Friday, August 26, 2022

Burn ONe's Waterworld

By Bixyl Shuftan

Over the weekend from Friday August 19 to Sunday August 21, Burn ONe's "Waterworld" event took place. The event was a tribute to the 1995 post-apocalyptic movie in which the ocean levels have risen to the point of covering the entire planet. Those humans that survived the dwindling amount of land had to adapt by living at and off the sea, some on ships and boats, others on floating communities called "atolls" that are often centers of trading. 

All the land from the Baker Beach build weeks ago was gone. There were two spots one could land on the sim. One was a ship known as "The Deez" (the old Exxon Valdez, which in real life would be sold and later scraped years after the movie). 

 The other was the atoll, which I never really heard a name for.

Quite a bit of work went into it. No single artist was involved, but a number.

Underwater wasn't forgotten, and some builds were placed there. 

The highest point, which was probably a lookout tower.

Boats would go in and out through the front gates. 

There was a game area, which was in use one time I dropped by.

"Home sweet hovel."

Not quite sure what the people in the "Waterworld" movie would have thought of video arcade games.

I guess one would be calling the other side of the town. 

More than just fish for food, thanks to someone being able to get dirt of the ocean floor.

Looks like some builder decided to get a head.  

Still able to have treats.

Looking at the gate from the boat area.

The edge of the event area. Those who didn't want to dance could sit. 

There were gifts available to people.

During the three-day event itself, there would be a number of dance parties, with DJs playing music. 

With avatars of different kinds showing up.

Some dressed up for a water party of a different theme.

Burners being Burners, there were a few fire bombs tossed around. 

Among the DJs there was Grease Coakes

Someone tried flying the float plane during his session. 

 At Midnight of each of the three days, there would be a showing of the movie.

Mia Wallace, who was part of the event, would make a list of others involved.

WATERWORLDS BUILDERS & CONTRIBUTORs  who all collaborated to co-create a Waterworld Art Installation @ Burn ONe!
Ray, Mia, Xiija, Belli, Trinity, Sophie, Miranda, Vesi, Cobbie, Seraphe, Minka, Laurelle, Grease Coakes, Wisdom, Vickie, Zoren, Beasil, Lyric & Magii, Ron & Mocha, Nim & Jce, ELBY, Xiled, larree, Herbie, Panda

The build will last a few more days, at least until Monday August 29. I haven't heard of any future plans for Highup. So it's possible with the presumed burning of the atoll, the sim becomes much like the waterlike void sims and soon joins them. 
As for what's next for the Burn ONe group, there's talk of a summer solstice event for next year. What will they do before that. That remains to be planned out.
Addition: More pictures of Bunrn ON's Waterworld :

The SURLS are
Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 12, 2022

Melvin's Deathlands Adventures: Chapter One - The Begining

 By Bixyl Shuftan

For those who don't know, several years ago the Newser ran a series of amusing short stories about a hard-luck robber, nicknamed Clumsy Cooper, who never succeeded in getting a bank's money. The last story was of the bank having to close due to Linden Lab changing it's rules, and the bandit, whose real name is revealed to be Melvin, taking the moment to turn a new leaf and try a new direction in life. So what happened to him? Well, in this tale, we find out.

"So what'cha got for me, Spooky?"

"Something I found by the road, Baron."

The wolf and the panda met by the ruins of the old train station. As usual, the Baron was dressed in camo pants, an old fishing hat, and had an AK-47 slung over his shoulder. Shadow had on regular pants, a plaid jacket with a shotgun slung over his shoulder, and had on his head an old "rice paddy" Asian style hat. Not too far away were three old crates.

"Where did you find 'em?"

"By the old road. They were in an old truck that somehow got buried. It was on it's side. Maybe there used to be a ditch there, and it fell over."

"So what did you want for them?"

"Well, since we're buddies, we can work it out once we see what's in them."

"Any clue at all?"

"Well, I did find a clipboard. It mentioned something about evidence against a Colonel Judge and a Major Cohen for running a prostitution ring?"

"A what ring? Usually you wear a ring, not use a truck to move one."

"Heh, 'prostitute was a fancy word for hooker before the nukes fell. Ring, I think they meant something like a hidden bawdyhouse."

