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The Courts

+ - What constitutes copyright infringement?

Submitted by
Falladir writes "Wikipedia says of copyright that "At its most general, it is literally 'the right to copy' an original creation."

The courts have ruled that it is copyright infringement to "make available" content that you have no right to distribute. My question is whether it is also copyright infringement to retrieve infringing content over the web. That is, in a basic p2p transfer, is the recipient breaking any laws? If so, has any legal action ever been taken against someone for downloading?

You might be thinking that this doesn't matter because if nobody uploads, nobody can download, but until copyright law is unified internationally (it's clearly not: AllOfMP3 is still in business), it will be possible for people to upload without breaking their local laws."

+ - A new view of quantum mechanics

Submitted by
Falladir writes "Physicist Anton Zeilinger has proposed a new way of looking at quantum mechanics, in which a system with one qubit of information is the fundamental unit.

"Zeilinger's single, simple principle leads to these three cornerstones of quantum mechanics: quantisation, uncertainty and entanglement. What, then, of the more formal elements of quantum mechanics such as wave functions and Schrödinger's equation — the bread and butter of atomic physicists?"

Zeilinger discards Hilbert space, in favor of what he calls "information space." The state of a system is a point in information space. The point moves, over time, as the system evolves. This movement is governed by the classical principles of motion, and under translation from information space to Hilbert space, these classical laws derive Schroedinger's equation."

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982