Microsoft’s ‘Bing’ search engine based on Kumo project

Microsoft’s new search engine announced and demo’d at the All Things D conference this morning is not a straight re-naming of Live Search, but is the new name for their new search engine based on a project previously named as ‘Kumo’.

What sounds interesting is it’s ability to show results based on the context of the search terms. Doesn’t this sound familiar? That’s right, this was the promise of Cuil? That hasn’t picked up any noticeable following at this point, so have to see what happens with this offering from Microsoft as they go down this same path.

Using a mounted WebDAV drive on Linux for off-site backups

If you’re read my posts recently, you’ll have read that my home Linux server died when it’s hard drive decided to not play anymore. Luckily I had a complete image of the machine so I could restore it, but the image was 1 year old, and subsequent database backups had not been successfully copied onto the Zip drive, meaning I lost 1 year of database changes.

Starting with new drives, I decided to investigate a RAID 1 setup with duplicate drives, which appears to be working well so far, although I haven’t deliberately removed a drive to test for sure that the mirroring is working, but I will test this shortly. To avoid losing backup files in the future, I purchased the Online file Folder service from GoDaddy and have mounted the drive using WebDAV over HTTPS. Incredibly, the mounted drive just appears as it is a local drive, and through my weekly cron backup script I can copy the back up files directly to this mounted drive. Very cool.

Instructions on setting up davfs2 for the WebDAV support on Ubuntu is here. The instructions are for, but they work with GoDaddy’s Online File Folder service too.

Wiggling your mouse *does* make Windows run better

A-ha! So it’s not psychological – wiggling your mouse on Windows does help Windows ‘do its thing’, as confirmed by this Microsoft support article for when retrieving data from Oracle with Excel: KB168702.

Here’s the all important quote:

If you move your mouse pointer continuously while the data is being returned to
Microsoft Excel, the query may not fail. Do not stop moving the mouse until all the data
has been returned to Microsoft Excel.

Awesome. If you jiggle it around harder does the query execute faster?