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Gone in a Flash

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

As the world still deals with the Coronavirus pandemic, political turmoil, and the uncertainty of the future, we did come into the year knowing that a major change was coming to the fandom, which has since been overshadowed by these other events. Flash is going the way of the dodo, due to Adobe dropping support for their Flash Player plugin and browsers withdrawing support in turn; and with it a substantial piece of furry history will no longer function in most browsers as of 2021.

Luckily, some of the most famous, or infamous, pieces of Flash history are preserved as videos. Remember Foxy Fluffs are Everything? Someone did “port” it to YouTube (adult language/situations warning in case you haven’t seen it). But despite the animation being saved in video format, foxy fluffs being motion tweens may not amount for much in a post-Flash world.

Time is running out for those animations that are only playable with Flash on their original sites. They can however be downloaded as an SWF file to run on software that supports them. On SoFurry, Flash files already download directly as a file instead of playing in the browser itself. Soon enough it will probably be the only way to enjoy many classic pieces of furry animation from the earlier days of the fandom in their original format – if you can find a working player.

Furry art piracy website yiff.party closes

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (12 votes)

Since it began in 2015, yiff.party has been a source of ire for artists whose income has been affected by it. The website uses web scraping software to extract files from Patreon, including those meant to be restricted to paid subscribers only, and made them publicly available, for free.

Kotaku interviewed Kadath and other artists about it in 2018. Although DMCA notices were sent, legal action was threatened by publishers like InkedFur, and Patreon promised to go to bat for its users, the site remained unassailed. Now, it’s closed, but not due to pressure from these sources.

Fur Affinity prepares day-long move to new monster hosting

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King Ghidorah by theBeta-Soldier on DeviantArt
King Ghidorah by theBeta-Soldier

Furry art site Fur Affinity has announced its migration to new hosting on Wednesday, September 9. Previously set for August, then Monday, the final migration "may take" 18 hours; during which content modification will be disabled, but interactions will work.

The new hardware was announced in April: a "cluster-based server platform" named after a kaiju with 112 CPU cores, 1536GB of RAM and 153.6TB of "enterprise SSD".

If composed of four 28-core Xeon CPUs, 24x 6.4TB SSDs and 48x 32GB DDR4-2666 ECC DIMMs, the components alone have a retail value of ~US$100,000 – not including servers or switches.

Another furry website joins the scene - FurryLife Online

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (16 votes)

FurryLife Online A new furry social media site has come forth called FurryLife Online. It seems it’s an annual occurrence these days when a new furry site comes forth with dreams of taking the title of the main furry hub.

FLO is trying to be as broad as its predecessors; and with art galleries, written works, music, clubs, and streaming, there appears to be a lot to offer. But given how many of these sites exist now, can this new one stand out? If so, how? We’ll review the site’s layout and its strengths and weaknesses for each of the main classes of art they support.

This review was published September 2 and is written about the site at this time. Site features are malleable, so may have changed after publication.

Furry Writers' Guild establishes new forum after technical difficulties

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (79 votes)

FWG_IMAGE.jpgOn 26 June, the Furry Writers' Guild (FWG) announced that the FWG forums were no longer functional due to technical issues. The problem appears to have been that anyone who accessed the FWG forum main page and saw the shoutbox had their IPs blocked by the host firewall. This disturbance, coupled with the age of the forums and the question of its future hosting, led to the closure of the forums.

However, the loss of the forum had negative repercussions. While some functions were able to be transferred to a Google Calendar, Slack or Telegram, many members had come to rely on the forum. The various stories about how the forum had helped FWG members led current FWG president Dwale, to comment on Telegram:

As time goes by, it becomes more and more apparent how much utility the forums had. I really hope we're able to get them up and running. Sooner the better.

FurBuy down for 'months' after spat with security researcher

Your rating: None Average: 4 (13 votes)

FurBuy pack-rat mascot by FurryVenus Furry auction site FurBuy remains offline, a month after it was abruptly taken down, leading to severe corruption of the 19-year-old site's database.

