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April 2016

Newsbytes archive for March 2016

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Contributors last month included crossaffliction, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, hi-jera, InkyCrow, mwalimu and Rakuen Growlithe.

Opinion: Is the furry fandom especially creative or original?

Your rating: None Average: 2.9 (13 votes)

There is a quite widespread idea that the furry fandom is a uniquely creative group of people. We say it in our own documentaries, we say it in our own comment sections and the more senior members of the fandom such as Unci and Uncle Kage say it when they talk about the fandom. This majority opinion can be summarized in a single paragraph from the Furry Writer's Guild:

The furry fandom can be difficult to describe succinctly because, unlike media-based fandoms, furries aren’t fans of any one particular television show, film, or even genre. Many furries do find their way to the fandom through overlap with fandoms of mass media properties like The Lion King and My Little Pony, but for the most part, furries create their own original content to be fans of. It’s an incredibly creative community, and the boundaries between creator and fan are often slim to nonexistent.

But is it really true? Let's be clear, I am not saying that the furry fandom is not creative or original, but I do not think that we are uniquely so and, hopefully, by the end of this, I will have convinced you of that.

Furry v superheroes; box office in early 2016

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batmanvjudy.jpgAccording to box office tracking site Box Office Mojo, Zootopia has just passed Deadpool to become the highest grossing movie of 2016. It's still early in the year, and Zootopia will most likely have relinquished the crown by 2017, but the beginning of the year has seen furries and superheroes battle it out for dominance at the box office.

As of press time, the current weekly box office champ, on its second weekend, is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a superhero showdown of franchise-launching proportions; when the dust settles, it will probably come out ahead of Zootopia, though some film pundits have sensed weakness. The film, while doing massive box office by any standards, has still underperformed compared to predictions both weeks, and has had massive box office drops both from day to day and week to week. Zootopia, while never as massive an opener, has sustained smaller drop-offs and consistently overperformed compared to box office pundit predictions.

But the story of 2016's box office hasn't just been Batman v Superman v Zootopia; as noted, the previous biggest box office of the year was Deadpool, while a look back at the weekly charts reveals its been furries versus superheroes since nearly the beginning of the year.

So, what do you get when you type "[your name here] the Hedgehog" in Google Image Search?

Hacked repeater brings furry podcast FurCast to FM radio

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The Lift FM

Are furry podcasts unsuitable for breakfast? FM listeners in Colorado sure thought so!

On the morning of April 5, Denver-area FM station KIFT 106.3 "The Lift" suffered a broadcast signal intrusion on a relay station serving a remote valley. Instead of Bruno Mars, listeners in Breckenridge, Colorado were treated to Paradox Wolf, Fayroe and friends.

Denver station KCNC-TV "CBS 4" contacted The Lift for an explanation, and were told they send programing from their studio to four transmitters via the Internet. Somehow, the Breckenridge repeater K258AS (99.5 FM) was compromised, and someone had spliced in Furcast Episode 224 in place of The Lift.

Thankfully, the primary FM and webcasts of both The Lift and Furcast.FM / XBN were unaffected, but a large amount of NSFW programming, including swearing, was broadcast without censorship for several hours, with The Lift's engineers unable to kill the studio/transmitter link remotely.

On FurCast's end, their server saw a gradual rise in connections to its podcast archive (used on its website and iOS and Android apps for listeners) from 06:00 AM EDT onwards, until they were able to temporarily disable access at 02:30 PM EDT. The archives have since come back online at a new address, with a long list of blocked IP addresses to prevent a recurrence.

In Memoriam: RonRon the YouTube fox

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Internet-famous vulpine Ron the Fox, well known for the YouTube videos depicting his life, passed away in his sleep on April 6 (video), just ten days before his eighth birthday.

Former owner Albi Azul says he found Ron curled peacefully under his favourite picnic table. Albi had hoped to film an episode commemorating his channel reaching 100,000 subscribers; the award arrived just a few days too late.

News of Ron's death was widely distributed, and inspired art from many furry fans, including crashheart, Muzz, azora and Haru; it also received coverage in the Irish Examiner.

A combination "thank-you" and "memorial" video clip was uploaded on the morning of April 9, but be warned: it is very depressing: Goodbye, silly RonRon, sleep tight.

What animation studio would you most like to see do a furry movie?

Retrospective review: 'Chicken Little'

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

chickenlittle.jpgSo, anyway, earlier this year, a movie came out called Zootopia. We, uh, might have mentioned it. Despite being anticipated, or even known, by just about nobody who wasn't a furry or, perhaps, a major Disney fan, the movie managed to become a rare hit at both the box office and with professional critics (though gathering up Flayrah reviews, the consensus was more in line with Metacritic's "good, but whatever" score, because furries, am I right?).

One thing that was repeatedly and pointedly not mentioned by anyone involved with the movie was another movie a little over a decade old, called Chicken Little. Lots of interviews, and even a semi-independently produced 45-minute making of documentary, all went on at length at how this Disney's first fully anthropomorphic animal world since Robin Hood, and the first set in the furry equivalent of a modern world, despite the fact that it, well, wasn't. Chicken Little became the animated equivalent of a "disappeared non-person" in some sci-fi dystopia.

Which makes it incredibly interesting, in a weird kind of way; in a company that mines its past productions for nostalgia like there is no tomorrow (only yesterday, repeated), Disney has gone out of its way to avoid reminding anyone this movie exists. And this is actually a fairly important movie in the history of the company; it was the first full length computer animated feature by Disney (and not Pixar). So, is it really that bad?

Yes. Yes it is really that bad.

Gaming Furever looking for new staff during relaunch

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StaffInterestApplication_1.pngWe're looking for a select group of staff for the new Gaming Furever. GF has been active in the furry gaming community since 2012, and is looking to revamp its mission and directive over the next few months with a new staff.

The GF staff is a place for driven, fun-loving-yet-serious gamers with an interest in running events, being social, and staying in the know about recent news around the gaming industry, specifically animal/furry related news. Our staff will be a tight-knit team of 3-4 people who will be responsible for contributing their opinions on site decisions, helping plan and staff events over the Internet on Steam or other platforms, and staying active on the site itself. Being visible online is a big plus. We don't want the staff on our site to be invisible, and you'll need to be able to interact with people. This means having a sound mind, and being able to deal with all types of situations and reporting them to upper admins if necessary.

Apply here.

Coming in August to Japan: 'Rudolph and Ippaiattena' ... and Godzilla?

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Toho Films has just released an aw-it’s-cute trailer for its August 6 CGI theatrical feature adaptation of author Hiroshi Saitō’s children’s book Rudolph and Ippaiattena. But Toho has also added a mention of one of its other big summer releases, Godzilla: Resurgence. Japan still has theatrical monopolies, so these features released by Toho Films will only play in the Toho Cinemas theatrical chain.

Anime News Network has news on the film’s voice actors, Saitō’s original children’s book series, and a translation of the trailer’s text.

SoFurry faces a day's downtime as brownouts corrupt metadata

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Furry art and story community SoFurry is offline after a series of brownouts corrupted the database containing information about site activity. Repairs may take over 24 hours.

While power has now been restored, the interruption caused damage to the database holding data about submissions, comments and users, which must now be fixed:

SoFurry is experiencing extended downtime. We are working on data recovery after a particularly nasty set of circumstances after a brownout caused data corruption. Submission content is safe, however we have to repair the metadata db. We expect SF to be down for at least another 24 hours.

Update (18 Apr): SoFurry is back online, although occasional downtime is reported.

Update 2 (19 Apr): Additional servers are being added after further downtime.

What live action adaptation of a Disney animated talking animal movie should they do next?