When the first Porsche Cayenne models arrived on US shores as 2002 models, brand loyalists worried that an SUV bearing a sports car badge spelled doom for their beloved marque. Cayenne turned out to be a hit, and continued to be popular through its second generation of production (2011 – 2018). The 2019 Porsche Cayenne marks the start of a third generation. Now backed up in the lineup by Macan, a compact SUV which outsells it, Cayenne moves to a new platform with a new engine, exterior, interior and technology package. While it is still the mid-size two-row crossover SUV we’ve come to know, it is now an altogether sharper, sportier, and more capable vehicle than ever before. And that’s saying something.
My test vehicle was a base 2019 Cayenne with a base price of $65,700. It arrived with a with Biscay Blue Metallic paint ($800), a black leather interior ($3,750), a trailer hitch ($660), 19-inch Cayenne S wheels ($600), Sport Chrono Package ($1,130), Premium Package ($6,610, including Bose Surround Sound System, ambient lighting, comfort access, 14-way power seats with memory, auto-dimming interior mirror, panoramic roof system, Power Steering Plus, LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System, Lane Change Assist and Seat Heating), and a $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee for an as-tested price of $80,300. Cayenne comes with Porsche’s four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty with 24/7 roadside assistance, along with a 12-year/unlimited-mile corrosion perforation limited warranty.
Cayenne’s exterior changes are subtle but significant. The headlights have been tapered, and a power dome gives more emphasis to the hood. The grille openings are more formal and linear across the front fascia, and the body sides have a crisper line above the rocker panels. Around back, the taillights are joined horizontally across the tailgate. The whole vehicle looks sportier and less bulky than before. Nineteen-inch wheels are now standard, up from 18-inches. The wheelbase remains at 113.9 inches, but overall length is up 2.4 inches to 193.6 inches, while body width is 78.0 inches, down 0.7 inches. Curb weight is also reduced, now coming in at 4,377 lbs, down from 4,488 lbs in 2018.
One of the big contributors to weight reduction was a redesign of Cayenne’s front suspension, swapping to an aluminum front axle with a separated link design in place of the double-wishbone setup of the past. The new axle design made the old steel subframe unnecessary, as an aluminum auxiliary frame supports both the axle system and the engine. The new system is said to reduce wheel vibrations and powertrain influences while optimizing steering response, precision, and straight-line driving. The rear suspension is unchanged, with a steel multi-link with steel springs.
The most striking upgrade to Cayenne is its new interior. A landscape-oriented 12.3-inch touchscreen display dominates the top of the center stack, with an intelligent array of buttons and knobs below. The new display is customizable into sections, so owners can choose to display navigation, infotainment, and vehicle settings simultaneously. Cayenne’s switchgear is particularly well-crafted, with gnurled metal surfaces on knobs and wheels, and great feedback on switches, buttons and the like. The rest of the interior offers tactile rewards as well, with high quality surfaces, materials and construction throughout. You can’t find a cheap-feeling edge or panel anywhere. Cayenne’s seats are broad and supportive, and the black leather interior on my test car was supple and rich.
Second-row passengers won’t be disappointed either, with ample leg and head room, and easy sightlines out of the windows. The big panoramic roof on my test vehicle could be unveiled to provide an open, airy feeling in the whole cabin, with a big sliding panel over the driver’s portion for great ventilation. Cargo space behind the second row is a generous 27.2 cubic feet, with a modicum of under-floor space for concealed storage next to the temporary spare and tire-changing kit. Fold down the second row, and 60.3 cubic feet of cargo space opens up. Cayenne’s interior finish is so sumptuous that you won’t want to load garden supplies within – stick to bespoke luggage and estate-sale side tables.
