November 3, 2018

The death of Flickr?

Since Flickr (the online photo sharing service) was purchased by SmugMug, a lot of people have wondered what the new ownership would do with its new shiny toy. Well yesterday, the other shoe dropped and here's what Flickr users are now being greeted with:

While 1,000 free photos sounds like a lot, the longtime integration between Second Life and Flickr (with Linden Lab having an official presence on Flickr) means that it really isn't. Many Second Life users have Flickr accounts with TENS of thousands of photos. Per Flickr, come February 2019, anyone OVER the 1000 photo limit who does not upgrade to Flickr Pro at $50/year, will have their photos deleted. It's not clear from Flickr's blog how they'll determine which photos get ditched.

Another worry is that a LOT of work available through Creative Commons is hosted under free accounts at Flickr. It's not clear what will happen to that content although Creative Commons is said to be working with Flickr on solutions.

Second Life users have long had another outlet for photo sharing called Snapzilla. It's a sister site to the virtual worlds online forum site, (previously I reached out to the owner/developer of both, Cristiano (aka Cristiano Midnight) who had these observations:
"I have been following what's going on with Flickr - there's an active thread here ( about it. While I think their 1000 image limit is still fairly generous, SL Flickr users are definitely looking for alternatives. Snapzilla has always been focused on SL (though I'm expanding it right now to include other worlds including sinespace, Sansar and OpenSim grids), so it's a good fit for SL bloggers and photographers. It already has 13 years of SL history on it. 
I just recently moved Snapzilla to new hosting and split the actual image hosting off from the main site to make it more manageable and scalable (web hosting can be expensive, while image storage is fairly cheap). Transferring 600k images was a challenge, but it all worked out well. 
I think there may be an influx of some new users to Snapzilla from Flickr - I'm not concerned about the impact really. The site could handle it if they do decide to switch, even if it is a large volume of new users."
I'm am personally not someone who feels compelled to document every moment of my existence -- either in Second Life OR in real life. So it's hard for me to imagine accumulating tens of thousands of photos in the first place. But for those that do, I'm sure there's some very real angst involved. After all, Flickr did promise everyone a free terrabyte forever. Storage is cheap, user retention is harder. We'll see how it all shakes out.

October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018

Cobbled together from 3 outfits and some extras. Skin is by Lumae. Makeup was a freebie from SLM. Lara body.

September 12, 2018

Specular madness with Advanced Lighting Model in Second Life

Recently I've been playing around more with Second Life's Advanced Lighting Model or ALM. While it's great for photography (enabling cool shadows and all), it wreaks havoc on items with materials that have specular highlights built-in. And while many techies complain about ALM (it can also render mesh weirdly), the default is to turn ALM ON whenever graphics are set above "High" in the Second Life Viewer.

What led me down a very deep ALM rabbit hole was a new dress put out by Hilly Haalan (HH). Honestly, I love Hilly Haalan's outfits. They are reasonably priced and most are HUD-driven with amazing color variations. So for the price of one color-way in a line like Blueberry, you get 20 or more colors and textures from HH. In fact, her HUD textures often make the same exact outfit look completely different with a mouse click or two.

#1 Specular turned on, ALM on
So here's the new dress, Felicia, by HH. You can see in the ad that it basically overlays various colors onto a mesh base.

Now I normally demo everything I can. But in general, HH's outfits have almost always been perfect out of the box when it comes to my Maitreya Lara mesh body.

#2 Specular on, ALM off
Well take a look at the photo of me on the right wearing the same dress in the ad above. (Violet color applied but it happens with all colors.) What happened to all those nice even colors? After posting a few Gyazos to two different mesh body groups (Maitreya Lara Friends and Mesh Body Addicts), I finally got my answer from some smart person. "You have ALM turned on, the dress uses materials and specular is set too high for ALM." Ohhh. OK. I have no idea what you're talking about lol.

After a few explanations in chat, it sorta made sense to me.  So I ended up sending a notecard to Hilly Haalan about the issue. Mega kudos to her. She made a custom version of Felicia with specular removed. So I can wear the dress with ALM turned on and it will still look normal.

 #3 Specular removed, ALM on
As you can see between the last two photos, there is very little difference in the appearance of the dress. However, what you do see is that my skin looks a little more natural and slightly shiny in #3 with ALM turned on. So I don't know if this is a lesson for designers but for sure it's a good one for shoppers. DEMO and make sure you look at the item you're buying with ALM ON and ALM OFF.

