How did we miss this? We just discovered Zabezoo — Ears n’ Tail, a new animated series for preschoolers that’s making quite a splash on the Internet. Created by an international consortium of artists, the series follows the title character Zabezoo, a young mixed-race girl with a monkey father and a rabbit mommy. The series sets out to teach young children to accept and even celebrate each other’s differences. Originally released in Russian, some episodes have been translated into English — and there are more to come. The L.A. Weekly out of Los Angeles recently interviewed the creator, Eugene Lobachev.
Review: The Adventures of Peter Gray by Nathan HoppPosted by Rakuen Growlithe on Sat 18 Mar 2023 - 10:05
The Adventures of Peter Gray (Written Dreams Publishing, $16.99) is the first novel by Nathan Hopp. It's told from the perspective of the titular Peter Gray, a young wolf living on the streets of an alternate history New York City in 1899. The Adventures of Peter Gray invites us to experience the city through the eyes of one who loves it and see how both it and Peter's life changes over the year.
I want to start off with the biggest weakness of this book [as a product]: the blurb. The problem with it is that it sets up misplaced expectations and reading then becomes frustrating when those expectations aren't met. The first paragraph of the blurb is fine, but then it makes the whole book sound like it's about Peter's quest for a family and the Newsies' strike. The Newsies' strike is introduced and finished in fewer than 30 pages; the book has 240.
Ignore the blurb and appreciate the book for what it is: a collection of adventures of a young, orphaned wolf in the big city. There is an overall arc to Peter's story, but it develops slowly and organically while many smaller incidents build up to the climax. It's a good structure that works, making the whole book very suitable for quickly picking up and reading without having to worry about forgetting what happened last time.
Nearly all the chapters are self-contained. We meet new characters that stay with us but each chapter has a distinct story. Maybe it's Peter having a picnic with his friends, maybe it's a time when he deals with bullies, or maybe he goes to visit the Statue of Liberty. The various adventures are entertaining and reminiscent of the carefree days as a child. However, that carefree feeling is tempered by the reality that Peter is an orphan, homeless, and broke.
Furry YouTuber appears to violate David Guetta copyright while publishing false copyright claim troll videosPosted by Sonious on Mon 13 Mar 2023 - 10:56
There is an old saying that those who live in a house of glass should not throw stones. This can be seen as true for one furry who has been making a wave in the furry YouTube community for all the wrong reasons. In a video she posted, she shows herself filing copyright takedown requests of furry videos frivolously.
Copyfraud is the false claim of ownership over a work, it is something that the claim site on YouTube warns against doing due to the legal issues that can come with falsely claiming the work of someone as your own. In the mostly automated digital world it has become a common action to utilize false strikes to attack content creators.
But the greater irony was that in this video of the self-admitting copy-fraudster flagging these videos is that there is a grating and sped up music of some description in the background. A closer listen to the first song of the video at the eleven second mark, and slowing it down to half speed and lowering the pitch a bit, reveals it to be a copyrighted song: David Guetta - Turn Me On ft. Nicki Minaj
Review: A Wasteful Death by Sylvain St-PierrePosted by Rakuen Growlithe on Thu 9 Mar 2023 - 18:08
A Wasteful Death is a cross between a murder mystery and a love story set in a city populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals. While the main characters are two Registered Investigators, sort of like police, this story is nothing like Zootopia. Instincts remain, and everyone in this world is acutely aware of the distinction between predator and prey.
The main characters are Marlot Blackclaw, a wolf, and Trembor Goldenmane, a lion. Both are Registered Investigators who, unusually for their territorial profession, work together. What exactly is a Registered Investigator? Their job is to investigate unclaimed kills and track down the person responsible. Unclaimed being the key word here.
In the world of A Wasteful Death, predation is legal and, with a few exceptions such as students or anyone in a hospital, everyone is a potential target. Once someone is killed, there is a tax that the hunter must pay which is scaled according the value the kill had to society. The tax on a homeless drunk would be low but the tax on a wealthy CEO like Aiden Spottedfur is massive, and it falls on Marlot and Trembor to find out who killed her.
Review: Rise of the Patcheé by Eben PrentzlerPosted by Rakuen Growlithe on Sat 4 Mar 2023 - 14:32
Rise of the Patcheé is a self-published collection of three short stories by Eben Prentzler. The three stories are "Part 1 - The Scavenger Wars," "Part 2 - The Scribe’s Crystal" and "Part 3 - Touch of the Firstborn." They are all set in a fantasy world established in his earlier novel, Chronicles of Solo - Moments Away, and revolve around Mother, the title given to the leader of a Patcheé (African wild dog) pack.