"Then why didn't you say so, you Chi-Com spy?" Baron Rebel grinned.

Spooky grinned back, "Ha ha, you don't know what a prostitute is, yet know what Chi-Com means?"

The wolf chuckled, "Let's just see what's in these things?"

They went to one crate, opened it with a crowbar, and looking inside, "What are all these pink, red, and black strips of cloth?" the Baron asked, "Some of it looks a little like underwear, but I've never seen undies so colorful."

"I guess that's what the hookers were wearing, before the collapse."

The wolf held one up, "I have to admit, thinking about it, they'd look sexier in these. But I can't see how they would last very long." They went to the second crate, and opening it, Rebel reached in, and pulled out something else, "Well, THIS isn't underwear, but, why would handcuffs have pink velvet around them?"

The panda chuckled, "The girls my Uncle hired for Cousin Bert's coming of age birthday party could have used them."

Rebel chuckled, "You'll have to tell me about that one." He looked around in the contents some more, "Hmmm, whips, chains ... Were the hookers a security squad in disguise?"

"There's a lot we don't know about the before times." Spooky then went to the third crate, "This was the heaviest one. There must be some heavy equipment of some kind in here."

"Maybe it's some kind of heavy gun. Let's take a look."

Opening one end of the crate, the found one end of some kind of cylinder. "What's this?" The wolf asked, "Some kind of container?"

"Could be." The panda quickly drew back his hand, making a face, "Wow, damn! That thing's super cold to the touch."

"Guess it's not weapons. Who freezes guns?"

"Who'd want to make sure something was frozen for such a long time?" The two tore away at the crate, and soon the contents were revealed, an eight-foot tall cylindrical-shaped object of metal and glass, with a chain around it. There was something inside, but it wasn't clear as to what.

"Found some more paperwork," Shadow went through the pages, "Experimental cryogenic unit."

"Cry over what?"

Shadow chuckled, "Cryogenics was experiments about freezing animals, and people, to put in a kind of suspended animation and brought back later."

"Why would anyone go through that?"

"The idea was it would be an option for someone who was dying from a sickness with no cure." Shadow looked over the notes some more, "But looks like this guy was a test subject, in good health."

"I don't suppose he was a scientist or someone who could help us understand some of the fancier equipment we have?"

"No such luck. By the looks of all this, an average guy who volunteered."

"Well, darn. Oh well, maybe he can tell us a little more about life before the bombs fell. Can we get him out of there without killing him."

"I think I can." Spooky read the papers some more, then pushed a few buttons, "Looks like this was made simple to turn off," he pulled a switch, "there!" There was the humming of machinery, and soon the contents became more visible through the glass. It was a raccoon dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. He was somewhat thin, with not much muscle or fat.

"Looks like it's working. Wonder who he is?"

"Someone named Melvin Cooper."

It was then that a woman, a leopardess, walked over, waving, "Hey Rebbie, we're going to be late for the party at the Fallout Shelter. Hey, what's all this?"

"Oh, some stuff we found Ays."

"Looks like you got a bit of a haul." She went over to the first crate, and pulled out a revealing leather outfit, "And who is this for?"

"You if you want it. We didn't know what was in the crates."

Ays grinned, "Well, how about I wear it for the party if you hurry up, and you too Spooky. No use you getting left out of the fun."

The two men followed her, leaving the cryo chamber to thaw out unattended.

*  *  *  *  *

"Oh, kiss me Melvin! Yes, that's it!"

Melvin was in a hugging embrace with a cute raccoon girl. She was so cute, he couldn't stop kissing her.

"Where have you been my whole life?" She smiled at him, "Maybe we can go somewhere more, comfortable." She took him by the hand.

Melvin smiled, anticipating a happy night. Then came a beeping noise. Cell phone maybe? Then he noticed his vision blurring, the image of the cute girl before him fading. Then all was dark, with just the beeping noise continuing.

What happened, he wondered. Then he realized, it was just a dream and he was waking up. He felt disappointed, wondering if he could get back to sleep.

He then opened his eyes.

Where was he?