Site owners say May 23's emergency shutdown was intended to recover from a freeze triggered by a self-styled security researcher's access, and announced a months-long renovation.

The researcher revealed their involvement, claiming to have been blocked by FurBuy after contacting them on Twitter. They said they did not access the database, but that someone using the vulnerability they found would be able to do so - which is disputed by the site owners.

Modern database systems and server hardware are meant to cope with unanticipated downtime by writing to disk in such a way that the data can always be recovered to a consistent state; however, this requires appropriate configuration, and tends to decrease overall performance. It is also possible for hardware to fail under stress.

The last successful backup of the site was made in October 2017, but this remained unnoticed after the death of long-time system administrator Mordrul last August, from thyroid cancer.

Announcing Good Fur News!

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (26 votes)

The Good Fur News logo.This news has already spread in the last few days, and bears repeating here - Haven T. Fusky has started new furry website called Good Fur News! As described in their opening post:

For awhile now I've seen quite a few folks say "We need a place where people can call out the good in the fandom and not just the bad. Some place that highlights all the awesomeness that is furry". And I nodded and agreed, but nothing came.

I waited and waited and thought maybe some of the sites out there would step up and change things up a bit from the "norm" of call out culture and extreme reporting that only showed how awful people can be some times.

I personally have had the privilege of meeting some really great, talented, inspiring people through this fandom. And those people often go unrecognized or are drowned out by the more scandalous things that occur every so often. And it's truly a shame. And so that is why I created a news site where we can allow those that bring their best to be seen, heard, and remembered.

High Tail Hall data breach revealed; owners say new site "MUCH more advanced"

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (23 votes)

HTH Studios The BBC reports the theft of user data relating to decade-old furry adult game High Tail Hall and its successors.

HaveIBeenPwned lists the disclosure of 411,755 HTH Studios accounts from August 24, including data such as:

Browser user agent details, dates of birth, email addresses, IP addresses, names, phone numbers, physical addresses, purchases, usernames

Passwords were stored as "salted" SHA-1 and MD5 hashes, which may decrease the impact of their being compromised - however, such protections are no longer considered sufficient to protect original passwords, due to the speed at which these types of hashes may be computed.

High Tail Hall, originally released on Newgrounds in July 2004, is described by its creators as:

a puzzle game where you can have erotic encounters with the surrounding characters, and work out your frustrations if you come across a particularly complex puzzle.

Furry sex and relationship advice: Feral Attraction

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (7 votes)

Feral Attraction.jpgBefore going offline in March, Pounced.org boasted nearly 20,000 personal ads. That's impressive, but unlikely to make a dent in the amount of fan-on-fan relationships within the furry subculture - an online survey of 800 people in 2013 by the International Anthropomorphic Research Project found that nearly 80% of the respondents in relationships were in a relationship with another furry fan.

Feral Attraction is an advice column and podcast that seeks to address challenges, common and unique, that can arise at the intersection of fandom and dating. For hosts Metriko Oni and Viro the Science Collie, that means special focus on non-traditional relationship styles like polyamory and power-exchange relationships, with which they say the fandom is "uniquely enriched". This doesn't mean that others are left out, though - they also consider long-distance relationships and those new to relationships to be common in furry. Even those in completely traditional relationships get affirming, practical advice; there is no atmosphere that "traditional" means boring.

Pounced.org offline due to controversial sex-trafficking bill

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (14 votes)

Pounced.org logo Similar to Craiglist's decision to shut down its personal ads section, Dallas-Fort Worth-hosted furry dating service Pounced.org is down, pending interpretation of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which passed the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

FOSTA is intended to assist victims of sex trafficking, by allowing them to sue websites that facilitated their abuse. This gives previously undue liability to the platform for actions and content of third-party users; so Pounced.org is shutting down as a preventive measure while Kelar, the site's founder, seeks legal counsel.

The website, launched 15 years ago this month, hosted more than 13,000 ads from furries seeking friends, dates, or casual encounters within the fandom. Visitors are now directed to criticism of the bill from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights organization.

