Can a computer dream of being a human? What if it dreamed of being a human who dreamed of being a talking animal? With the help of Janelle Shane, a research scientist in photonics, we may just find out what furry aliases such a machine would create.
Janelle has achieved fame for her humorous use of artificial intelligence to generate names for things such as pubs, diseases, beers, and My Little Ponies. She's also directed neural networks to create recipes and write Harry Potter fanfiction.
Security is necessary for one's own protection, both offline (to protect one's physical safety and possessions) and online (protecting identity, money and, as the our digital and real lives become more integrated, even physical possessions). Our own behaviours and security systems need to work together to be effective. It's no good having the latest burglar alarm, strong locks on your doors and a security gate if one leaves the door wide open. Similarly, it's great to lock the door each time one goes out - but if that door is secured solely by a latch, it won't be effective. As I've given some basic guidelines on how to stay safe online, I'm now comparing how furry sites are helping their users stay safe.
Update (Jan 28): All Weasyl servers now receive an A grade, however the server configuration is still not consistent.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declined to register the New York state furry convention's name as a mark in August 2013, after identifying the terms 'furry' and 'con' as "merely descriptive":
“Furry” refers to “fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.” - “Con” is a “common abbreviation for convention”.
At that time, a "furry" was also cited by the examiner as:
someone who is part of a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics
Various Wikipedia and WikiFur articles were used as references, as well as George Gurley's "Pleasures of the Fur" in Vanity Fair, the Anthrocon, Furry 4 Life, Furry Fandom Infocenter, Furry Connection North and Georgia Furs websites, and a con report on SoFurry.
Running a furry encyclopedia isn't all fun and barnstars. Over the past five years, WikiFur's administrators have been faced with edit wars, trolls, spam, exclusion requests, profit-seeking hosts, battles over WikiFur's service mark – and above all, constant legal threats, including the dreaded DMCA takedown request.
Editors hope the move will resolve the site's legal issues, as none of its law-loving detractors – all from the USA, UK or Canada - can use German.
12,600 edits have been made by editors since it was founded in September 2008 by Wikipedia administrator OckhamTheFox. Other lead contributors include EvilCat, Leo Rex, Shnatsel, Dokatamaru, Zhuravlik and NightFox.
GreenReaper, the founder and owner of WikiFur, has today began migrating all articles, data and user accounts from the English WikiFur across to the WikiFur.com server, which already hosts WikiFur in 12 other languages.
The move is purported to be to escape from Wikia's somewhat tyrannical rule over the wiki's it hosts, imposing large amounts of advertising and stylistic control, as well as controvertial behaviour concerning the control of domain names.
WikiFur has moved its German, French, Czech and Portuguese projects to the wikifur.com server hosted by Timduru. They join existing projects in Russian, Spanish, Polish, Italian and Chinese, totaling over 1500 articles of non-English content.
The new server is ad-free and has been thoroughly tuned.
WikiFur decided to move last year, prompted by the threat of increased branding and advertising. The English WikiFur will join the rest as en.wikifur.com once preparations are complete.
The folks over at Furry101 - home of the quite informative Furry Social Tips comic (you should check it out, especially if you lack common etiquette) - have conducted an interesting little interview with WikiFur founder and lead admin GreenReaper!
Go check it out!
Furry encyclopaedia WikiFur has had an exciting few months. With the new server up and running, the imminent migration of the current English WikiFur and a whole host of new languages joining the fray - it seems like things can only get better!
WikiFur and it’s aim to be the collection of furry knowledge has seen exponential growth in recent times, with the growth of the fandom and WikiFur’s lax policy on “vanity pages” meaning that anyone can be a part of the project, no matter what their status within the fandom. Because of this the English language version of WikiFur has surpassed 10,000 articles, a full six months after it passed 9,000.
Wikia, co-founded by Wikipedia chairman Jimbo Wales, has in recent years been struggling to make enough money to keep itself in the black and a few months ago introduced plans to introduce more intrusive advertising and the forcing of new formatting of wikis to anonymous users - which make up the majority of Wikia’s userbase (curiously Wikia’s largest hosted wiki, Uncyclopedia, is unaffected by the changes, ensuring cries of favouritism).
After Wikia refused to change their stance on the matter, WikiFur administrators voted unanimously to leave the host with just one abstention.
The new server has been kindly donated by popular fursuiter Timduru at no cost to the WikiFur userbase.
WikiFur was especially active this week with the arrival of a German-language sister project founded by Eurofurence media contact o'wolf. Also recently started is WikiFur's Czech-language version, founded in mid-August by local fur Xkun with assistance from Lokosicek.
Close to a hundred German articles have been created in the first week, many with the aid of automatic translation tools. Some completely new articles on European topics, such as the Schweizer Stammtisch, have been translated from German to English.
Contributors to furry fandom encyclopedia WikiFur today celebrated its second anniversary. Since July 2005 over 7,500 articles have been created, with more than 70,000 edits by 25 administrators, 1,250 registered editors and an unknown number of anonymous users.
WikiFur officially reached 5,000 articles this week. I would like to thank all of our contributors, our supporters (who aid our efforts to promote WikiFur), and especially our administrators, who have worked tirelessly to clean up after vandals, contribute new articles, help select our featured articles and Comics of the Week, and generally ensure things run smoothly for the 2,000 people who visit every day.
This Sunday WikiFur - the furry encyclopedia - celebrated the creation of its 2000th article. Founded on 24 July, WikiFur has quickly become one of the most comprehensive sites for furry information on the net, with over 350,000 words of content. More than 23,000 edits have been made since its inception. It remains freely editable by all.