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Sunday, August 26, 2012

FLASH! ExDepart Still Alive

In the Real World we have ants, cockroaches, fleas and rats.  Despite centuries of efforts by mankind, these pests are still with us.  The best we can do seems to be a temporary holding action, and that is only achieved by ceaseless pest control warfare.

Recently, a griefing object called ExDepart was released into the wilds of Second Life, and it seems to have the hardiness of a cockroach.  Here's how it works...

You get a message and an offer that reads something like, object .::ExDepart::. owned by Lindal Kidd has offered you "Free Gift 2012".  Accept/Decline/Mute?  If you accept the offer, you get a new object in your inventory.  "Ooh, a gift box!" you think, and rez the object.

Immediately, it disappears.  It becomes invisible and teleports itself to 4,000 meters, where it begins sending out its offer of "Free Gifts" to anyone in the sim.  Because it came from your inventory, it lists YOU as the owner.  So anyone who knows you will probably accept the item, and feel safe in rezzing it.  Also, anyone who Abuse Reports the item as a griefing object will report YOU.

Some people have claimed that ExDepart empties their inventories, and drains their $L account balance.  This is the sort of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that gets spread through the rumor grapevine.  ExDepart is pernicious and highly annoying, but not diabolical.  Even so, I am puzzled that Linden Lab has not deleted all of them from the grid and from people's inventories.  They have not, so if you encounter ExDepart, you'll have to deal with it yourself.

1.  If you are offered anything by ExDepart, decline it, and notify the land owner of ExDepart's presence.
2.  If you accept it, and/or find it in your inventory, do not rez it.  Just throw it in the Trash.
3.  If you rez it, turn on Show Transparent, and turn on Beacons/Show scripts.  Go up to 4,000 meters and look for it.  When you find it, delete it.  There may be more than one, so look carefully.
4.  If you recognize the person that ExDepart claims as its owner, contact them and tell them to get rid of the damn thing.

The creator of ExDepart has supposedly stated that it was merely a scripting experiment that got away from him.  I don't know about that...but in this one case, if you decide to submit an Abuse Report, I would Abuse Report the object's creator, not its owner.

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