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Roger Parkinson
Attended Waikato University
Lives in Auckland
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Roger Parkinson

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Some personal observations of animals and communication.
Any dog owner will tell you that dogs are smart. I'm not a dog owner but I had one as a kid. Back then I wasn't much into noticing clever stuff about animals but I've learned a bit since. Here's an example. Some years ago M...
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Roger, I just love dogs. I've had all kinds. Retriers, Borders, oh on and on, just about everything. Not to crazy about pit bulls though, although one of my friend's liked them. Me, not so much. I have a Lab mix now and A Border Collie. They keep me safe. Hell yes. If there's somebody out there, they will tell me. It's Midnight and Salty...well, you know Salty...I think you see her quite a bit! Har.
I Love My Dogs and they Love Me too. I always take the dogs with me in the car. Well, you know, I might need them...and they get pissed when I don't take them and they chase me down the road. It's dangerous for them. So I pretty much have to take them. Boy I don't get hassled either. They see those dogs in there and I don't get any shit at all. Even cops just wave. Cops like dogs too. I haven't been pulled over in years.
I Love Dogs. I have a lot of cats too. They all get along.
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Roger Parkinson

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The sheep are in our lower paddock. I've labelled them so you can see who is who. We can tell them apart at a glance and sometimes visitors look at us funny when we point them out. Sheep are not all the same. We only have a...
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Richard Moore's profile photoRoger Parkinson's profile photoBhat Parvez's profile photo
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+Richard Moore  Hard to know. It's not like they know any different.
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Your politics and gender play a part in whether you are a climate change sceptic, writes Marc Wilson.
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At best we'll get a deal that excludes dairy, and the reason we sign it will be obfuscated.
 
Where's the beef? 
How cows could save Canada and New Zealand from the TPP
I'm opposed to the proposed Trans Pacific Partner (TPP) agreement, based on what I know right now.  

Which, admittedly is very little —because they are keeping it all secret. If the TPP is best thing since sliced bread, then why all the hush, hush?

One thing that the agreement is supposed to do is to give corporations the right to sue the countries that are part of the agreement, or at least that is the rumor, and with all the related documents are under the tightest "need to know" security it is unverified right now.  

Even now, Philip Morris (PM) is suing the tiny country of Uruguay for deciding to reduce tobacco smoking in its population.  Isn't that their right? Uruguay did it by increase the warning label on the package to cover 85%, and PM didn't like that one bit  And you know what? People stopped of their own accord.  It was a "unprecedented success."
See the startling details here: http://goo.gl/BGisjh

The case started in 2013 and the World Court is supposed to decide that case this year.   Do corporations really need more power to recoup their losses?  I think not.  But, I digress.

Dairy is a crucial part of New Zealand economy and this article helped me to understand more of why John Key seems so keen to sign on the dotted line. In spite of the real concerns we should all have with the "biggest trade deal in history, including more than 800 million people"  - and no one, except the select few people who are actually working on it even know what it says.  I find that disturbing.  

And hey, what if it just isnt' a good idea in the first place, that's happened before.  Do we need more things being sent farther and farther away just so they can be sold for less money?

Something here just seems slightly off to me.  But hey, I'm no expert so please check it out for yourself.

It's a long article, but I felt well worth the read seeing as I was living in Canada prior to moving here and both countries are very heavily invested in opposite outcomes.  
The treaty under negotiation aims to decrease or eliminate import tariffs between 12 Pacific Rim countries. Canadian beef ranchers want in, but dairy farmers insist on protecting their tariffs.
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This is really important. They tell us they spy on us to save lives and keep us safe. But sometimes spying on people could get them killed.
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I clicked on Google search this morning and this came up wishing me happy birthday. The rollover caption said 'Happy birthday, roger'
You're all seeing this today too, I guess :-)
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Roger Parkinson

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I fitted this in my car today. It is a car phone holder without the phone (I'm using the phone to take the photo). I looked quite hard to find one I wanted. It needed to clip onto the dash of my car without needing to cut a...
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Mike Davey's profile photoRoger Parkinson's profile photoJim Carver's profile photo
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+Roger Parkinson Hey man, read my note. I feel better now. Lovely about writing, ya know? Sometimes you just got to get some shit off of your chest.
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This is about AI and the rate of human progress and is well worth a read for its own sake. But it also sent me off on a tangent.

Our ability to predict how fast things will advance is awful. We usually underestimate progress and a good chunk of the article hammers this home. It gives science fiction writers a special problem because, well, that's exactly what they're trying to do (as well as tell a good story). There are about three choices:

1) set the story in the very near future. The Martian does this. The tech is pretty much what we have now and it isn't very far off. It might be too conservative, but errors like that are surely minimised.

2) ignore the problem. Star Trek pretty much does this. 300 years in the future and their automation is ridiculously weak. It is very difficult to provide people with vast technology and then present them with problems that are comprehensible to us today, so I understand this choice. We might also argue it is a bit lazy too. Depends how much you like Star Trek.

3) Go dystopian. After the great catastrophe much knowledge was lost, so the writer can ignore any tech that is inconvenient to the story. There are always a few interesting gadgets around to remind us this is science fiction, but no serious attempt is made to predict where we might be when the story is set.
These are valid enough answers, but they aren't predictions of the future in any practical sense.

And that sent me off on another tangent. I'm currently rereading Dune (actually Children of Dune) and using the above it counts as dystopian. It is set IIRC about 10k years in the future, a time which none of us alive today would recognise if we could get then. But in Dune there are two elements that keep it recognisable for us. One is the explicit rejection of 'thinking machines'. That removes all that plot-killing automation they would have by then. The other is the use of shields, personal force fields, which are impervious to bullets but not to a carefully wielded knife. So we get hand-to-hand fighting, no computers, and interstellar flight. I hadn't thought of this as dystopian before but it really is. It is just that the Great Catastrophe happens in the far future as well.

