Problems with WordPress Automatic Upgrade solved

Image representing WordPress as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

While trying to upgrade my WordPress installation from version 2.9 to version 2.9.1 I always got the following error:

Downloading update from
Download failed.: Operation timed out with 1201840 out of -1 bytes received
Installation Failed

After doing some research using Google I found a solution to that problem:

You just need to edit the following file in order to increase the download timeout:


Near line 461 of file.php change the timeout value from:

$response = wp_remote_get($url, array('timeout' => 60));

to the new value of 120:

$response = wp_remote_get($url, array('timeout' => 120));

Then try again to upgrade your wordpress installation using the automatic upgrade and it should work properly now. Mine did and I am happy again! 🙂

Cheers and have fun, and leave me a comment if this post was useful for you!


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What will the web look like in five years?

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google was answering this question in an interesting interview at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Orlando 2009. ReadWriteWeb has summarized the highlights of Eric’s interview as follows:

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today’s teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years – they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore’s Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
  • Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance – and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away.
  • “We’re starting to make significant money off of Youtube”, content will move towards more video.
  • “Real time information is just as valuable as all the other information, we want it included in our search results.”
  • There are many companies beyond Twitter and Facebook doing real time.
  • “We can index real-time info now – but how do we rank it?”
  • It’s because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank that “is the great challenge of the age.” Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem.

Chinese-language content, no differences between distribution channels and real time information are some very interesting topics which I really have to dive in. If you feel interested then have a look at the video of the interview:

[youtube lHxub_yQfig]

(via ReadWriteWeb)

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Google Grippe-Trends jetzt auch für Österreich verfügbar

Google Grippe-Trends Österreich

Google Grippe-Trends (Google Flu Trends) ist nun auch in Österreich verfügbar. Auf der extra dafür eingerichteten Website kann man den derzeitigen Verlauf der Grippewelle in Österreich, sowie in viele anderen Staaten verfolgen.

Google bietet auch die Möglichkeit, die zugrunde liegenden Daten für eigene Zwecke herunterzuladen. Für jeden, der sich dafür interessiert, wie das Prinzip dahinter genau funktioniert verweise ich hier auf einen Artikel von Google (Detecting influenza epidemics using search engine query data), der in der Zeitschrift “Nature” veröffentlicht wurde. Der Artikel steht auch als PDF Dokument zur Verfügung. Weitere Informationen zu diesem Thema können auch direkt bei Google bezogen werden.

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Google Wave API combined with the Wookie engine and integrated in a Moodle platform

Wookie Moodle Google Wave

Everybody who is interesteded in Widget Mash-ups for Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) should take a look at this article posted on Scott Wilson’s Workblog. He demonstrates a very nice usage of the Google Wave API in combination with the Wookie engine integrated into a Moodle platform. Here is a part of his blogpost:

I’ve created a Moodle course that uses some widgets, all of which make use of the Wave Gadget API. Some of these are Google examples (converted to W3C format) and some are ones we’ve created.

To take a look, you need to head over to our Moodle sandbox and register yourself a profile (you’ll need to confirm your email address to activate the login). After that, go and enrol yourself on this course.

Feel free to play Sudoku, mess with the poetry magnets, use the chat, and vote in the polls. All these tools are Widgets, written entirely in regular HTML and JavaScript, and don’t use any PHP or any part of the Moodle platform they appear in other than using the context it supplies (the course ID in this case) and participant information (display name and avatar image); this means they can be embedded into any platform. Wave – the actual conversation engine – is the obvious one, but I think it makes sense to put live-updating collaborative applications into many different kinds of contexts – social networks, VLEs, blogs – anything with users and contexts.

In addition to the W3C Widgets API and Google Wave Gadgets API, the Wookie engine that renders the widgets also provides a moderator API, enabling admins to lock and unlock widgets. (However, test accounts are in the “student” role and so won’t see these controls)

The most interesting aspect of this demonstration is the combination of the Google Wave Gadget API with Moodle and the Wookie engine. The Wookie engine implements and even extends the W3C Widget Specification. Also the fact that all the Widgets are written entirely in regular HTML and JavaScript in order to be decoupled from the underlying Widget container (in this case Moodle) is an advantageous feature of this demonstration.

Google Wave combined with the Wookie engine implementing the W3C Widget API and integrated in a Moodle platform results in an interesting standardized Widget Mash-up system for learning environments.

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Google Wave – Google’s next killer application?

google wave logo
Image by liako via Flickr

Google’s newest prodcut which was announced at the Google I/O this week is called Google Wave. They build an incredible tool for collaborative work and integrated services like email, instant messenging, collaborative editing, an incredible spell checker which checks the context of words in order to correct spelling. Other really greate features are gadgets like:

  • linky: adds links automatically while you type
  • searchy: lets you search the internet through the application and integrate the searched contend into a wave
  • buggy: through buggy you are able to interact with bug tracking software and easily administer bugs

This are just some kind of great tools available in Google Wave. Please check out the keynote on the Google I/O. It is a long video but it is really worth watching!

[youtube v_UyVmITiYQ]

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[video] – Google Latitude

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Google released a new service called Google Latitude. This service enables you to see the location of your friends, collegues, etc. Here is a nice video explaining how Google Latitute workes:

[youtube Q-Oq-9enE-k]

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Google’s SEO Starter Guide – How to improve your website

Google's SEO Starter Guide: How to improve your website.

Webmasters often ask us at conferences or in the Webmaster Help Group, “What are some simple ways that I can improve my website’s performance in Google?” There are lots of possible answers to this question, and a wealth of search engine optimization information on the web, so much that it can be intimidating for newer webmasters or those unfamiliar with the topic. We thought it’d be useful to create a compact guide that lists some best practices that teams within Google and external webmasters alike can follow that could improve their sites’ crawlability and indexing.

What he and his group did was to create a compact guide called the “Google SEO Starter Guide“. There are lot’s of DOs and DON’Ts published. Every blogger and every website owner should have a look on this paper.

We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types.

TheNextWeb is supprised about Google’s step:

In a slightly surprising move, Google has launched via its webmaster central blog a best practice guide for search engine optimization.  Why surprising you may ask? Well, Google is notorious for being pretty quiet on this front leaving it to SEO’s, designers, and developers to figure out what works best.

Netzlogbuch states out that the start guide copes basic things that nearly everybody already knows. Well for sure it is helpful for many people out there.

Google Flu Trends – Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread

Google Flu

It stands to reason that people who are “starting to come down with something” often take the opportunity to search for information on what ails them, even before they discuss their symptoms with a healthcare professional. Who gets more of those searches than anyone? Google, of course. [ReadWriteWeb]

Google offers a new service called Google Flu Trends. The service uses an analysis of Google’s millions of search queries every day to calculate flu trends.

The New York Times writes in an article called: “Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread“:

Tests of the new Web tool from, the company’s philanthropic unit, suggest that it may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [New York Times]

Interesting is the fact that trends can be observed a lot earlier than by traditional institutions. Google’s users search for symptoms on internet and through these searches Google generates reports and can inform health institutions to react on these trends.

By now Google Flu Trends is just available in the United States but I am looking forward on using these service in Austria too.

European Forum Alpbach – 50 Years of EU in the World

I have found a very interesting video on YouTube regarding the history of the European Union. Please have a look at it. -)

[youtube sO75ZsvMkc8]

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