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WikiFur News

Stories imported from WikiFur's news service.

FOXmas cancelled after adverse publicity

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FOXmas 2009 promotional poster

The adults-only Christmas-themed mini-convention FOXmas has been cancelled for 2009, according to Frozen Oasis organizer and co-chair Soron.[1]

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.[2] Unlimited alcohol at the Saturday party was advertised for a $25 registration fee.[3]

FOXmas's promotion had a hyperbolic and decidedly mature tone,[2][3][4] leading to controversy inside and outside furry fandom.[5][6][7] 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.[8][9]

Swedish furs gather for first FurryCon

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Wolfer and Tobi compete in Guitar Hero (credit: Writerfox)

Last month saw a long-anticipated event - FurryCon, the first[1] furry convention in Sweden since Eurofurence 2 - drawing 110 people to the city of Karlstad on the north shore of Lake Vänern.[2]

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.[3]

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.[2] 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."

Furcadia suffers security breach

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Furcadia players logged-in early this morning were surprised to find a list of usernames, emails and passwords arriving through the online news channel.[1]

The person behind the attack - who identified himself as "Uildiar"[2] - 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.[3] 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.[4]

Anthrocon 2009 psychological survey team releases preliminary results

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Preliminary results have been released for a psychological survey taken at Anthrocon 2009 this July.[1][2][3][4][5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

This year's survey focussed on determining sociability, empathy, sex role identification, and social desirability.[9] There were 275 participants; fewer than in previous years due to IRB restrictions intended to prevent distribution of forms to minors.[10]

Elysian Tail game wins $40,000 prize in XNA Dream-Build-Play competition

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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.[1] 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.[2][3][4] 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.[5] The game is on display this weekend in the Microsoft Indie Games booth at PAX, a popular gamer festival held in Seattle, Washington.[4]

New hotel aids Califur revival

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Syber and Skittles prowl the halls (photo by Orzel; more)

Visitors to this month's Califur had low expectations after last year's disappointing experience.[1] 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".[1][2][3]

The registration count rose 23% to 720,[4] with several dealers reporting a decent profit.[5][6][5][7] 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.[8]

Some commented adversely on the presence of Cal Cotton, a dealer in real fur tails, mink-tipped floggers and scrimshaws.[9][10] 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.[9][2]

Califur 4's venue was memorable for all the wrong reasons — a disappointing ice-cream social,[11] filming (albeit by furries) in the halls,[12] and a wedding reception forcing the event into what one con-goer described as a "furry ghetto" of black curtains.[13][14] The curtains were so notorious that their lack was advertised as a feature of the new hotel, the Irvine Mariott.[15]

WikiFur moves languages to new server

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WikiFur has expanded to cover six new languages in the past year

WikiFur has moved its German, French, Czech and Portuguese projects to the server hosted by Timduru.[1] They join existing projects in Russian, Spanish, Polish, Italian and Chinese, totaling over 1500 articles of non-English content.[2]

The new server is ad-free and has been thoroughly tuned.[3] It offers several new features, including breadcrumbs, an abuse filter, integrated Java chat, multi-category search and a shared image pool.

WikiFur decided to move last year, prompted by the threat of increased branding and advertising. The English WikiFur will join the rest as once preparations are complete.

Naylor ends 'Better Days' for new comic

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The Black family, from Better Days

Cartoonist Jay Naylor posted the last page of his webcomic Better Days on May 29, after a six-year long run of 633 pages.[1]

Naylor announced plans last November to end Better Days and start a new strip, mixing new characters with children of the Better Days cast.[2] The strip, Original Life, was launched on June 1.

Better Days is listed as one of the "Reader's Favorites" at The Belfry WebComics Index, with 435 subscribers as of June 6, 2009.[3]

Penn. 'daddyfur' charged with teen contact

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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[1]); a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.[2] 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.

2008 Ursa Major Award winners announced

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The winners of the 2008 Ursa Major Awards were announced this weekend at All Fur Fun 2009 in Spokane Valley, Washington.[1]

Nominees and award winners were chosen by popular online vote. Over 270 ballots were received from 16 countries for the final vote — an 34% increase over the previous year.[1]

MixedCandy, Arend lead Fracas picks

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Jäger won last year's Fracas

Nominations for the Fandom's Favorite Fursuit Fracas have closed, with 326 fursuit characters proposed for the 2009 event - an 11% increase over 2008.[1] Voting for the knockout tournament will begin once all nominees have been contacted for their permission.[2]

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.[3] 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.

2008 Ursa Major Award voting open

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Ursa Major Awards

Voting has begun for the 2008 Ursa Major Awards.[1]

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.

RMFC seeks $30,000 to survive

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Rocky Mountain Fur Con

Rocky Mountain Fur Con, based in Denver, Colorado, is facing tough times. Despite 35% growth, debt has led 2009 chairman Sorin Kat to plea for $30,000 to keep the event alive.[1]

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".[2]

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.[2]

Furp killed in motorcycle accident

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Furp at Dorsai Thing 31

Long-time fandom member and convention volunteer Furp (Patrick Reed) died yesterday in an accident on the roads close to his work at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base in California.[1]

Furp was riding his motorcycle on Highway 62 when a Marine turned left in front of him.[1][2][3][4] He was pronounced dead on the scene. He was 29.[5]

Furp was a regular member of Anthrocon operations staff, as well other conventions such as Califur, FurFright, Midwest FurFest and Rocket City FurMeet, and provided expertise in first-aid.

The report of Furp's death resulted in an outpouring of emotion from friends and well-wishers. A LiveJournal community,   remember_furp, has been set up in his memory.[6]

Furp's memorial service will be held at Heritage Funeral Home, 16880 National Ave., New Berlin, WI 53151 (262-901-1140), likely on February 28.[7][8]

Anthrocon wins 2008 "Missy" Award on ABC's Good Morning America

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On December 27, 2008, an episode of ABC's morning news show Good Morning America, Anthrocon was awarded the 2008 Missy Award for "Convention of the Year."

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.