And now the usual stuff. Skin is Eirtae by Lumae, hair is Cray by .b, shoes are KC Amelia wedges and of course the dress is Felicia by Hilly Haalan. The link below is the SLURL to her main store.

Hilly Haalan mainstore

July 31, 2018

Fantastic bargain rigged mesh mermaid tail

I've always had a thing for playing mermaid in Second Life. From the early days of attachable fins and system skirts made to look like mer tails to sculpties with deformed avatars, I've tried just about every type. Of course it helped that a couple of boyfriends were into mer-life. It's so much fun to cuddle underwater. :D

BareRose Black Scale Mermaid
Anyway, my favorite mer avatars are from BareRose. As you can see from the photo on the left, they are gorgeous and amazingly detailed.

BUT, they are also incredibly complex. Wearing a full B@R mermaid outfit WITH a mesh body and all the accessories will easily push your avatar complexity into the stratosphere. Well for me that's around 165,000 and enough to render you invisible to a lot of people.

So I also have two mesh mer tails I use just for less complex situations or where I don't want to wear the full B@R mess. The drawback is that they are both relatively early rigged mesh and kinda clunky where the top of the scales meet the your pelvis. It's even worse with a mesh body like Maitreya Lara.

You can see that the blue tail has this added layer of fishy fat making it look like I'm really just wearing a wetsuit disguised as a tail. Which, it sorta is.

Generic mesh tail
OK fast forward to today where I went to an underwater event and of course, wanting to impress, I wore my BareRose tail and all the goodies. But there was that 165K complexity again. Yikes. Thankfully there weren't too many of us there and everyone could see everyone. BUT still.

That set me on a SL Marketplace hunt for something a bit simpler but better than my ancient mesh tail. After hitting a couple of real clunkers (thank you Demo) and some tails advertised as rigged that weren't, I finally found a simple tail that didn't suck.

In fact, the detail in the tail scales and such is every bit as good as B@R but without all the accessories and add-ons. Fellow peoples of the mer persuasion, I give you the prosaicly named "[ReS] Fitmesh Purple Mermaid" lol. Even the package looks cheesy. BUT, the tail is very good AND it comes in 5 standard sizes plus Maitreya, Belleza and Slink versions. Up close the scales have real depth and shine. What would make it perfect would be for the scales to be scalloped where it meets your pelvis so it doesn't just look like a slip-on bottom. An added bonus is that it comes with a decent mermaid AO with real control buttons. Yay!

[ReS] Rigged Mesh Tail
Oh did I mention this tail is only $65L? No, I didn't. It is. Really. It's prettier than a lot of tails that sell for 10x that price. This one is NOT available in DEMO form so you'll have to trust me that it works. You can click on the photo below to see it up close -- my body is Maitreya Lara. Oh and the mesh is auto-hide for Lara which is cool to. And tah dah, my total complexity with this tail is only (hee) about 75K.

The one thing I wasn't keen on is the included hair. It's a very basic and clunky mesh that didn't cover even my generic hair base. So the hair shown above is Rezology Wavy Hime re-colored with purple on the dark blond base. Trust me, it looks wayyy better than the included hair.

Anyway, check it out on SLM for yourself here: [ReS] Purple Mermaid Tail

July 28, 2018

InWorldz dead! ....Or is it?

I have an account on InWorldz but I've never spent much time there. However, many people have full sims and playgrounds there because, well, it's hugely less expensive to have a million prims there that it is in Second Life.

So I was shocked to see a note from one of my SL groups (Underground) that they were facilitating migrating template purchases made InWorldz to SL. What??

Turns out that a royal mess-up of some sort is indeed potentially sounding the death knell for InWorldz. Which is so sad. It really was a decent alternative to Second Life.

I've read through all the various posts and I'm not sure exactly where the whole thing stands. There's a GoFundMe campaign -- which seems to have raised the requisite $$ to restart Inworldz but there's also no update from the owner if they are going ahead. Anyway, here's some reading for your weekend. :(

From the owner:

And the GoFundMe page:

You figger it out.

July 23, 2018

The Path to Madness -- An H.P. Lovecraft Festival

I found the Innsmouth sim, which is a slice of Second Life weirdness on steroids, about 3 years ago. If you haven't explored it, do. Fantastic build, volunteer supported and really downright creepy. While it helps to be familiar with the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his gothic horror tales (Google "Cthulhu"), Innsmouth stands on its own as the recreation of a small, New England fishing village where something is terribly wrong and evil.