At first, Melvin wondered if he was in some abandoned building, like he'd snuck into to spend the night in the days he was planning heists, or in later days after he gave up his days of robbery to sleep in when he didn't have even enough for the flophouse motels. Then he realized this place wasn't just abandoned, but falling apart. Much of the walls were gone. Dust and dirt covered the floor. There was some equipment in here, but aged. Same with a couple trucks here, looking abandoned.

Then he realized he was looking at all this through some glass, or was it clear plastic? He looked around, and realized he was in some kind of container. He tried to move his hand, and it felt slow, like it was moving through, fluid?
In a panic, he began pounding on the glass. But the fluid slowed down his hands. Wondering what to do, he began feeling around inside. He finally found some object with a solid metal end just above the glass. He quickly grabbed it, wrenched it free of a couple plastic fasteners that held it in place, and slammed it against the side off the container. A crack appeared in the glass. He hit it again, and again. More cracks appeared and grew in size.

Finally, the side shattered. Melvin quickly stuck his head out and tried to gasp for air? The result has him bending over, coughing, and fluid like that from the container came out.

Finally, he stopped coughing. He stepped out of the container, still wet from being in it's fluid. Was it even water? He tried to recall what happened? It had been months since he had a job of any kind, and he was broke and hungry. He finally heard the military was looking for volunteers for some kind of experiment, and would pay those they selected, he signed up. Soon, they told him he was among those chosen, but he'd have to sign a confidentiality agreement before he could proceed, with the penalty of being arrested for lying under oath if he blabed.

Once he signed the agreement to keep quiet, he was told scientists the military was cooperating with had made a cryogenics machine, but it needed testing. Animal tests had been successful, so they were moving up to human. He'd be frozen for a year, and then paid the amount if he'd been working the entire time 24/7. While it was minimum wage, at least it was tax free. And *maybe* they'd put a good word for him in applying for a government job of some kind, whether it was the post office or janitor at a rocket base. The last thing he could remember was being in a medical office and being injected with something to make him go to sleep.

And now, here he was, next to this container that moments ago had held him, in some old, dilapidated building.

Actually, not everything here was old. He noticed a couple crates, with "US ARMY" in faded letters on them. Strangely, they held women's lingire and other cheeky lady's outfits plus some bondage gear. What was that doing in Army crates? He recalled something about being shown a slide show of what the science of cryogenics was, and occasionally there was a picture of a scantily-clad girl in them, followed by the officer saying "Um, nevermind that one."

Come to think of it, he recalled overhearing a major and the colonel in charge of the operation talking, whispering something about "keeping the girls secret from the MPs." What were they planning? This looked too big for some secret bachelor party.

He began to look around. The surrounding buildings looked just as run down as this one. The place looked like some kind of ghost town. Why would the Army take him here?

Nothing was making sense.

"May I help you?"

Melvin turned, and after a second, recoiled in horror. This was a man, a dark-haired human male, in a doctor's outfit, but he looked like something out of a horror movie. His outfit was stained with blood from his lower legs to shirt collar, and so was the huge knife in his hand.

"You seem a little jumpy. Are you all right."

"I-I-I-I ..." Melvin could only stammer.

"Perhaps you need to come to my, office," the bloody man stepped forward.

That was enough for Melvin. He turned tail and ran out the building. He saw a road leading out of town, and headed to it, running at top speed.

The doctor could only watch as the man sped down the road leading out of town and into the wasteland. Then his attention came to two men approaching, the Baron and Spooky.

"Hey Dr. Mengle," spoke the wolf, "I was just about to look for you."

"What happened, did someone need patching up after a run=in with the mutants or raiders?"

"No. Have you ever heard of cry-o-gen-hicks?"

"I remember the name, but not much else."

"Well, Spooky found a guy who was frozen and is thawing out right now."

"Then you need a shovel, not a doctor ... Wait, if he was still frozen, how did you get him here before he thawed out and started to decompose?"

"He ain't dead. Apparently this cry-o-gen-hicks was an experiment just before the nukes fell to try to freeze someone, and bring 'em back alive later. And Spooky found one of the volunteers."

"And where is this volunteer?"

"Over there in that building." The three men went there, and found the now broken capsule.

"What? He got out?" The Baron was surprised.

"It must've brought him out faster than expected," Spooky commented.

"I don't suppose this fellow was a raccoon in a leather jacket and jeans?" the doctor asked.

