Four short links: 4 August 2009

NASA Cloudware, btrfs, eBook Editing, Exponential Death

  1. NASA Nebula Services/Platform StackThe NEBULA platform offers a turnkey Software-as-a-Service experience that can rapidly address the requirements of a large number of projects. However, each component of the NEBULA platform is also available individually; thus, NEBULA can also serve in Platform-as-a-Service or Infrastructure-as-a-Service capacities. Bundles RabbitMQ, Eucalyptus, LUSTRE storage, Fabric deployment, Varnish front-end, MySQL and more. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. A Short History of btrfsNow for some personal predictions (based purely on public information – I don’t have any insider knowledge). Btrfs will be the default file system on Linux within two years. Btrfs as a project won’t (and can’t, at this point) be canceled by Oracle. If all the intellectual property issues are worked out (a big if), ZFS will be ported to Linux, but it will have less than a few percent of the installed base of btrfs. Check back in two years and see if I got any of these predictions right!
  3. Sigil — open source WYSIWYG eBook editor. (via liza on Twitter)
  4. Exponential Decay of LifeThis startling fact was first noticed by the British actuary Benjamin Gompertz in 1825 and is now called the “Gompertz Law of human mortality.” Your probability of dying during a given year doubles every 8 years. For me, a 25-year-old American, the probability of dying during the next year is a fairly miniscule 0.03% — about 1 in 3,000. When I’m 33 it will be about 1 in 1,500, when I’m 42 it will be about 1 in 750, and so on. (via Hacker News)
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  • The exponential rate of death is not entirely true. Death rates are relatively high for young children, even surprisingly in the US. This early mortality is much higher in countries with poor sanitation and disease control.

    Just over a century ago, infant mortality in Victorian England was very high, of the order of 50% in the first year, and let’s not forget how dangerous child bearing was for women too, in those days. The idealized Gompertz curve works quite well for populations that have largely solved the mortality contribution of disease and medical complications, but this is not true in many parts of the world today, and may return to advanced nations if disease organisms evolve faster than we can find ways to kill them cheaply and effectively.