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As you have probably realized, the user icons were broken repeatedly over the last weeks. I was using an external service to get the icons. I now re-wrote the system to get them directly from Mojang themselves. The advantage is that the old service provided default icons when something did not work. When going directly to Mojang, I can check when a single user’s skin was updated the last time, compare that to the date of the skin on the server here and only update if it actually changed.
We will be downloading skins for users who join us the first time as soon as they login and everyone else once a day to keep the requests to Mojang at a reasonable level. Also, we currently do not (yet) render the overlays like helmets and so on. This might come later.
I got some reports today that in the flatlands usage of pressure plates and so on was not able for non-members of a lot. I fixed that now. This is world-specific, and it’s supposed to work. If you find that anywhere on the server you are not able to use a redstone enabled device, please let me know and I will fix it.
As you might have realized, we are currently only showing the 2 default user icons on the server, Steve and Alex (the blonde one). This is due to the issue that the minecraft server providing these is frequently down recently.
We do not request these live from Mojang but rather request them periodically in a batch from them and store them locally. I have to wait until the server is back up and then re-request the icons. You can check their status updates here: https://twitter.com/MojangStatus
[Update] The servers work again and I now enabled a daily request of the icons.
Since most of you probably had the opportunity to upgrade to windows 10 by now, I wanted to share with you this article on what to disable in windows 10 to protect your privacy and save resources. If you have other articles regarding windows 10 setup and configuration for first-time users, please post to the comments:
I created a new forum sidebar in which we group new replies by post instead of just listing it by post title. The advantage is that you get a better picture how old the posts are and that there is less to read since it does not repeat the post title for every reply.
The disadvantage is that you have it a bit harder to find the latest replies across several posts since they will be further down in the list.
There is an open question if we should limit the list. Currently I list the latest 20 posts and their replies.