"Yeah how did you - " the wolf then realized, "You saw him?"

"That I did. I think the blood from my recent operations gave him quite a fright. He took the nearest road out of town, running quite fast."

"Damn! I wanted to talk to the guy. It's not every day you get to talk to someone at least ninety years old."

"There's more to it than that," Spooky commented, "Since the bombs fell, life's been a struggle to survive, especially for the first couple generations. We've forgotten a LOT from how things worked, to history, to how people simply lived in those days. Even someone with casual knowledge could tell us plenty to help fill the gaps. But if he really did run into the wasteland, he may be over his head in dealing with it's hazards."

"Furs are better than humans at handling the places with radiation," Rebel commented, "The mutants, well without a gun he better be able to run fast."

"I don't think that will be a problem," the doctor commented, "At least not until he's without food and water for too long."

"Well, let's see if we can find this Melvin Cooper."

*  *  *  *  *

After running for a while, Melvin stopped to catch his breath. Looking behind him, the ghost town was well behind him. He couldn't go back as that creepy guy was likely waiting for him with whatever sharp knives and other instruments he had. So the only thing he could do was move on.

Feeling his clothes, he noticed they were just about dry now, having gone through the air for a while. He also felt something in his pockets. He found a few personal belongings in his pockets, inside some plastic bags. He had his wallet back, as well as some change and pocket knife. He also found a smartphone. Attached was a note, "In case you wake up early, you can use this to keep from getting bored." There was also a number to dial, which he tried, only to be met with silence. It was then he noticed the "NO SIGNAL" message. So using it to browse the Internet was out. At least among the apps was "outdoor survival tips." There were also a few others such as "basic hand to hand combat" and "crafting weapons in the wilderness 101." There were also several various novels digitized, as well as The Encyclopedia Britannica. Dry and boring. He wondered about the batteries, and checked the underside. He saw some fine print, "Military-grade batteries, good for 120 years." Well, at least that wasn't a problem.

He had no idea where he was. And since going back wasn't an option, there was only forward to go, and he continued on the old, beaten highway. It shouldn't be too long before he got to a gas station, and get himself an ice cold beer.

He had little idea what lay ahead.

To be continued,

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 25, 2022

How to Prevent And Deal With Doxing

By Angel Fencer

What is Doxing

Doxing is the unwanted sharing of personal identifying information(PII). It’s an illegal practice some people do. It its mostly with malicious intent.

The info includes but is not limited to:

Pictures of you in real life
Real life name
Date of birth

Motives of people who dox

Most people dox cause they disagree with the user. But sometimes there is an discriminatory motive behind it.

In my case, I am transgender and the doxers where trying to get me to end my life cause they disliked. I protected another trans person in a Discord VC.

I been Doxed HELP me

If your doxed please do the following:

1. Remove all personal information from Google refer to this article:

2. Private your Facebook and remove your real life information from any social media you can (or delete/privatize it).

3. Do not be afraid to take legal action Doxing is a criminal offense and you have all the rights to call the police and file legal lawsuits over this.

4. Do not give anything to the doxers. They likely WILL send your info regardless of you sending money and may ask a ransom. This is a scam, just report it to the police.

5. If your passwords are in the dox please change your password on all sites and use Lastpass,Dashlane or another password generator and only use a master password for them.

6. Avoid interaction with the doxers, they are dangerous as they have your information. AVOID contact.

7. Report the content to the platform it happened on.

8. Warn your neighbors and potentially move out of your house if your address in the leak

9. (Optional) Change your legal name

10. Change your phone number(if leaked)

    And remember you can contact me in SL or on Discord I am out to help people as much as I can you are not alone in this stay determined and strong don't let the doxers win.  

My own story of being doxed

So I've been doxed first by people of a certain anarchy server in Minecraft. Then later it was made worsen by transphobic users on Skeppy (A Minecraft trolling/prank channel’s Discord/Minecraft Server: Invadedlands) cause they hated I defended another trans person in the VC.