I’ve made a conscious effort to delay any talk of the powertrain up until now, because I know that anyone who is seriously considering a Cayenne will be distracted with the news that a new engine lurks. The base Cayenne is now turbocharged. A turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with direct gasoline injection brings 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque to the party, up from the outgoing naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 3.6-liter V6’s 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque in the base 2018 model. That’s a big increase, and coupled with a 120-lb weight reduction, Cayenne is faster and more eager to romp than before. Porsche claims 0-60 mph times of 5.9 seconds (5.6 seconds with available Launch Control), and a top speed of 152 mph. The base Cayenne of 2018 took 7.3 seconds to go from a standstill to 60 mph. An eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission is standard, along with all-wheel drive.
I took every opportunity to drive the Cayenne in varied situations during my week-long test drive. I’m an SUV enthusiast, and I’ve always liked Cayenne’s solid road feel, but the new engine takes the base model to a new level. It has bottomless reserves of power, and does a great job of motivating the Cayenne around. The suspension is a nice upgrade, too, managing Cayenne’s weight elegantly. Aggressive cornering doesn’t come with body roll. You can carve an elegant arc on a freeway onramp with ease, and when it’s time to overtake a slower-moving vehicle, a light squeeze of the throttle rockets the Cayenne forward. The luxurious interior is tailored and crisp, and made me feel important behind the wheel. What more can you ask for in a performance luxury SUV?
The landscape of mid-size luxury SUVs is crowded with great options this year. The BMW X5, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Lexus RX, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, Infiniti QX 50, Acura MDX, Cadillac XT5, Lincoln Corsair, Volvo XC90 and others offer alternate takes on the formula. If the base Cayenne is intriguing but you want more Porsche in your SUV, there’s always the Cayenne S (starting at $82,900 with 434 hp), the Cayenne E-Hybrid (starting at $79,900 with 455 hp), and the Cayenne Turbo (starting at $124,600 with 541 hp).
All in all, the 2019 Porsche Cayenne represents an excellent start to the third generation of Porsche performance SUV legacy.
Instagram Makes It Easier To Take Back Hacked Accounts.
Instagram is finally addressing a huge problem on its platform: hacked accounts.
The company says it is making a series of changes that will make it easier for people to regain access to a hacked account. The update comes almost a year after Mashable first reported that a wave of bizarre hacks had hit Instagram users, leaving them little recourse to get their accounts back.
With the newly announced changes, which are currently being tested ahead of a wider rollout, Instagram will allow users to access its account recovery tools directly in the app, even if a hacker has changed their account information. So when a person is unable to login to an account, Instagram will prompt users to enter information associated with your account like your email address or phone number. (Users can also access this via "need more help" in the app's login screen.)
From there, Instagram will send a verification code you can use to access your account. Instagram will also remove any other devices logged into your account, so a hacker who has access to your email will be unable to use the recovery code.
This may sound fairly straightforward, but these changes address significant issues with Instagram's previous account recovery process. Because hackers often changed the email, phone number, or username associated with an account, it could be incredibly difficult if not impossible for the actual account owner to navigate the automated support system.
Users have reported Instagram sending recovery emails to the address of their hackers, for example, or inexplicably telling them it could not verify their identity even though they provided the information requested. This caused some people to resort to more elaborate schemes, such as reporting a hacked account for impersonation or leaving voicemails for Instagram support.
This new process will hopefully make those kinds of moves a thing of the past, as Instagram says its goal is to move the entire account recovery process in-app. Additional support will still be available to those who need it though, according to an Instagram spokesperson.
Notably, this new process will also apply to people whose accounts have previously been hacked and unable to regain access.
Additionally, Instagram says it's addressing another major issue often associated with hacked accounts: username theft. Because accounts that have short or original names are considered valuable and desirable, they often face a disproportionate amount of hacking attempts. Hackers will often change a username in order to scoop it up for a fresh account or sell it on shady forums.
Now, Instagram says that a previously used username will not be available for anyone else for several days in order to make it more difficult for hackers to steal valuable usernames. (The company isn't disclosing exactly how long names will be inaccessible to others but a spokesperson says it will be "multiple days.")