So what better way to celebrate than with LoveFest 2018 running August 17-26. This 7th annual event is focused on all things creepy and Lovecraft-ian (is that a word?). Held in honor of his 128th birthday, LoveFest 2018 features shops, fun things to do & see, entertainment (DJs, live music, dance troupes, etc.) plus there's an interactive mystery to solve. You get to figure out what led one poor soul into the clutches of madness by following clues. As the sponsors put it:
Find yourself at the notorious Arkham Sanitarium, where a particular patient is beset with a dark, quite disturbing mental affliction…
Discover clues as to what brought this pathetic lunatic to his state of crazed despair, and follow a trail of clues. Find yourself at places such as the prestigious Miskatonic University, or the back alleys of some less-traveled, shadier parts of town. Perhaps a journey to Dunwich village or the dread fishing port of Innsmouth is in order, maybe even further off beyond New England.
I covered some of the things in Innsmouth three years ago. The SIM has simply gotten better every year.

SLURL to Innsmouth -

For more info:

July 4, 2018

4th of July Dollarbie Romper

Elusive 4th of July Romper - $1L
Sadly I got a late start on an Independence Day outfit since I was super busy yesterday in RL and had a party to got to today. Oh well. If you still feel like celebrating, this super cute little mesh romper by Elusive is only $1L. Sure it's a template (I have a different version of it in inventory) but the price is right! Here I've combined it with KC Amelia wedges which I colored to be red, white & blue! Gotta love KC shooz -- the HUD controls are amazing with individual coloring of straps, wedge, insole, leaves, and outsole.

Rest of the outfit is Kizzie hair by Truth, Maitreya Lara body, my go-to Lumae Eirtae skin and red glasses by Preda. Hope you likey!

SL Marketplace links:

Elusive July 4th Romper Gift

KC Amelia Wedges

June 21, 2018

Dollarbie - Black Swan "Sweet Sin" Mesh Negligee

OK this $1L SL Marketplace negligee / teddy is just amazing. It's perfectly textured, no glitches and looks super cute! Yay, it's not see-through! Seems like 90% of the lingerie in SL shows your kitty or nips and it gets old. And look at those bows? Just made for untying!

Anyway, this gorgeous little piece of meshy goodness comes in Belleza Isis /  Freya, Maitreya Lara and Slink Physique / Hourglass sizes. Sorry you non-mesh body girls, no standard avatar sizes.

Link to Marketplace below:

Black Swan "Sweet Sin"

Yeliz "Nanika" $50L mesh cocktail dress with HUD

Yeliz Nanika Sideopen Dress
Here's another bargain find on Second Life Marketplace. A $50L HUD-driven cocktail dress with a crazy number of textures and colors.

Again, this looks like it might be a template dess but I haven't seen it elsewhere so who knows? Makers usually label their product "original mesh" and this is not. Regardless the HUD (see below) must have taken a massive amount of work. And consider that this dress is available for all these sizes!

● 5 regular SL FIT-MESH Sizes
● Maitreya (compatible)
● TMP (compatible)
● SLink (Physique)
● SLink (HourGlass)
● Belleza (Freya)
● Belleza (Isis)
● Belleza (Venus)
● Tonic (Fine)
● Tonic (Curvy)

Yeliz HUD
Anyway here's the link to the dress on Marketplace. My only fault with the dress is that it doesn't have any detailing on the straps or other parts to really make it "pop". But otherwise it's a very sexii addition to your SL inventory!

Yeliz Nanika "Sideopen" Dress

Yeliz Nanika

Yeliz Nanika

June 18, 2018

SL15B, music & fun

SL15B Cake Stage with Ghosty Kips
Just a few photos from my adventure last night. Old friend Ghosty "The Llama" Kips was DJing on the Cake stage doing a sweet mix of techno, house and alt. The venue was killer and blended perfectly with my cutesy pink outfit. Ghosty and I have known each other for 8 years in SL. YIKES! I feel like a total cougar now. Oh wait, I am.

Joining me later for an all Canadian set courtesy of DJ Moonbeam was newly minted friend (well one month anyway), Checker. Do we know how to party or what? He's so adorkable. :)

Checker & Snick doing the sexii dance at SL15B
Being at the Cake stage brought back memories from SL12B and literally closing the place down right before they shut down the SIM. It's me wearing a cosplay outfit from BareRose that matched the blues in the rainbows perfectly. Not intentional I swear.
Snickers @ SL12B

June 17, 2018

More dollarbie items. Two good, one bad.