It all started when I was young I made a Minecraft account using my real name before I changed it a few times until my current one. Since Mojang and Namemc keeps history, they easily found my name then found my Facebook and got a picture of when I was 13, and my passwords by hacking my deceased Father’s Google account. It's despicable how they also doxed my Dad, my not so nice half brother and even drawn over the picture of my father after I dragged them into a Group chat on Discord with an friend who defended me. He later stated, "Do me a favor and not introduce me to these people there horrible and I want nothing to do with these insane freaks." I couldn't agree more about how delusional they are.

For security I won't include the logs as they include real-life info of me and my family. They've been spreading it on my old (now defunct) Discord server (I revived my old one and that one is still alive and active) after which I closed the server for good.

The amount of transphobic slurs in the chat and the fact they wanted me to end my life makes me worried they did this to other people who might not been so lucky as me.

These people did this on a platform known as Discord. While the platform is amazing, the fact they can make unlimited accounts using VPNs and such is terrifying, especially with the threats. Anyway they still are trying to get to me while I nearly forgot they existed as it was in 2017-2020 and I moved on from those clowns. I just wonder why they keep doing this to me while I just want to be left alone. They are really showing signs of psychopathy there. I just hope they get arrested before anyone gets hurt 'cause of them.

Still thinking of how he said "Its never safe with me around, better sleep with the pillow on the face tonight." I of course did not nor did I respond to them.

And a note to the doxers if they read this: Please stay FAR AWAY from me and my family! We won't hesitate to get you guys in a pickle if it's required for our safety. Also get a life besides harassing people online. Oh and see that network cable? Pull it out of your router before you get yourself in jail.

Angel Fencer

Monday, July 11, 2022

Burn ONe

By Bixyl Shuftan

Many in Second Life are familiar with the Burn2 festival that takes place every October, in addition to the yearly event in real life that inspired it: Burning Man. This festival takes place every year in the Black Rock Desert a couple hours north of Reno Nevada. But in it's first few years, it took place at a beach in San Francisco: Baker Beach. Recently, I was informed by one of the Burners about a place made as a tribute to these early days: Burn ONe in the Highup sim, described as "A celebration and tribute on June 21 to the Baker Beach Summer Solstice events of 1986-1988."

Dropping by, I arrived at a spot in the northeast corner of the sim, with a road in front of me, going south. Behind me was a theater. 

To my left at the eastern edge  were some hills and to my right was some grass, rocky soil, and trees.

Almost halfway down the road was a wooden pathway, with a nearby sign calling it the Sand Ladder, leading down the slope and onto the beach, with a bike rezzer nearby. 

At the south end of the road was a painting of cartoon character Wile E. Coyote painting a tunnel opening over the rock. 

There was also a news truck nearby. It seems the Burners caught the attention of local media.

To the right was a dirt trail down to the beach. 

Before getting to the beach was a parking lot, full of various cars, vans, trailers, motorbikes, and a huge RV. 

There was also a porto-potty and not far away down a trail an outhouse. 

I also saw a garbage can, of which the local wildlife was taking advantage of some thrown-out food. 

Going onto the beach, one could either take the rest of the trail or hop on a zip-line.

At this end was a group of tents and chairs. There were also some floats in the water and a couple surfboard rezzers. The western fourth of the sim was mostly ocean and surf, with some rocks.

The tent area would go halfway down the beach, with the largest tent roughly in the middle of the sim.

It had a few chairs, lockers, a bookshelf, terrarium and plants, and a few other things inside, including someone's cat. Next to the tend had a few tables and some cakes and champagne. 

Nearby were a couple piles of logs, arranged to light a bonfire, with a couples danceball rezzer over an open area of sand nearby (while there, a brief flaming animation erupted on the beach). 

This was where the Sand Ladder path from the paved road led to the beach.

A little further down was a smaller lit fire area with crates around it. 

Then came a cave.

It had a rope ladder to one side, which led up to a camper and an overhead tent, with a large statue of a howling coyote nearby. 

Near the edge of the sim was a build of the Golden Gate Bridge, with an "Under Construction" sign. 

Next to it were a number of floats.

