Originating in a private drinking and dancing party, the event — scheduled for 11-13 December in Rochester, New York — was intended to be more tolerant of public displays of affection than other furry gatherings. Unlimited alcohol at the Saturday party was advertised for a $25 registration fee.
FOXmas's promotion had a hyperbolic and decidedly mature tone, leading to controversy inside and outside furry fandom. The latter proved its demise when Something Awful's coverage reached hotel management, resulting in cancellation of the event's function space and room block.
The event ran from late Friday (18 September) to Sunday afternoon. It was organized by Spots and Stripes, and run by a team of 30 volunteers led by kirrow. Alcohol was banned, as was the display (but not private sale) of adult material.
The two fursuiters were very popular, especially at the fursuit bowling outing. Also popular was the ear and tail workshop, roleplaying games, and party games such as Mafia. A large collection of video games were available; those wishing to loan them were required to leave an item of value behind.
The event was a financial success, running a surplus of 4000 SEK (~US$570). 10% was donated to the event's charity, Djurskyddet Karlstad (Karlstad Animal Welfare); their total was 1181 SEK after a charity raffle and dealer contributions. Some found the furry theme lacking, but event organizers - most veterans of anime cons - pledged to address this in future years.
FurryCon's future location is still uncertain, though one proposal is to move to different cities each year, starting in Stockholm. However, a competition for next year's homepage mascot has begun. The theme? "Friendship and love . . . anthro style."
The person behind the attack - who identified himself as "Uildiar" - claimed to have root access to the server on which Furcadia runs, and access to the game source code, though a subsequent post by Felorin suggested otherwise. He also claimed being behind past attacks on Fur Affinity.
The attacker's statements indicate that passwords were stored as the output of a SHA hash function with no salt. While this format does not grant immediate access, it is vulnerable to a precomputation attack. Reportedly many accounts using short or dictionary words as passwords - including some forum moderator and Dragon's Eye Productions staff accounts - were compromised, although some had already been changed.
Preliminary results have been released for a psychological survey taken at Anthrocon 2009 this July. The survey team was led by Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, a social psychologist and anthrozoologist at the Niagara County Community College, and supervised by the Kent State University Institutional Review Board.
The team has run surveys at Anthrocon since 2006, covering topics such as connections with other species, species dysphoria and gender identity disorder, happiness and social rejection, transliminality, the essential characteristics of being a furry, and the reasons furry fans wear (or do not wear) fursuits. Many topics were chosen to address prevalent stereotypes. The first portion of their work was published in the academic journal Society and Animals in 2008.
This year's survey focussed on determining sociability, empathy, sex role identification, and social desirability. There were 275 participants; fewer than in previous years due to IRB restrictions intended to prevent distribution of forms to minors.
Anthropomorphic animator-programmer Dean Dodrill (Noogy) has won the $40,000 grand prize in the Microsoft XNA Dream-Build-Play competition with his side-scrolling action game Dust: An Elysian Tail. Dust draws on Dean's work towards an animated film in the Elysian Tail universe, though it features different characters, and has been compared to Odin Sphere and Muramasa. In the game, the lead character Dust must save a village from oppression with the help of an ancient sword, accompanied by miniature flying fox sidekick Fidget.
Dean was an Epic Games artist who left the company when Jazz Jackrabbit 3 was canceled in 2000, and only began object-oriented programming at the start of this year. He became popular within furry fandom for characters such as Bonnie, an anthropomorphic mouse.
While the award does not guarantee a traditional publishing contract, Dust is now likely to become an Xbox Live Arcade game sold on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's digital-distribution service. The game is on display this weekend in the Microsoft Indie Games booth at PAX, a popular gamer festival held in Seattle, Washington.
Visitors to this month's Califur had low expectations after last year's disappointing experience. Instead, hotel and convention staff delivered what attendees dubbed "the best Califur by a wide margin", "light years better than the last time" and "the best year yet".
The registration count rose 23% to 720, with several dealers reporting a decent profit. The event made much of its safari theme, printing the now-common personalized room keys. Several fursuiters played along, accessorizing their costumes with plastic guns and crossbows; at least 87 participated in the fursuit parade.
Some commented adversely on the presence of Cal Cotton, a dealer in real fur tails, mink-tipped floggers and scrimshaws. It was not their first year, though, and despite recent activism against the use of real fur in plush toys, many attendees saw no real problem.
Califur 4's venue was memorable for all the wrong reasons — a disappointing ice-cream social, filming (albeit by furries) in the halls, and a wedding reception forcing the event into what one con-goer described as a "furry ghetto" of black curtains. The curtains were so notorious that their lack was advertised as a feature of the new hotel, the Irvine Mariott.
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.
40-year-old Pennsylvanian Alan David Berlin — known as Alan T. Panda, Furrypanda and Alan Panda Bear — was charged this Thursday with unlawful contact with a minor (related to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse); a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. He has also been accused of five related second-degree and third-degree felonies. He is being held in Dauphin County Jail on $250,000 bail.
Alan, who lives in Carlisle, PA, allegedly chatted with the 15-year-old over the past two months, with discussions including the proposal that he travel to the boy's home in Harrisburg and that they have sex in the back yard while his parents slept. The complaint also mentioned requests for nude photos and suggestions of a meeting between the boy and another adult, with offers of a hotel room if Berlin could take pictures of them having sex.
Nominations for the Fandom's Favorite Fursuit Fracas have closed, with 326 fursuit characters proposed for the 2009 event - an 11% increase over 2008. Voting for the knockout tournament will begin once all nominees have been contacted for their permission.
Last year's event ended with a landslide victory by Nevermint's Jäger from One Fur All Studios, who attracted 319 votes in the last round to Greifer's 195 (Tilt Longtail/Jax). In 2007 — the first year in which the tournament was held — Frazzle (Rose Quoll/self-made) beat Sophie Cabra (MixedCandy) in a close 135-122 final.
Many now turn to full-time costume makers for their suits, with professional mascot builders MixedCandy and Arend Studios each responsible for twice the entries of any other individual builder. Still, the top five account for less than 40% of the total, and just over half the nominees were created by builders outside the top ten.
Ten awards are being given in various fields of anthropomorphism. People are allowed to vote for up to three nominees in each award, based on a sliding scale. Voting closes on April 19, and winners will be announced at this year's All Fur Fun in May.
The convention's organizers are actively soliciting large donations, offering lifetime memberships and board seats in exchange for funds. Over $4,000 has been raised so far.
RMFC's problems stem from a charge for not filling its room block: a set of hotel rooms reserved for attendees at a significantly-reduced rate. Sorin — who is also treasurer for RMFC's managing organization — says the event was "operating at a surplus if not for this one debt … [which] was based solely on our estimation of room rentals".
Despite the debt, organizers still hope to find space this year at a smaller, more affordable location over August 7-9. Failing that, the convention may be postponed to 2010.
The Missy Awards are given out for the most unusual stories covered by Good Morning America throughout the year.
The convention was never referred in the show by name (in this case it was Anthrocon), instead describing it as a "furry convention in Pittsburgh," and showed some clips of when ABC News covered the event earlier in the year.