IMVU buys Fur Affinity; furry fans respond

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3D chat service IMVU has bought furry art community Fur Affinity for an undisclosed sum. According to the announcement, "FA will continue to operate independently", and former owner Dragoneer says he remains "in charge of the site, direction and improvements".

IMVU, which bills itself as "the world's largest 3D Chat and Dress-Up community", has marketed its service to furry fans since at least 2009. The company proposes to monetize their January 2015 purchase through "added advertising" presented via "an improved experience", rather than "taking FA content, redistributing it, reposting it, using it in-game".

Discussion: How to feel about old shame?

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rf Freckle panic.pngIt has been about three weeks since the biggest FurAffinity controversy of recent years happened. For those unaware, every single piece of art that was ever uploaded there has been archived, and preserved. Now you can see all the galleries that has been wiped from FurAffinity, presumably forever, in just a few clicks.

In other words, what is put on the Internet, stays there forever, as the great Anonymous warned us.

That made me think: how should we feel about embarrassing old art and dirty laundry? For the longest time in history, artists could hide their more controversial and poor quality drawings form the public, put them in a safe, or throw into the fire. That time is apparently gone forever. Since there is nothing we can do about it, should we change the way we feel? I think this is a worthy subject to talk about. What do you think?

Voting for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards now open

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxVoting for the 2014 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the 2014 calendar year in eleven categories, is now open. The voting is open from March 15 to April 15. The awards will be announced at a presentation ceremony at Morphicon 2015, in Columbus, Ohio on April 30 through May 3.

The eleven categories are: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series, Best Anthropomorphic Novel, Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction, Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work, Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story, Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, Best Anthropomorphic Magazine, Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration, Best Anthropomorphic Game and Best Anthropomorphic Website.

Voting is open to all! To vote, go to the Ursa Major Awards website and click on "Voting for 2014" at the left. You will receive instructions on how to register to vote. You do not have to vote in every category. Please vote in only those categories in which you feel knowledgeable.

This final ballot has been compiled from those works receiving the most nominations that were eligible. Unfortunately, one work that received enough nominations to have appeared on the final ballot was ruled ineligible because it was published in late 2013. Please check the dates of publication next year to make sure that your nominations are only for works published during the calendar year (January through December) in question.

Complete list of nominations available after the break.
Update (3 May): The winners have been announced.

What is furry music?

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Boomerang The furry fandom is, by-and-large, a visual fandom. Internally, we elevate visual art to the point where sites like Fur Affinity and SoFurry are often referred to as "art sites", despite hosting various kinds of content. Similarly, outside attention on the fandom has tended to exaggerate fursuiting, another highly visual aspect of the fandom.

This focus on visual aspects is quantified in The State Of The Fandom 2008. Although this is far from the most recent set of results available from the Furry Survey it is the most complete report on the results. It shows that approximately 90% of furries consider artwork, 59% consider writing and only 23% consider music to be important to the furry fandom. In addition, 36% said that music was unimportant to the fandom, compared to 7% and 6% for writing and art respectively.

New Howard the Duck comic book series to launch Wednesday

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howardtheduck1.jpgWell, this story just keeps on getting more and more appropriate.

Not long after making his return to movies in the after credits gag from Guardians of the Galaxy after an infamous 1986 outing, Howard the Duck will gain his first ongoing comic since 1979 (not counting a mostly official two issue continuation of the series in 1986 in conjunction with the movie). He's appeared in various mini-series since that time, with many guest spots and cameos (Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis has claimed never to have typed the words "Howard the Duck" despite the character appearing in the background of multiple series by him), and he was one of the non-zombie leads in the Marvel Zombies 5 mini-series, but this is first ongoing since the seventies.

The new series will be written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones. It will retail for $3.99 and has a rating from Marvel of T+.

February 2015 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe and Ringtailed Fox.

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #24 ('Guardians of the Galazy', 'TMNT')

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beboprocksteadyalt.jpgAt this point, I’m a bit behind of recent comic books, but I’m trying to get caught back up to recent times while bringing our readers reviews of every issue of Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and a few even newer series we’ll be getting to eventually.

But for now, we’ve got Guardians of the Galaxy, plus I finish up the final couple of TMNT villains issues.

January 2015 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat and Rakuen Growlithe.

'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' season 5 finally gets an air date

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seasonfive.JPGThe last episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic debuted May 10 of last year. The latest, fifth season of the show won’t arrive until next month, April 4, narrowly avoiding a year gap between seasons.

This will be the first season since the show’s home channel, The Hub, was rebranded as Discovery Family after Hasbro relinquished its controlling stake of the channel to Discovery Communications. The Hub just never made its presence felt against its cartoon/family channel competitors as much as they wanted; the fact that the channel was owned by a toy company meant that toy advertising was curtailed as rival toy companies spent their money elsewhere. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic could be considered the biggest hit of the original content produced for the channel, though most of Hasbro’s original content will remain on the rebranded Discovery Family channel. The restructuring of the channel and its ownership almost certainly was responsible for the longer than usual gap between seasons.

Avoid the Read More button if you consider episode synopses spoilers.

December 2014 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, mwalimu, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe and Ringtailed Fox.

Upcoming furry comics for March 2015

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Furry comics to appear in the top 100 bestsellers list for November 2014 include:

November 2014 Newsbytes archive

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Contributors this month include dronon, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe and RingtailedFox.

Comparison of furry website HTTPS configurations

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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.

Upcoming furry comics for February 2015 (Previews and Marvel Previews)

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Rocket Raccoon and Squirrel Girl have ongoing comic book series. That is all.

Armello: Promising furry fantasy game in early access release

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ThaneLeague of Geeks' flagship game shows a great deal of promise as it goes out to early access. Armello is a video game which bases itself in board game principals where four heroes, a wolf, rat, rabbit and bear, compete for their clans to secure the throne.

The goal is to gain more prestige points than your opponents by the time the king dies of his illness, or to smite him yourself. The game has three methods of doing this, and takes familiar elements and mixes them in ways that work extremely well. The fact that the characters are anthropomorphic is icing on the cake of a solid game.

From the Yerf Archive