The sim was owned by Wisdom d'Avi (Wisdom Davi). We met at the camper and tent over the cave, which was her own place in the sim. To begin with, she told me "This sim is not really related to Burn2."  I asked her where she got the idea for it, and she answered, "The idea came to me after the last event, Burnal Equinox. I was Placement Lead for that event. and I really had a great time doing it. I was kind of still in high energy mode at the end of the event and I wanted to do something else. I knew the summer soltice was approaching and the connection between Burning Man as it's where it all began. So I decided to rent a sim for two weeks and open it up the burner community to reanact the Baker Beach Burns (laugh). That is how it began, June 7." She would remind me of the name "Burn ONe," the "N" in "ONe" was deliberately capitalized, so it could also be read as "Burn On."

So how did two weeks turn into a month and counting? Well, there's some trouble with the Burners, "I don't know if you are aware, but Burn2 is going through some issues." The very day after the sim opened, the Deep Hole sim was closed, "They closed all communication and the Burner Community was left kind of homeless. So Baker Beach became the focus. Peeps came and set up camps." 

Others have contributed to the upkeep of the land, "At the end of the two weeks, a burner approached me and said they would like to contribute but remain anonymous. They added another 2 weeks to the tier. And there have been four additional contributions since by Jeff Olhoeft (jolhoeft), Indy (DoctorKen) Dz Questi, and Cobbie (CobwebHDC). I think we are paid to the end of July, when Burn 2 is schedule to reopen. Burners are generous peeps, and the experience here has been very rewarding. My intention was to do just the two weeks for the Summer Soltice, but it's become bigger. Picture another universe where the Man does not have to leave Baker Beach but evolves as an annual event there."

I then asked how much have others contributed to the building, pointing out the nearby coyote statue having been made by Mia Wallace (Mia Quinote). Wisdom answered, "When I opened the sim I set up a xl sheet with different categories like: terraforming, beach building, bridge building, landscaping, etc. So peeps just signed up under the categories and then contributed. Jeff and Dr. Dave did most of the terraforming. Mia, Cobbie and Rayvynex contributed to the landscaping, JT Castanea set up the waves, XiledSol pupulated the landscape beneath the sea, Miranda (MirandaNomad) organizes the movie nights on floats events and Dz built the Space Station. Minka (Saraminka Nova) set up the Zip-line. Trinity Rooney, Belli (Bellibutton Jewell) and Xiija have provided beach and other toys scattered about. While Candace (DanceHike) set up picnic tables. I know I am probably going to leave peeps out and I apologize in advance. But everything you see here has been created through group participation."

Of the events at the sim, she tols me, "All the events we have had have been more or less impromptu. Most of the events have been spontaneous. The two weeks leading up to the summer solstice we had gatherings every night. Dr. Dave (ThomasRaowulf) was building the man effigy and he would have test burns. The most memorable one for me are a couple. One night we broke out into a jammin session. And one night Cuga (Cuga Rajal) provided the stream. I think it was test burn night. It all came together. Also, the last one we had the 4th of July. That one was magical. But every time a bunch of us get together here, it tunes into a memorable event." Of the two log piles not far from the large tent, "The piles of logs are important. They represent the embers remains from the Summer Solstice Man Burn."

Wisdom would show me a few other things. Someone had told me about something in the sim that allowed one to swim 700 meters offshore. I asked about it, and she showed me a small wooden sigh next to the water, "Touch to swim." 

Doing so, (after putting on some trunks), I ended up in the water. I was able to swim far beyond the edge of the sim. While I couldn't say anything out in the open, I still could in IMs. Wisdom would also go under the water and turn a wave machine on. 

We then went to the surfboard rezzers, and one could take on two people. She would tell me one of the two could do kite surfing.

We checked out the movie projector near the landing area. "This video was really what inspired this whole Baker Beach idea," Wisdom told me, "We also RPd the police officers and drummer on the solstice burn (laughter)." 

She would also point out a yellow cylinder not far away from the landing area. "One of our Burners built a space station," she told me. 

Going up, it was a space-station club, complete with a DJ booth with some fancy tools, and had a few levels and floors that were transparent in places.

Of future plans, Wisdom told me, "We going to plan one major event before the end of the month." But beyond that, she was uncertain, "I don't know really. Most of us want to see Baker Beach continue. However, it's very expensive. I would like to see it continue as well. This sim will close down at the end of july, but we may regroup on another sim if we can find a way to make more economical where maybe more people can contribute."

So for those who desire to see this tribute to the early days of Burning Man, you have until Sunday July 31.

Bixyl Shuftan