Let me give you an example: My uncle knows that a cell phone is a computer. How? Well, I told him, and I'm a researcher. How do I know? Well, originally, some professor told me, and he's a professor. How does he know? Well, he or his colleague studied the literature indicating that an ARM processor is Turing-complete... which, at the end of the day, is a totally mathematical consideration, independent of the physical world except perhaps the brains which analyze it.Actually I don't think its technically "Turing Complete". it doesn't have unbounded tape. In fact any given ARM processor will have a fixed addressable limit. I can certainly compute a class of things in theory that the ARM processor can't compute. There are real HW considerations that you need make when you deal with an actual physical processor that don't exist in the theoretical model.And this sidesteps questions of complexity.But this is similar to a patent on a new wing design. You can say it is simply a mathematical model of airflow and such. But the pudding is the creation, not the mathematical model of the wing.

 >Actually I don't think its technically "Turing Complete". it doesn't have unbounded tape. In fact any given ARM processor will have a fixed addressable limit. I can certainly compute a class of things in theory that the ARM processor can't compute. There are real HW considerations that you need make when you deal with an actual physical processor that don't exist in the theoretical model.Obviously -- it is a finite state machine, but this doesn't mean any less that it is a theoretical model.>But this is similar to a patent on a new wing design. You can say it is simply a mathematical model of airflow and such. But the pudding is the creation, not the mathematical model of the wing.No -- the wing is a physical object. I can hold a wing in my hand. Conversely, a patent on a wing design does not mean that I cannot use that wing design in a computer simulation of an airfoil. But a patent on bzip does mean, supposedly, that I cannot run bzip on a virtual machine. In other words, the wing design is the point, here: you could patent a specific device for running bzip, but you cannot patent bzip on all computing devices. Which, I suppose, might help to explain my point.

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