DIA Micro Light shorts
Here are a few more items from my dollarbie shopping trip on SL Marketplace!

This time, we'll start with the bad and move to the good starting with "Micro Light" mesh shorts by DIA. I almost never trash a dollarbie (after all, that's the equivalent of like 1/2¢ US). But this pair of shorts is just bad. The designer left a ghost texture on the mesh so it looks like you have this weird clear band around the top. Sort of like it got saved with the wrong alpha. You can really see it with hard light angles. Plus the jeans texture is oddly warped and has no depth. You're actually better off with an applier micro short than this mess. Avoid.

Pearl Tank Top and Tasha Jeans
Next up are the "good" items and probably worth the 4.5 stars they both get on Marketplace. The deductions come for needing to use the Maitreya Lara alpha HUD and to make sure your shape is constrained a bit. That applies to both items in the photo.

The "Pearl Tank Top" by N_O Concept is no doubt a template -- I think I have a different version in inventory somewhere LOL.  But at least it's nicely textured and I like the off white color. However the nipples need an alpha and if you bend the wrong way, so does one area of your back. Oh well. It comes in the usual array of Maitreya, Bellezza, Slink and standard mesh sizes.

The NOHO "Tasha" jeans are very cute and the texture is well proportioned. Like the tank, you need to use the alpha in the HUD to make them work. But sure, I'd wear these on a date or out shopping. :) Same size availability as the tank.

Here are the linkies to the two "good" items!

Jeans: Tasha Skinny Jeans - $1L

Tank: Pearl Tank Top - $1L

Oh yeah, hair by Truth, skin by Lumae, body by Snickers, jewelry by Exodi.

Amazing dollarbie pink pumps for Maitreya

"Cute Heels" by Searen - $1L 
OK, yours truly was randomly shopping on SL Marketplace when these super cute shoes by Searen popped on screen. O M G. Must have! I love cosplay outfits so when I see mid-high mary janes, excitement ensues! And when they are only $1L super-excitement ensues!

In they went to my cart along with some other dollarbies (more on those later) and with few clicks, they showed up in inventory! Yay!

They are just as nice inworld and on my feet as they are in the Marketplace ad. Searen has done a really nice job with these!

And to the person who gave them only 1 star in a review, you suck.

Here's the link to them on Marketplace. Enjoy!

May 22, 2018

Profile Peeker the Pervy HUD - FREEBIE

OK just kidding. But I do love alliteration and with a name like Profile Peeker, how could I resist? Stepping out of my usual role as a reviewer of fashion and commentator on the silly things Linden Lab often does, I'm going to talk about a strange HUD for Second Life. It's called Profile Peeker and it's made by Patser Albatros. Full disclosure, he's a friend of mine and also the maker of the inworld HUD game, Pirates.

So what does it do? First, it displays thumbnail photos from the profiles of up to 10 people you are closest to. The screen cap to the right shows how it looks in Firestorm viewer and as you can see, it takes up a bit of visual real estate. The left-hand thumbnail is the main profile picture while the right is the First Life picture (if any).

The magic comes when you click on a photo (peek at the profile). You get a popup window with three choices:

You can (obviously), look at a profile. You can also see what attachments an avatar is wearing (want to find out what dress she's wearing?). The interesting thing is "History".

It takes you to a third party server that shows you a grid of "history" changes to the text on the SL & RL parts of the avatar's profile and partner changes. I have no idea about the magic behind this but it looks like it's getting info from public Second Life web profiles. I even see data going back to 2016. Creepy? Maybe. The Internet never forgets!

So Profile Peeker works and does exactly what it says it does -- if you're inclined to use such a thing. One small thing that could use improvement is how the profile pics are presented. I'd almost prefer the avatar name instead of the thumbnail of the profile. An avatar's look doesn't always match their profile photo and it can be a bit tough to match someone up if there are lots of avatars near you. Maybe as a floater? Mouseover? Anyway, it's not an issue when you are only around say 5 people but more than that, a name reference would be easier.