When reviewing, or writing in general, it is good practice to keep your audience in mind. I see reviewing as generally having three potential audiences and functions: giving feedback to the author of a piece in order to help them improve, using a piece as an example to teach others what they should or should not do, and providing information to potential readers so that they can judge whether a piece is suitable for them. I feel that, in the furry fandom, all three of these functions overlap: authors are likely to read reviews by other furs, potential readers read the reviews and, with the fandom focused on creation, many of those readers are themselves aspiring authors. As such, I will talk about what does and does not work in this collection and why.
Ursa Majors 2022 Nominees Announced - Voting Open for MarchPosted by Sonious on Wed 1 Mar 2023 - 20:40
The annual Ursa Major Awards have announced their nominees for 2022. Voting has opened and will be held until the end of March. The new category of Music has five nominations. The Best Fursuit category did not have enough nominations to be run this year.
The nominees are listed below. More details around publication and links to more information of each nominee can be found on the Ursa Major's website voting page.
Newsbytes archive for February 2023Posted by Anon on Wed 1 Mar 2023 - 18:18
Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, Acton, dronon, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.
Acton: Furry convention in Orlando reports pipe bomb, AR-15 threats by man on Tumblr.
[Editor's note: The individual arrested in this news link also submitted suspicious articles to Flayrah in June and August of 2022, supposedly to warn about someone, but more likely in order to smear them. We were unable to independently confirm the truthfulness of the claims being made. However, because other aspects of the writing were definitely deceptive in nature (such as using sockpuppets), we did not post their articles to Flayrah, nor engage in communication with the author.]
Digging Up Positivity February 2023Posted by Pegla on Sat 25 Feb 2023 - 21:40
In this episode of Digging Up Positivity we cover several big and small furry events with charities attached to them. Eurofurence finally has a new location, the return of a very sly fox and that bunny, and an awesome new upcoming game starring a gator, and an interview with one of the driving forces behind the furry events in and around Ohio, USA. And stay till the end if you want to win a lovely t-shirt from me from my ArtworkTee store!
But first things first, lets hop into the charities.
'Facts About Fursuits & Fursuiting' premieres March 1Posted by Charleston Rat on Sat 25 Feb 2023 - 03:52
In October 2021, I opened a survey about fursuits and fursuiting and called for furries (fursuiters and non-fursuiters alike) to take part. This was to provide information for the next video in my Facts About the Furry Fandom series, Facts About Fursuits & Fursuiting.
It's taken me over a year to wade through the data, write the essay, get it professionally reviewed, and create the next video in the series. However, after all that work, it's finally ready. The premiere is less than a week away; I look forward to seeing all of you there.
Facts About Fursuits & Fursuiting will premiere on YouTube on 1st March at 5pm (GMT) / 12pm (EST) / 9am (PST)
Sonic Frontiers - Of open worlds and confining cyberspacesPosted by Sonious on Wed 15 Feb 2023 - 21:09
It had been a long time since I last streamed a Sonic game. Sonic Forces was almost a one-off stream. It took only four to five hours to finish the game and also its Shadow add-on. Story beats were all a blur. The mechanic that was the staple was creating your own original character (do not steal), but as mentioned there wasn’t much for them to do. And who can ever forget the poor characterization and writing? True dat.
Since 2017, Sonic Team has certainly been taking their time with this next 3D entry. However, while I was an avid Sonic fan in my youth I kind of grew up and didn’t care so much about keeping up with the day to day on the stories and franchise as much as I used to. The last time I wrote a Sonic review for this site, it was for the movie. And that’s crossaffliction’s territory, that he would reestablish in the second release of the franchise.
I didn’t even review Sonic Forces. I had thoughts, but for whatever reason didn’t feel inspired enough to get them down on paper. Probably ended up in null space somewhere.
But enough about the background of Sonic, was their new Frontier worth the wait?
AI Art Part 2: What kind of world do we want?Posted by Rakuen Growlithe on Tue 14 Feb 2023 - 20:20
In the second part of this piece, we will consider the rise of AI-generated art from a more subjective point of view, focusing on its ethical and societal implications. In the first part found here, we went over why AI models do not store and reproduce exact copies of the artworks they have been trained on.
Thank you to 'Yote, who has a PhD in computational biology, for providing feedback and fact-checking for this article.
