The practice hasn't been abandoned last time I checked, it's just a little harder to get access. You need a MinID identity (= Norwegian citizenship, plus you leave traces!), and the lists are taken down after a brief period.
How much I earn is no one's business.
That attitude is very useful for employers to keep down wages, too
I take a different attitude. Cash transfers are property transfers too, and property is an institution between society and individuals. If you want me to respect your property, surely I'm entitled to some information about what you claim as property? For some classes of property (especially real estate and business ownership), it's likely mandated to be public even in your country. Norway just takes it a bit further, that's all.
synthesized piano is getting very good, but it still cannot be mistaken for the real thing.
Citation needed. When a physical piano is of a brand that goes for an intensely clean and standardized sound (e.g Yamaha grand pianos), it often sounds more "synthetic" than an actual piano synth.
Go here and listen to one of the examples of "chamber recording" or "concert recording". IMO, it's very, very easy to mistake that for the real thing.
You can either sit at a computer pasting together sound samples and massaging them into some semblance of emotion,
or you can hire a musician to play it for you and give you the sound you're looking for.
Stop it, I'm dying from snobbery overdose!!
Those words could only be said by someone who's not very good at distinguishing in his mind the purely auditory experience from the full experience.
Orchestras and different instruments evolved because there was no other way to produce music rich in various sounds, and it could not be automated at all.
Case in point: Opera. Many people find the singing style of classical opera weird and gross, but fact is there are very few other ways to make yourself heard over an orchestra without a microphone. Except the ones that are uglier, and/or would wear out your voice quickly.
digesting breakfast, having families, etc. I think you can hear all of that in many ensembles.
Holy cow, what sort of concerts do you go to?!
Seriously, though. Empathy is nice and all, but don't imagine that it is something other than empathy. If you hear the performers' breakfast and kids, that doesn't really come across with the sound waves, but rather with your foreknowledge and beliefs. Don't confuse the music with the baggage, nice as though the baggage may be.
This is extremely frustrating to me.
Check out Modartt's Pianoteq, it's extremely good, and almost completely synthesized. I think they still maybe use samples for the pedal noises and other very faint, nonlinear sounds inside the piano, but the steel string is 100% synthesized.
Sampled piano synths are also pretty good these days, although not as flexible. Take something that ought to be well-known to everyone, the Minecraft music. Do the pianos in there sound synthetic to you? (It's a sample based synth piano - Native Instruments' Komplete, I believe.)
You may be able to pick out differences, if you really go listening for them. But as far as I'm concerned, the difference between a recording of a piano vs. a live piano is so much greater than the difference between a recorded vs. a synthesized piano, that it's silly to make a distinction. Yeah, it'd be nice if was clinically impossible in blind tests to tell the difference between a piano synth and a piano. It would also be nice if I had live musicians in my room rather than streamed music.
This would be a good point, except that there's not really much NSA gets from having extreme hashing capacity. Breaking badly salted/hashed passwords, maybe, but if Snowden has taught us anything, it's that they don't need to rely on such crude tactics.
No, they didn't say Satoshi Nakamoto was a group of scammers.
(For those not following, Butterfly Labs have become infamous in the bitcoin community by selling ASIC mining machines, promising delivery in one week. If they arrive at all, it's more than six months later, and by that time the difficulty of bitcoin mining has inevitably increased enough to make them unprofitable.
Yet they keep advertising one week's delivery time.
They have a record of breaking down due to defects, too, if they arrive. People suspect that BFL let these miners run for themselves in the months between advertised delivery time and actual delivery time.)
How or why would they ever know I bought a Ferrari? Are such purchases reportable in Norway? (they aren't in the US)
You're not in Kansas anymore, friend! Not only is the Ferrari dealership (I think there is a single one) obliged to report purchases over a certain amount, but how much you're taxed is a matter of public record. They used to print them in the newspaper, even, though there's slightly more restrictions on them these days. Want to know how much I made in 2009? be my guest! (Spoiler alert: I'm not rich
So when your neighbors see you driving a Ferrari, jealousy and/or civic duty might compel them to check the tax records, and if you're listed with zero in income and assets, the tax authorities might get a tip.
To Brazil, or to Michigan?
It doesn't follow at all. He wouldn't express surprise if he was trying to eavesdrop on the Icelandic parliament.
First lunar flyby: Luna 1
The impressiveness of this feat is only slightly tainted by the fact that it wasn't supposed to be a flyby. They missed.
All us KSP fans can relate to that, I'm sure...
Not to mention states. There has been talk of a government-run electronic payment infrastructure for a long time (why shouldn't there be one? After all, paper bills and coins are government-run payment infrastructure too).
But the owners of the private payment infrastructure (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, banks) lobby against it with tooth and nail.
Now the little people, cryptographers, libertarians and online geeks, have actually managed to build up a decentralized payment infrastructure without government or corporate help. That's a damn impressive achievement, but one of the consequences is that it'll be harder for governments to sit on their behinds and let their own payment infrastructure remain in the 7th century.