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 the their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and -- in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix -- herds of kangaroos (since groups of disturbed animals might well give away a helicopters position).
The head of the Defense Science and Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulations division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reaction to helicopters.
Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachments 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 Americans nodded appreciatively . . . and 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 the remove "that" part of the infantry coding).
The lesson? Objects are defined with certain attributes, and any new object defined in terms of the old one inherits all the attributes. The embarrassed programmers had learned to be careful when reusing object-oriented code, and the Yanks left with the utmost respect for the Australian wildlife.
Simulator supervisors report that pilots from that point onwards have strictly avoided kangaroos, just as they were meant to. Not breaking news, but it just turned up, so I thought you all might enjoy it.
I'm filing this in Local news for now. I seem to recall a threat from Al Qaeda to use wildfires as a terror attack, but every dry season seems to bring out the firebugs. So, FWIW.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have arrested a 39-year-old man suspected of starting a fire near Malibu Creek State Park.
Deputy Byron Ward said Suren Sahakyan was taken into custody around 5 p.m. Saturday by deputies responding to a call that someone had started a fire on the shoulder of a road. A witness who reported seeing the incident put out the fire.
Ward said Sahakyan was was booked for investigation of arson and held on $75,000 bail.
Perchance these wild fires in heavily populated areas at a time when the insurance racket, er, business is in dire straights and our credit markets in a shambles could be terrorism.
AQ ie Binny, have always thought of economic destruction of the US as the way to defeat the great satan.
Posted by: James Carville ||
If someone sets a fire intentionally they should be burned alive. The amount of lives put at risk could easily put a wildfire up there with a mass killing. And you have the value of destroyed property and the lives that were terrified, endangered and disrupted. We have been far too tolerant of firebugs year after year.
Throw the book: Reckless endangerment x all affected, assaulting police officers, assaulting firefighters, stick'em with the bill civil cases, bail based on estimated damage, hunting without license and illegal weapon, eff'n illegal parking etc.
Otherwise, shackle the legs and drop him off at the headfire with a flyswatter.
Heart goes out to everyone affected by these fires with lost homes and being downwind. This Witness saved a lot by taking the initiative and putting the fire out - get this Witness a nice plaque from Mayor, Chief Fire/Police, nice little golden extenguisher emblem and such; something to put on the wall to show the kids.
i think this is just a solo nut. our enemies are profoundly inept and the subtlety of thinking a wildfire would push the insurance industry over the economic cliff is outside of their demonstrated skill set.
Posted by: Abu do you love ||
i think that once the fires are out and the path is backtracked, the source will be a soon-to-be- lost-to-foreclosure-insurance fraud that got out of control.
the OBL scenario is plausible only because it has been mentioned for a couple of years.