18. Freelance writer: $59K
  19. Customer service representative: $59K
  20. Translate/interpreter: $58K
  21. Graphic designer: $56K
  22. Online fitness trainer: $53K

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Online fitness trainer at work (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Do you need an education to do these jobs?

The quick answer? No, not necessarily. But it will take some skill leveling up. You can get some of these roles by educating yourself online or enrolling in online courses. And these courses don’t typically ask you for a degree to enroll.

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Why? They understand that a person might want to learn new skills for many reasons. Of course, if getting a higher-paid job or wanting a promotion is your reason for learning a new skill in the first place, then certainly having some college education may help you land one of these jobs sooner.

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A woman taking an online course (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Where to take online courses

 There are several excellent online platforms where you can continue your education, acquire new skills and explore various subjects. Here are some of the top online learning platforms.

edEX: Ideal for tech enthusiasts and career-minded individuals seeking courses from top universities on subjects like AI, coding and data analytics.

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Coursera: Perfect for those looking for university-level courses, specializations and degrees from renowned institutions worldwide, with financial aid options available.

Udacity: Ideal for aspiring programmers and tech enthusiasts seeking hands-on experience and industry connections through Nanodegree programs.

LinkedIn Learning: Suitable for professionals looking to advance their careers with courses on leadership, marketing and project management with personalized recommendations and LinkedIn integration.

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A woman taking an online course (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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What if I am late in my career or near retirement?

Then, yes, you can take one of these courses (or many of them). Again, the whole purpose of online learning is to make it accessible to everyone. So, even though there may be other students in your cohort who are younger or at a totally different stage of their careers or their lives, don’t let that hold you back.

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Learning a new skill, even if you’ve been in your career for decades, can help you stay on top of your game as new tech and trends roll in. If you’re a parent or a grandparent, learning a new skill can help you relate more to your children as they grow and pursue their careers. And, if you’re near retirement or already retired, learning a new skill helps keep the mind sharp and maybe even gives you the education you need to start a new venture.

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Man on his phone and computer (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

How to choose the best online course for you

Choosing the best online course depends on several factors. Understand the reputation of the course, the length of time you have to complete it, whether courses are asynchronous or synchronous, your learning styles, budget, etc. 

You can look at reviews, talk to students who have taken the course, and find out who in your network has attended one of these programs and ask about their job prospects. Again, it all depends on why you’re taking the course in the first place. If you just want to do it for fun, perhaps you’ll join a course taught by a favorite celebrity on MasterClass.

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A woman learning from home (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Kurt’s key takeaways

Learning new skills isn’t only for recent high school or college grads. It’s for anyone. Going “back to school” has never been easier with online courses. No matter your age and your intention, there is a course – and platform – out there for you.

Have you or anyone you know advanced any of your skills using one of the methods above? What about a friend who took an online course as a hobby? What was the experience like? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

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Microsoft Bing issue takes down Copilot, DuckDuckGo, and ChatGPT search features

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Microsoft Bing issue takes down Copilot, DuckDuckGo, and ChatGPT search features

Search capabilities for ChatGPT, Copilot, DuckDuckGo, and other platforms aren’t working properly right now due to a Microsoft outage that appears to be related to the Bing application programming interface (API). Sites and services are either completely unavailable or only intermittently responding at the time of publication.

The issues — which began around 3AM ET — appear to be linked to Bing’s API and any service that relies upon it. While Microsoft’s own web search engine Bing was also seemingly affected earlier, according to Techcrunch, the service now appears to be correctly loading search results.

Search engines like DuckDuckGo relying on Bing’s API are displaying error messages.
Image: DuckDuckGo

Other search engines like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, which rely on Bing’s API, are unable to load any search results. Microsoft’s Copilot is also experiencing similar issues, displaying a loading loop that prevents users from accessing the service. ChatGPT, which allows Plus subscribers to perform web searches, is similarly displaying an error message when users attempt to make a search enquiry.

Microsoft has acknowledged the loading issues with its Copilot service, saying it’s “working to isolate the cause of the issue.” Meanwhile, Microsoft’s service health platform doesn’t flag any other service outages currently. OpenAI and Ecosia have confirmed that they are experiencing issues with their platform’s search features, and OpenAI says it’s also investigating the issue.

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