The Geography of Furry Conventions: How we can make getting to our conventions easier for everyonePosted by zeldstarro on Fri 10 Feb 2023 - 20:54
This is Part 2 of my commentary on furry conventions, in relation to geography, demographics and statistics. Reading Part 1 might provide more about my perspective and understanding this in context.
Furry conventions are hard to organize, put together, and run. They require staff, a venue, and many other complicated things. One aspect that isn't brought up enough is something that con staff don't necessarily "need" to worry about: transportation. Besides the hotel cost, transportation is perhaps the most prohibitively expensive barrier to someone attending. The low focus on this is partially because cars are the most common (and often most convenient) way to get around in the United States and Canada. I would argue that due to the sheer dominance of the car in these countries, it's hard for a lot of people to realize just how disadvantageous cars can be - on both an individual and societal level. I won't focus much on the societal level, but I will focus on the individual level, to show why I care so much about transit, even in a furry context. I'll also talk about how it relates to poverty, and what we can do about it.
AI Art Part 1: How it worksPosted by Rakuen Growlithe on Wed 8 Feb 2023 - 14:16
If you have any involvement with the furry fandom – and if you're reading this, you probably do – you will have seen a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the past few weeks/months, particularly about AI-generated art. What you'll also have seen is that most of this talk has been characterised by fear and anger. Several furry websites and organisations, such as Inkbunny, Fur Affinity and the Furry Writers' Guild, have all issued statements or updated their policies to ban AI-generated content or aspects thereof.
As a largely artistic community and given that AI-generated content threatens the status quo, this is completely understandable. The objections to AI art have been numerous; some rely on nebulous and abstract concepts such as AI art being emotionless, some consider it unfair to artists who have put effort into learning their skills and others have chosen to focus on the economic aspects of competing against AI. Anti-AI sentiment has grown in the art community and spilled off of the internet in the form of legal challenges against several companies involved in providing AI art services.
It would be out of scope of this text to address every single argument for or against AI. Instead, I would like to focus on two aspects of the debate; one which is objective and one which is subjective. The first, objective, aspect is what AI is and how it works. This is important because it's difficult to have a proper discussion about the technology when it is misunderstood – and I think that most discussion around AI fundamentally misunderstands how it works. The second, subjective, aspect involves copyright and the ethics of training AI. This is a question about the sort of world in which we wish to live and how we should treat one another. I feel that these two questions are the most important ones for deciding how AI will fit into our world. Hopefully, I can correct some misconceptions about how AI works and put forward a view of the world which others will find appealing as well.
Due to the length of this article, it has been split in two. The second part will address the social and ethical aspects of AI-generated art.
Thank you to 'Yote, who has a PhD in computational biology, for providing feedback and fact-checking for this article.
Newsbytes archive for January 2023Posted by Anon on Wed 1 Feb 2023 - 21:25
Contributors this month include dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.
'Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series' - A newcomer's view of a pair of classics remasteredPosted by Sonious on Tue 31 Jan 2023 - 19:41
Klonoa was a bit after my time. While anthro platformers were a big household staple in the earlier years of my childhood, by the time I was entering my teenage my family trended toward more first-person shooter titles. We didn’t get an original PlayStation, and went for an N64 instead. That being said, last year’s remaster was a great opportunity to play a classic anthro platformer that I never got a chance to. Was it as good as the niche audience for this strange cabbit-like character laid it out to be?
The remaster comes with two games, and I have played through both. In short, the first game came as a bit of a surprise to me and had gameplay and story elements that challenged me as a player.
In terms of gameplay, both games have similar mechanics and feel like a mixture of early Kirby three dimension titles mixed with Mario 2 (US) combat where you pick up enemies to throw them at enemies and objects instead of sucking them in.
Playing the second game so quickly after the first caused a bit of a disappointment as it didn’t do things that the first hadn’t already done better. I enjoyed Phantomile more than I did Lunatea’s Veil. If there was a graphical difference in the titles in their original release, this remaster eliminates it and both look good.
I will go into more detail as to why after the header, as it will go into a bit more of the game’s content with some spoilers.
Digging Up Positivity - January 2023Posted by Pegla on Sun 29 Jan 2023 - 11:57
Welcome to the first Digging Up Positivity of 2023! Of course we start off with a bunch of charities, animation news, and our guest of this month is a staple from the virtual furry scene: BioGodz, we will discuss his new projects and how he got into the wonderful world of virtual reality!
But first things first, lets hop into the charities:
Anon (visitor) — 9 min 28 sec ago
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