No snapshot this week, instead we get a full patch! Minecraft 1.7.5 has been released. It's a pretty small change, mainly focused around Minecraft Realms which those outside Sweden or who haven't attended Minecon haven't previously had access to. Those who do will now get a selection of minigames, described in the following YouTube clip.
Otherwise, 1.7.5 is just a collection of bug fixes (Chicken jockeys no longer slow multiplayer servers, for example) and server optimisation tweaks. On the bright side, the update also paves the way for a wider roll-out of Realms - bringing it to all Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Finland) starting sometime next week.
It's not the last patch we'll see in the near future. Version 1.7.6 will be released soonish, bringing support for the new skin system and for changing names. It'll be out sometime after GDC apparently, which takes place in March, so no massive rush on that front. In the meantime, snapshots for 1.8 will continue.
On the community side of things, I was incredibly impressed this week by this Japanese language learning course that takes place entirely in Minecraft. To join, all you need to do is join a forum and visit the Kotoba Miners server, then classes are held twice a week on Tuesdays. If you give it a go, let me know what it's like.
If you're into automation, you'll probably also enjoy the villager cube - the smallest fully automatic carrot farm available for Minecraft, occupying just a 3x3x3 cube. Since that video was made, creator Xsampl3Craft has tried out a few tweaks to it, testing whether four hoppers are better than two and so on. Find the results of his experiments here.
Finally, I'll finish with a couple of neat builds I've seen this week. Redditor Krytanplay tweaked a witches' hut, rebuilding it into a home to be proud of. This giant Russian palace has a crazy central courtyard. Oh, and here's a neat way of creating a backlit map room, if you're the exploring type.
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.