Profile Peeker is available for free on the Second Life Marketplace here:

May 20, 2018

Normie Mesh Head by Utlizator

As some of you know from reading my past posts, I have steadfastly hung onto my system head for one simple reason. It looks best with my favorite Lumae skin, Eirtae T7. Every mesh head I've tried seems to have a fatal flaw with Eirtae -- whether it's lips that are too small or cheeks that are too hollow or whatever. It seems most mesh heads tend towards the runway model anorexic look or the doe-eyed little girl partial-anime look. Admittedly, I haven't tried a ton of heads (maybe 8 total) but each time I'd go back to my system head.

My last adventure with Bento head demos led me to Lelutka Bianca and LAQ Bree. Bianca was gorgeous around the eyes but I couldn't get the lips to look anything but overly cutesy pouty-puffy. Bree was simply awful with my skin, had limited slider response and the face simply looked puffy in general. Sigh.
Normie Bento Head by Utilizator

So I happened to be lurking the Mesh Body Addicts group in SL one afternoon when someone mentioned a Bento Omega-compatible head, Normie by Utilizator, that worked well as a sort of upgrade replacement for the system head. My virtual ears perked up and when they said it was only $500L I was like, OK must try!

I was actually blown away. Not only did my skin look great, I barely had to touch the sliders to get my "look" which is sort of sexy nerd girl next door. Definitely not runway model, pouty princess or femme fatale. One look at the freckles and well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, see for yourself (click on the piccy for a full-sized shot). No Photoshop on this -- just a straight Gyazo with normal graphics settings. Lip gloss is Delizio Hot Pink, eyes are Amicci mesh and eye makeup is Izzie's "Gloom" in copper all applied via Omega.

A few notes. The HUD is simplistic but still takes a bit getting used to since turning off/on the makeup tattoo and Omega eyelashes makes a big difference in how you look. Animations are limited as well but since it's full Bento, third party animations should work just fine. Normie also supports voice chat mouth movement through three supplied gestures. Oh yeah, Normie is also full MOD! Now what other Bento head gives you that at ANY price?

Normie is available in SL Marketplace here:,

There is a DEMO version available as well and as with anything mesh, I strongly urge you to play with it first.

March 14, 2018

Linden Lab reduces Second Life land prices, doubles free tier

It's rare that you hear good news from Linden Lab these days. Usually I'm logging onto "Server maintenance do not rez valuable junk" or "Concierge & billing support are down due to too much booze." But today I was greeted with a notice in the SL Commerce Group that Linden Lab has lowered tier prices by 10%! But even cooler is that they've DOUBLED the amount of "free" tier included with Premium accounts from 512m to 1024m.

For me personally, that's really helpful. I was about 1 month away from selling 1/2 my land due to that extra $5/month charge. I really wasn't getting a lot of benefit from it other than the extra prims. But now I don't have to! YAY!

Thanks Lindens!

For details see: Mainland tier allotment and pricing changes (March 2018)

March 10, 2018

$99L punk chic outfit from FurtaCor

FurtaCor Wanessa
By now you should know that I LOVE to find fashion bargains. There are so many good designers in Second Life that do such amazing work. One of my fave bargain shops is FurtaCor. While most of their outfits are template-based, the textures that owner/designer Marinahh Mayako applies to them are often just plain out of this world. Plus, FurtaCor often comes out with a style that only shows up a month or two later.

Anyway, today's gem from is Wanessa -- a crazy belted sweat-skirt with a sort of sharkskin shirt tied at the waist. Crazy combo but it totally works and looks freaking awesome. Oh and the boots, again very nice, are included too.

Just click on the detail piccy below and see if you're not blown away.

Now the kicker. The entire outfit including the boots is only $99L at the FurtaCor mainstore. If you are a group member, it's 15% off  so only $85L. Wow. Just wow. I'm doing my happy dance!

I'm wearing Lumae Eirtae Freckle skin and Truth Astra hair.

Anyway, here's your linky to the store.

SLURL to FurtaCor & LaPerla

Waness Belt Detail

February 21, 2018

Second Life inventory clean-up

I can't believe it but I finally did it. Got rid of at least 90% of my old system clothing inventory. There is no going back. Yours truly is now fully committed to her Maitreya Lara mesh body, applier clothing and mesh clothing. I even tried on a few of my old fave outfits with my system self and OMG. They just looked sad. So bye-bye almost 30K in items! It's kinda cathartic in a way. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!

Oh and I have a really hot new avatar look I've been working on. It's for special occasions. Watch this space.

My blogging absence

I had great ambitions over a month ago about doing a "freebie a day" series. Well personal issues, work and other stuffs just got in the way. Maybe I'll get around to it, maybe not. Regardless, have fun out there.