As January drifts into February, the snow is falling in Sweden.
But one benefit of the cold, dark weather is that there's more time to play Minecraft and more time for Mojang to work on snapshots. This week, 14w05a was released - bringing with it invisible blocks, ejector seats in Minecarts and creeper-vision.
Let's deal with the invisible block first. It appears in your hand is a big red no entry sign, but when placed it's entirely transparent. It seems to conduct redstone current, which should make it useful in making redstone creations prettier (and making rollercoasters). Just don't forget where you put it down.
The ejector seats are pretty simple creations, activating whenever a Minecart passes over a powered activator rail and ejecting any entities inside. This will make it much simpler to put together Minecart stations - you won't need any ridiculous setups involving hoppers, cactuses and tripwires any more - just step in the Minecart and go.
Creeper vision is a new shader that turns everything green. Pretty simple, and there's spider-vision and an infrared-looking enderman vision too. They all come from a new spectator mode that stops players from interacting with the world in any way, or from being seen by players. You can click on any entity to take its camera - hence the vision modes above. Give a try with /gamemode spectator. Oh, and try out the new noclip mode too.
The Minecraft community has been all about anvils this week. First there was this fantastic design for an anvil table by JakBB, and then GoombaX went mad creating complex anvil floor patterns. Given that iron is difficult to farm, this is probably a creative-only endeavour, but we'd love to see some builds that incorporate this.
Finally the community's been working hard at abusing the new villager AI mechanics unveiled last week. You can automate your farming almost entirely now by separating a farmer and another villager with a fence and putting a hopper beneath it. When the farmer tries to throw food to his friend, it gets caught by the fence and then sucked down into the hopper. Here's the smallest design we've seen for a farm - try it yourself and see if it works.
Right. I'll leave it there for today. If you've seen anything in the Minecraft community that you think I should be highlighting, tell me about it by dropping me an email. I'll be back with another roundup this time next week.