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How to save your Google+ account data

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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).

google-download.jpg

(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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Porsche’s tease of 2021 Taycan good news is coming true

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Porsche teased us with the promise of more range from its 2021 Taycan all-electric sedan, and sure enough with the official figures starting to filter through from the EPA it’s good news for EV buyers. Signs that the Taycan – which launched last year to unexpectedly rough results from the US Environmental Protection Agency – was about to improve began circulating earlier this week.

That was alongside the launch of the most affordable version of the electric sedan, the 2021 Porsche Taycan single-motor RWD. Priced from around $81,250 with destination, it came with a list of the automaker’s expected range numbers for the 2021 refresh of the whole Taycan line.

At the time, the EPA hadn’t caught up with its own official ratings, but those have started to appear. Currently, the 2021 Taycan 4S with the Performance Battery and the Performance Battery Plus are listed. The former is new for the 2021 model year, with a 79 kW battery; the latter has a larger, 94 kWh battery, and was rated at 203 miles for the 2020 model year.

This time around, the 2021 Taycan 4S Performance is rated for 199 miles and 79 MPGe combined, and the 2021 Taycan 4S Performance Plus is rated for 227 miles and 77 MPGe. That means the EPA’s numbers are in-line with what Porsche was predicting.

Still to come are the official figures for the rest of the Taycan range. That includes the 2021 Taycan Turbo, which Porsche is expecting to come in at 212 miles, an 11 mile improvement on the previous model year. The 2021 Taycan Turbo S should do 201 miles, a nine mile improvement, if Porsche’s figures hold up.

It’s not been an easy ride for Porsche when it comes to its EV and the EPA. Expectations were high for the Taycan when it first launched, only for the US agency to deliver a much more pessimistic estimate on range than the size of the car’s battery might suggest. Porsche countered with its own, independent testing which delivered much healthier numbers, but it was a cloud over the car’s debut.

Not that it seems to have dampened too much enthusiasm for the EV. Porsche delivered more than 4,000 of the cars in the US in 2020, limited more by production delays during the pandemic than demand, the automaker says. That’s despite launching the most expensive configuration first, and only later following up with more attainable Taycan trims.

Yet to be rated by the EPA is the new 2021 Panamera 4S E-Hybrid or the 2021 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The plug-in hybrid versions of the luxury sedan were priced up today, both packing a larger 17.9 kWh battery compared to the 14.1 kWh of the 2020 model year PHEV. Porsche says they should get between 31 and 35 miles of electric-only driving from a full battery, though that’s on the European WLTP test cycle rather than the typically more demanding EPA version.

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2021 Porsche Panamera pricing revealed – and a track record for 620hp Turbo S

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Porsche has confirmed pricing for the 2021 Panamera range, and if you’ve been wondering just what the new Panamera Turbo S can do with 620 horsepower on tap, a new lap record demonstrates just why the big sedan is still the daddy. Headed to US dealerships in spring 2021, the new model year for the Panamera spans both a plug-in hybrid and more potent versions like the Panamera GTS.

While outwardly the cars are familiar, with mild styling changes across the board, Porsche has made some more meaningful changes. The 2021 Panamera GTS gets a performance increase, for example, squeezing a 20 horsepower bump from its twin-turbo V8. Power is now 473 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque.

The entry-level 2021 Panamera switches to Porsche’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo, with 325 horsepower, and with pricing starting at $87,200 (plus $1,350 destination). The Turbo S sedan and Sport Turismo are faster, cutting 0-60 mph by a half-second, to 2.9 seconds. The Panamera Turbo S Executive – the more plush version of the sedan – takes 3.0 seconds.

If your tastes run to electric, meanwhile, the 2021 Panamera 4S E-Hybrid is new. As we found in our first drive of the PHEV, it pairs a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 gas engine with an electric motor, for a total of 552 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. That puts it unexpectedly close to the old Panamera Turbo, in fact, while a larger, 17.9 kWh battery means more pure-electric range.

The new 2021 Panamera Turbo S gives the sedan line-up a fresh flagship. It has a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, good for 620 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque. The outgoing Panamera Turbo made 550 hp and 567 lb-ft.

To show just what it can do with that, Porsche took the new car to the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta and put pro-driver Leh Keen behind the wheel. Together, they hit a 1 minute and 31.51 seconds lap of the 2.54 mile course. It makes it the fastest production sedan at the track.

It’s the same location that Porsche used to set a production EV lap time last year, taking the Taycan Turbo S electric sedan out and hitting a 1.33:88 minute record.

For the 2021 Panamera, all trims now get keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless phone charging as standard. EPA fuel economy numbers are still to be confirmed, with Porsche expecting them closer to the car’s arrival in dealerships.

Pricing for the 2021 Panamera 4 starts at $91,800 (plus destination), while the 2021 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid starts at $103,800. The 2021 Panamera 4S starts at $105,000, with the E-Hybrid version starting at $113,300. The 2021 Panamera GTS starts at $129,300, while the new 2021 Panamera Turbo S starts at $177,700. Finally, the 2021 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid starts at $187,700.

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2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition VIN 001 to be auctioned for charity

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FCA, now known as Stellantis, has a long history of auctioning off vehicles for charity. The automaker has teamed up with Barrett-Jackson auctions to sell an important truck, with all proceeds going to charity at the Scottsdale auction on March 26. The truck in question is the very first 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition off the production line.

The truck is VIN 001 of 702 Launch Edition models. Barrett-Jackson has agreed to waive all auction fees with 100 percent of the sales price benefiting the United Way for Southeastern Michigan 211 helpline providing services to veterans and their families. The pickup is painted in a Launch Edition exclusive Anvil Gray color.

The truck is also sold with a one-of-a-kind VIN 001 Authentication Kit. The kit includes a presentation box with a bound book custom developed by the Ram brand team highlighting the design and development of the TRX. The kit also features exclusive photos and video, a speed-form model, and a Ram truck cover developed by the vehicle design team.

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX was built to take the off-road performance truck fight directly to the Ford Raptor. Ram fits all 1500 TRX pickups with a supercharged V-8 making 702 horsepower. The big power number makes it the most powerful truck straight from the factory.

The powerful V-8 pushes the full-size pickup to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and it can run the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 108 mph. Top speed is limited to 118 mph. Ram brags that it’s the fastest and most potent mass-produced half-ton pickup in the world. The truck is designed for going fast off-road and has 11.8 inches of ground clearance, and rolls on 35-inch all-terrain tires. Launch Edition models also include other tidbits like carbon fiber interior trim, color accent package, heads-up display, beadlock-capable wheels, premium sound system, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, advanced safety group, and hood and body side graphics.

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