Update 03/26/18: The message on Pounced.org has been updated. Users can now read a much more in-depth explanation of the motivation for the shut-down, and concerns over the meaning of the bill:

2017 Ursa Major Awards nominations to open

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (29 votes)

Nominations for the 2017 Ursa Major Awards will open on January 11, the first day of Further Confusion 2018. The awards celebrate the best anthropomorphic literature and art first published during the previous calendar year.

Find out more details at how to participate at our webpage: http://www.ursamajorawards.org/

The awards are selected through a two-stage process of nomination and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the twelve categories. The top nominations in each category are then presented for a public vote.

Fur Affinity administrator resigns amid hate group policy controversy

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quoting_mungo, who has moderated multiple furry websites and would have been on Fur Affinity's administrative team for five years on January 27, 2018, resigned today, she announced in a Fur Affinity journal entry. Apparently originally aiming to resign mid-January or February, it appears decisions for and reactions to Fur Affinity's new policy regarding hate groups encouraged her to cut that time short.

Discussed briefly here on Flayrah previously, Fur Affinity user Pokefound uploaded a $15 commission they'd drawn, depicting a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic-styled character, wearing a swastika armband and SS collar tab, performing a Nazi salute against a background of Nazi Germany swastika flags. Believing it to be a violation of the hate group policy, another user reported it via Fur Affinity's trouble ticket system.

Funday Pawpet Show ends its run after 18 years

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (14 votes)

Funday PawPet Show logo The Funday Pawpet Show, a weekly staple of furry fandom, announced on September 12 that it will be ending its weekly broadcast, citing legal and logistical woes, particularly regarding the music industry.

We have come to a cross roads. Streaming video and music copyrights and licensing have become such a tangled mess of pain in the butt. The music industry has made it impossible for the little guy to do anything online. The costs, the bookkeeping, the constant upkeep of trying to keep from getting flagged… It is no longer a labor of love. We thank you all for nearly 18 years of puppet broadcasting support.

The loss of furry-friendly streaming service Furstre.am weighed on their decision. According to site creator Jacktail, the domain name was allowed to expire this month, as no current developers wished to take it on.

Furry counciller of New Milford, CT resigns due to SoFurry profile mishap: How site design flaws were to blame, and were fixed

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (18 votes)

Grey Muzzle, statesman and furry fan. The fandom is alight with conversation over a recent political ouster of a councilman in the small town of New Milford, Connecticut. The story is that a furry by the name of Grey Muzzle had images of his SoFurry profile pages posted on the Facebook page of Rick Agee, a concerned grandparent in the local area. It included Grey's Likes/Dislikes pages which had tied the website tag of “rape” listed under the section of “tolerates”. As a result, this Chairman whose real life name is Scott Chamberlain, was pressured to resign from office and obliged by announcing that would do so on Monday, September 11th.

But why would a politician knowingly put such information that is so obviously going to be exploited into the public eye? The answer is this, he didn’t do it knowingly. Upon further investigation it was found that this was an issue of user error caused by poor graphical user interface design (GUI for short). In this article we go over the causes of this error and how furries can prevent themselves and others from falling into similar predicaments in the future.

Updated 9/10 3:10PM: The Like/Dislikes and Tag Filtering functionalities have been changed to be separated from one another and be distinguishable. The items discussed in this article have been resolved.

Update 9/16: Headline updated to reflect fixes had occurred.

Fur Affinity updates code of conduct to disallow hate groups

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

On September 4, Fur Affinity released an update to their code of conduct indicating that works or items that promote hate groups will no longer be tolerated on furry's most popular art site. The new rule in the code of conduct (2.7) states:

Do not identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies
A hate group is one that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a designated sector of society (e.g. Nazism, KKK, ISIS). Symbols specifically associated with these groups will not be permitted in user avatars, non-fictional content, or content intended solely to disrupt the community.

Users who identify with or promote hate groups and their ideologies may be permanently banned from Fur Affinity without warning.

The update has already created a stir in furry fandom. Many were pleased with the decision and felt it was a step in the right direction. However individuals within alt-furry used it to launch a particularly harsh attack on Dragoneer with a sock-puppet account named after his recently-deceased cat.