Enough of tangents, go read the article, it is very good.
The topic everyone in the world should be talking about.
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Brian Holt Hawthorne's profile photoSatyr Icon's profile photoIan Jefferies's profile photoRoger Parkinson's profile photo
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Somewhere in my attic I have a stash of ancient Analog magazines where Dune was originally serialised (yes I have those issues, though not the complete story, there are gaps).  Quite a few of the big names appear in there getting their start. I think Azimov isn't though. It is years since I looked at them. I didn't buy them myself. Someone older than I gave them to me when I was a kid.
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A surprisingly complete explanation of the known solutions to the Fermi Paradox.
#SETI 
Scientists estimate that there are over 100,000 intelligent alien civilizations in our galaxy alone—but we've never heard anything from any of them. Here are 13 possible explanations for why.
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So they'd question you for standing on the street placard? Gosh. I don't think that would happen here, unless you were blocking traffic or something. Actually not quite true. There was a much lamented incident back in the '90s when the Chinese première was here and people wanted to protest about stuff. They found themselves moved behind a screen of buses etc. But that would not happen now eg the Falun Gong are always on the street outside the Chinese embassy (I've seen them myself).

My family ran foul of the law in this area in the 1920s. One of them was convicted of smuggling 'seditious literature'. That branch was quite into the Labour Movement which was seen as a threat to the establishment, then they became the government. Times change.

Another branch was much more establishment, there was an incident where a bunch of farmers on horseback were armed and encouraged by the state to break a waterfront strike that was holding up exports of (of course) farm products. Not sure that my lot were actively involved but they would have been on the farmers side .

Good luck with the heat. We're glad of our wood fire this time of year. It's a cold blast this weekend, by our standards anyway. Nothing below 0C but us thin blooded folks shiver at anything below 10C.
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Its getting just a little tense in our house just now. Mrs is nearing the end of the first draft of her latest book. Don't hold your breath for it, there's a lot of work to be done after the first draft is done, but it is a serious milestone and the ending is... well I can't possibly say, of course. I suppose it is safe to say the end is the reason she's writing it.

But I recall exactly when she thought of that ending. We were on a walk on the edge of Lake Taupo, a few hours drive from home, and we always talk as we walk. Often we kick around ideas for stories, that's mostly me asking 'whatever happened to character X?' and so on. Sometimes I suggest something and sometimes she picks it up, adapts it beyond recognition and has to remind me afterwards where she got it from. But I didn't think of this one, it just popped out of her head as she was walking and I stopped in my tracks and said something like "wow!".

It's been a while in the making but she's actually getting it written down now. And she reads it to me as she goes, well a few days later when she's sure she's happy with that section. Even though I know what's going to happen I'm still tense.
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I didn't go that far. She's dependent on Microsoft Office, and Scrivener. I just cleaned up the bloat, made it start a little quicker, and got her to pay for a 21" and a 23" monitor. Her video chip on the laptop didn't have the horsepower for such pixel landscape, but she is like me, her eyesight failing so her 21/23 inchers only needed 1024x768 and she's happy.

Just means she can have scrivener covering one whole screen, and other documents or internet on the other.
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Mean is mean, but bullying is about power.
We've just passed a new law here in NZ that is designed to curtail cyber-bullying. It's a tricky area because of the tension between restricting free speech and, for example, ensuring we can take down messages exhorting vulne...
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I have misgivings about this type of legislation. "Anti-harassment" campaigners in social media (not necessarily in this country) have already abused the concept by conducting mass harassment and silencing of people who oppose their narrative, regardless of whether their target employed bullying language.
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Trying to train my sheep to be J2EE architects. This will take a while.
Introduction
I'm into building J2EE applications using Rule-Based frameworks. Boring? Okay, My wife and I live in an earth brick house designed to look like a Romanesque Abbey. It's out in the countryside and has a big garden, a domestic orchard and some pet sheep. I've made most of the furniture in the house out of native timbers.

In my spare time I write books (fiction) and publish them as ebooks.

If you follow me I'll take a look at your profile and, if you have a profile picture and some shares that look interesting I will follow you back. If you don't have those then I won't.
Bragging rights
Made most of the furniture in my house. So far only one thing has collapsed. Oh, it's two now. Heh. I also made the Galahad Manuscript, a poem calligraphed and illuminated and bound in leather. I also built the desk it sits on.
Education
  • Waikato University
    Computer Science, 1975 - 1977
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Work
Occupation
Software engineer (J2EE), writer and carrier of Mrs' shopping (um, I ought to have said that first).
Skills
Software (J2EE, C++, Unix, Microprocessors) with a special interest in rule based systems. The microprocessor stuff requires some electronics knowledge (so I know how to put a circuit together etc) plus some knowledge of 3D modeling for making various gadgets the micros are embedded into. I also write and self publish fiction.
Employment
  • Software engineer (J2EE), 2000 - present
  • Software Engineer (C/C++ Unix), 1990 - 2000
  • Software Engineer (Basic+ Vax Basic), 1978 - 1990
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Auckland
Previously
New Zealand
Excellent breakfast and friendly service
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
We just had coffee and a slice, but it was good coffee and a good slice. And service was friendly.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
5 reviews
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One of our regular spots. Flawless
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
cafe has good coffee & friendly staff
Public - 4 years ago
reviewed 4 years ago