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Bad-ass kangaroos

** Throw Another Helo on the Barbie, 'Mate? **

The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches
for Australia's armed forces.  As virtual reality simulators assume
larger  roles in helicopter combat training, programmers have gone to
great lengths  to increase the realism of their scenarios, including
detailed landscapes  and-in the case of the Northern Territory's 
Operation Phoenix - herds of  kangaroos (since disturbed animals 
might well give away a helicopter's position).

The head of the Defense Science & Technology Organization's Land
Operations/Simulation division reportedly instructed developers to
model the local marsupials' movements and reactions to helicopters.
Being efficient programmers, they just reappropriated some code 
originally used to model infantry detachment reactions under the same 
stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and 
increased the figures' speed of movement.

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American
pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low
flight during a simulation.  The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, 
and the visiting Americans nodded appreciatively then . . . . . . .







. . . .did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a 
hill and launched a barrage of Stinger missiles at the hapless 
helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten to remove that part
of the infantry coding.)

The lesson?  Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any
new object defined in terms of an old one inherits all the attributes.

Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onward have
strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to.


- From June 15, 1999 Defense Science and Technology Organization Lecture
Series, Melbourne, Australia, and staff reports.

Categories for this item: New, Computers, Programming, Military

netjeff.com -> Humor collection -> Bad-ass kangaroos