What about the CBM-Brain that can fully substitute a cat brain, and fully regenerate its software at 85% hardware failure. As a cat is regarded to be alive, is it regarded to be dead when is software is run on silicon instead of organic matter? What about the CBM-Brain scaled up to handle the tasks of a human brain?
IMHO a computer virus is a living thing, it mimics it biological cousin to a "T"... it doesn't matter if a computer is on or off, if you can get a virus from an asteroid from space and bring it back to earth and it starts reproducing after being dormant for 1000s of year, isn't that the same thing as a computer being off? its just lives in a different medium
I could be wrong...
A computer virus does not need another program to survive; it hides within programs only to avoid detection. Comparing computer virus with a biologic life form the computer virus is far more sophisticated; itís more like an insect. Neither of them can learn, but both a computer virus and insects has basic status memories and can act on input. A biologic virus cannot act on input. A computer virus can attach to the keyboard driver and do an action like ctrl-alt-del -> format c: and a ant can trigger on the smell that leads back to a its hill. But the ant can never learn another way to find its hill without that specific smell, and a virus will not run format c: without the predefined trigger.