While it's unlikely these changes will put a stop to hacking attempts, or the massive business of buying and selling stolen accounts, it could make life more difficult for hackers — at least until they find new ways to circumvent Instagram's policies. But it should also give users more power to get their accounts back.
YouTube Reportedly Considers Moving All Children’s Content To YouTube Kids.
YouTube is reportedly considering major changes after a long string of terrible headlines involving everything from pedophiles to gun-wielding Disney characters.
The company might remove all children's content from YouTube and show it exclusively in the YouTube Kids app, a new Wall Street Journal article says.
The other option under discussion involves entirely turning off auto-playing recommended videos on children's content. This is the system that leads viewers from a seemingly harmless video to extreme content and conspiracy theories.
These changes would be immense for YouTube. The platform has reportedly been relying on down-ranking and reducing the reach of controversial content, rather than removing it outright. But turning off the recommendation algorithm for children altogether would amount to some sort of admission that it's the platform's architecture — not the content — that is the problem.
It could also potentially affect revenue by moving a sizable chunk of videos off the platform, away from YouTube's advertisers. YouTube Kids does have ads, but there are additional requirements for advertisers there.
The Journal also reports that Google CEO Sundar Pichai has recently been taking a more active role in the management of YouTube, which is run by Susan Wojcicki. Recent scandals involving the wildfire-like spread of the Christchurch shooting video and pedophilia rings enabled by YouTube's recommendation algorithm have reportedly caused internal upheaval.
In 2018, YouTube Kids added controls to allow parents to manually select the channels and creators that their kids would be able to watch. It also added more human moderators to remove harmful content. But not all kids watch videos on the Kids app alone, which means they currently could be exposed to the same algorithmic wormhole that adults are.
YouTube told the Journal that it considers "lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that—ideas."
Google Desperately Wants To Win Over Geeks’ Hearts
Google's acting really strange these days.
First, the company basically says "fuck it," then both confirms the Pixel 4 and its huge square-shaped camera bump. And now they company has publicly admitted to Business Insider that they've canceled two unreleased tablets and will instead focus on making Pixelbook laptops.
These two PR moves are unusual for a tech company. Usually, outfits like Google never acknowledge upcoming products. Why would they? It would take all the excitement out of their own launch event.
Moreover, tech companies don't ever talk about canceled products because they'll never see the light of day. No point in getting people all worked up over products that technically don't exist.
That's why it's so out of character for Google to suddenly be so open. What's the goal here?
Maybe these two instances are unrelated, but to a tech observer like myself, it sure looks like Google's trying its hardest to court geeks in an effort to convince super fans that it's serious about hardware this year. In fact, these moves feel like they're coming straight out of startup phone maker OnePlus' playbook, which has built its fanbase catering to geeks as well.
Apple Recalls MacBook Pro Batteries Over ‘Fire Safety Risk’
If you have an older MacBook Pro, you might need to get its battery replaced.
Apple is recalling 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops sold between between September 2015 and February 2017 over a battery issue it says poses a "fire safety risk."
"Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk," the company writes on a support page about the recall.
Affected laptops should not be used until the company can issue battery replacements, Apple says. The recall only applies to 15-inch Pro models and other MacBooks are unaffected. Even if you're not totally sure if your laptop is impacted, it's probably a good idea to double check.
Here's how Apple recommends you check to see if your laptop is affected:
To confirm which model you have, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu () in the upper-left corner of your screen. If you have “MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015),” enter your computer's serial number on the program page to see if it is eligible for a battery replacement.
The recall comes shortly after one musician posted videos of his smoking MacBook Pro, which he said "exploded" after normal use. The musician, who goes by the name "White Panda," told Mashable in an interview that he had his laptop in his lap when smoke suddenly began pouring out of it. It later "popped" and caught fire.
It's not clear if the current recall is related to that issue, but Apple does make it very clear that the MacBook Pros in question could pose a serious safety risk.
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