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How to save your Google+ account data



Google abandoned Google+, its social network, late last year. Now, you have until April 2 before Google starts deleting your Google+ posts and communities. For most people, that’s not a big deal, but for those of us who loved Google+, it’s a sad time. But, at least you can can save some of your information before the clock strikes midnight.

What Google+ data will be deleted?

According to Google, it won’t just be your posts and communities that will will vanish into the great bitbucket in the sky. Your Google+ photos and videos will also be deleted. If you’ve backed up your photos and videos to Google Photo, they’ll be safe.

Google won’t be deleting everything immediately. It will take a few months for Google to get around to deleting all the content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archives. Don’t wait for it. The smart thing to do is to get your data out before it disappears. Here’s how you do it.

(Image: ZDNet)

How to save your Google+ account data

Go to Google Takeout

First, head over to Google Takeout. This webpage shows all your Google products. I’ll bet you didn’t even know you used that many. I had well over 50 myself. From here, by default, you can create an archive of all your data. Since that’s probably not what you want to do, hit Select None. Then, go down the list to Google+.

Decide which data you want to retain

You’ll see there’s not a single Google+ listing. Instead, there are five separate ones. You can ignore Google+ +1s on websites. That’s just your +1 recommendations on other web sites. The ones you want are Google+ Circles (your contacts), Google+ Communities (your community data), Google+ Stream (your posts), and Profile (your profile data).


(Image: SJVN)

Pick a data format 

This data comes in multiple formats. At the top, you can get your Circle contact information in CSV, HTML. vCard, or JSON.

For Communities, you can get your data in HTML or JSON. In theory, you can get your data from all the communities you were active in or select data from specific communities. In practice, I found you can only download the data from all your communities.

With Google+ Stream, you can choose to get your data in HTML or JSON. Here, you really can pick which data you want to retain. You’re given a choice of posts, activity log, metadata, and events. Of these, I think posts are likely to the ones you’ll want to keep. Your Profile data is only available in JSON.

Choose a compressed format and archive file size

Once you’ve picked out what you want, go to the bottom of the page and click on the Next button. You’ll now be presented with a choice in which compressed format you’ll want to get your archives: zip or tgz. You can also choose the size of your archive files. This ranges from 1GB to 50GB. If you have even more data, you can get multiple archives.

Get your download link or add to cloud storage

Once that’s done, you can get a download link by e-mail or have the archive be placed directly into your Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Box. Depending on how much data you have, this may take some time. Google warns it make take hours or even days to get your archive.

Is it worth it? 

It is for me. I spent many hours on Google+ talking with my readers and chatting with the movers and shakers of open-source software and Linux, including Linus Torvalds. It’s well worth the effort.

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Check out the 2+2 Chevrolet Corvette that never was



The 60s was an iconic era in the automotive realm in the United States, with some incredibly popular cars getting their start then Vehicles like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Charger, to name a few. Sometimes it takes one vehicle to change the industry and spawn many similar products from the other automakers. Case in point is Ford and its Mustang, which kicked off the pony car era eliciting responses with other iconic vehicles.

Another of the iconic Ford vehicles in the era that sold extremely well was the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird routinely outsold the Chevrolet Corvette. Early in its production, the Thunderbird was a two-seat sports car very similar to the Corvette. It grew in later generations, becoming a 2+2, offering a back seat to carry more passengers. The vehicle in the image above looks like the iconic 60s split-window Corvettes that are so valuable today, but there’s a key difference.

The difference is readily apparent when you look at the side view image in the Instagram post below, where General Motors Design shared photos of a one-off design buck. A design buck is essentially the shell of the vehicle used by automotive designers of the day to get the vehicle’s design just right. This particular example was never powered and never cruised the streets.

The car was a response to the Thunderbird, adding backseats to the Corvette in 1962. Sadly, the 2+2 Corvette was never built, and reports indicate the design buck was later crushed. Another interesting tidbit is that GM reportedly brought in a Ferrari to help with the styling and proportions of the car.

As for what finally became of the project, a GM executive named Bunkie Knudsen, who was part of the styling team but wasn’t a fan of the project, reportedly worked to get the project scrapped. He believed it would taint the Corvette brand and wouldn’t sell in large enough numbers to justify building it. The only Corvettes ever sold by GM have all been two-seat sports cars.

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Alpha Motors Superwolf is a completely decked out electric pickup



Alpha Motors unveiled a new version of its all-electric pickup called the Superwolf. The difference between this particular version of the truck and the ones that have been shown before is that the Superwolf is completely decked out with all sorts of accessories you might expect to find only on the aftermarket. One of the more interesting accessories seen on the truck is tube doors similar to what you commonly see on Jeeps.

Superwolf also has custom KMC wheels with large off-road tires, a custom front bumper with tow rings and skid plates, as well as a complete roof rack featuring an LED light bar and large locking case. In the bed of the truck is a rack that adds more style to the truck and supports the roof basket.

Under the doors are also compact step rails that look like they are intended to protect the vehicle’s body while off-roading. The truck also features wide fender flares and looks fantastic in general. Other interesting features of the truck include a bed cover that appears to be made out of aluminum and a rack that spans the bed allowing for items to be attached on top of the bed itself.

Several other accessories are available for the truck, including a bed extension and more. Other than the accessories, Superwolf features a driving range of up to 300 miles per charge. It has two motors for four-wheel drive and can reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The truck has a tow rating of 6724 pounds and features a rapid charger with battery cooling and heating.

The truck’s interior can hold four passengers and has a digital display for the driver along with the wide-format center display. Bluetooth connectivity and premium sound are also featured. Superwolf can be reserved now with a starting MSRP listed at between $48,000 and $56,000.

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Classic 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am racer heads to auction



When it comes to muscle cars of the 60s, one of the most iconic is the Chevrolet Camaro. The value of a normal Chevrolet Camaro from the era is often very high. The value of this 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am is even higher as it’s an actual successful racing car from the era. This vehicle is the first of six Sunoco Trans Am Camaros that Penske Racing built.

This particular car has an extensive racing history with drivers Mark Donohue and George Follmer behind the wheel. The car has been completely restored by Kevin McKay in its iconic Sunoco racing livery. The car is said to be one of the most significant Chevrolet-powered racing cars ever built. Because of its rarity and racing pedigree, the car is expected to bring as much as $2 million at auction in Pebble Beach.

The car features a 302 cubic inch overhead valve V-8 engine and a single four-barrel carburetor. It’s estimated to produce 450 horsepower and has a four-speed manual gearbox along with four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. The front suspension is independent wishbone with coil springs, while the rear has a live axle with leaf springs, a setup common in the era.

The racing series the car was built for required a 302 cubic-inch engine. The Z/28 was born due to the need to produce examples for homologation. The Z/28 became the Camaro performance production model, with 602 examples being built in 1967. The first 25 of those cars off the assembly line were sent to racers. This particular car was the 14th produced and was sent to Roger Penske.

This car is the first of only six Penske Camaros built between 1967 and 1969. The auction house says that over $330,000 was spent to restore the iconic car completely. The car comes with a file documenting its extensive racing history and photos of the car as it was discovered and during its restoration.

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