Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I'm always in the twilight, in the shadow of your heart

I never, ever, ever want to see this. That said, the concept of a Watchmen prequel comic isn't automatically a bad one; it's just that--as with so many other mythic concepts--getting it wrong is a higher likelihood than getting it right. It likely won't be Sailor Daleks wrong, but the potential's definitely there.

Kotaku, on another front entirely, weighs in on the official review of Minecraft, now that it's in open release. Yes, Minecraft is finally out of beta, and unfortunately, the general reaction has been--it was better in beta, Notch. Which is never where a game designer wants their game. Hopefully--since Notch has stepped down as CEO and lead of Mojang--Jens will listen to the game's fans, and maybe work towards improvements.

Still, what are people complaining about? Well, this for instance. Also this. And these two. And another door glitch. (Though to be fair, this is less a bug, and more a feature...) And almost countless others, including things that work in SP, but not in SMP (basically, single-player versus multi-player).

Generally, the impression is not that people are tired of Minecraft now that it's no longer 'experimental'. (Or even 'independent', by at least traditional definitions.) But many are saying--and I'd say I'm among them--that some of these bugs were reversals of earlier bug fixes, and, more to the point, should have all been fixed before leaving beta.

The Walktopus is going to be a reality! In bronze, no less. Larger-than-life sculpted version, yes. (I keep thinking I've linked this, but then I remember, I haven't updated the Train Wreck to anything in December yet...)

And I want to talk about the double-dozen hours' war between Regretsy and PayPal. To bring everyone up to speed who doesn't know: Regretsy, in addition to being a repository for pointless, surreal and bizarre Etsy crafts (and makers), has also come up with several innovative ideas to get necessary funds to people that need them--including children, the poor, and those in hospitals and hospices.

The latest round was a mini-fund to support two hundred deserving families in poverty, to help them with actual financial donations (to pay bills or pay rent), as well as buy toys to give to the children of these families. (That's covered in this entry, by the way, and also touched on in greater depth by the Green Geek Girl.)

So what went wrong? PayPal did. Both by deciding--spuriously, as it turns out--that Ms. Winchell was rooking vast numbers of unaware donators, but also, by deciding on a whim that their vague internal policies didn't matter if they decided they didn't.

And, as a result--at least, a couple days' back--killing the entire charitable effort, because PayPal not only froze Ms. Winchell's business PayPal account, but also her personal account, which has never been used for any of her charitable efforts on behalf of Regretsy.

There was outcry. There was a great deal of outcry. People on Twitter freaked out. People on Tumblr freaked out. The Consumerist blog published a long list of every single PayPal contact address they could find.

Then PayPal posted an official statement, which is still--slowly--filtering through to the screaming mobs hungry for PayPal's blood. But to be absolutely fair to both sides, all of this could have been avoided if they'd have had more concrete, less flimsy and vague policies established in the first place.

Now, at this point, PayPal's made their own donation to the needy families, as well as refunding seized funds from both her established PayPal accounts (which is severely after the fact, as she'd already refunded, on her own, more than two thousand dollars' donated to the charitable effort). I suppose it's a case of all's well that ends well, but as Ms. Winchell puts it, "We see the erosion of customer care in every sector. No one knows your name. No one makes eye contact. No one thanks you [...] And Paypal forgets your fees are attached to people who are trying to make a living, or facilitate something good for other people."

She's absolutely right.

Finally, Discovery's long-running and highly popular show, Mythbusters, has been placed on indefinite hold while an investigation is conducted on what exactly launched a seven-hundred pound cannon through a house and a car, and could have (five minutes before or after--seriously killed or injured people. I don't think Discovery (or parent company ABC) will find them at fault, but it's a scary, scary brush with an almost-disaster.

Hopefully, more later. Still severely disenchanted with SL. Trying to work through it.


Winter said...

I don't think Notch retired as CEO and lead of Mojang.

Last I heard, he was simply withdrawing as "Head of Minecraft Development" and leaving that role to Jens.

Did I miss an announcement?

Emilly Orr said...

I might have misunderstood the announcements. It's certainly possible.

On 2 December, Notch made Jens lead developer on Minecraft. He expanded that a bit on Tumblr, but the structure seems to be that Notch advanced Jens to rank higher within the company than he did before.

Some days later, we got
this on Twitter, which seems to indicate he's no longer CEO; unless he was joking, and sometimes with Notch, it's hard to tell.