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Re: more evil firmwares found

On Fri, Apr 23, 2004 at 08:26:35PM +1000, Herbert Xu wrote:
> Ryan Underwood <nemesis-lists@icequake.net> wrote:
> >
> >> Duh, of course the *definition* is software.  Any stream of bits is
> >> software.
> > 
> > *Any* stream of bits?  I think that's going a bit far.  I think you are
> > confusing the algorithm with the input.  The input is not software.  It
> > cannot be executed on a machine.
> Given any finite string of bits, you can construct a Turing machine in a
> deterministic way and execute it.

Are you going to be the one who constructs virtual machines that execute
all of these arbitrary bits of data that we are currently referring to
as "software"?

Should Debian be referring to supporting material as software, solely on
the basis that a theoretical machine to execute that data *might* exist
at some indeterminate point in the future?

Is an application not distributable by Debian if it does not include the
source XML of a manual, or the source EPS of an image file, or the
source waveform of a mp3, etc etc, ad absurdum?  Where does the cutoff
of practicality between software and supporting materials end?

Ryan Underwood, <nemesis@icequake.net>

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