Minecraft is a little indie balloon swelling with popularity and success, and it just burst. The main server buckled under the weight of purchases, updates, and user verifications, and Notch has suspended all of those functions to get the game working again. Which means he's made it free, for a while.
The system fell over when Notch updated the server client to fix furnaces and add "sneaking" - features which I've been too excited to even try yet. He's now using Amazon Cloud to distribute the updates, and is working to get a new server and have someone with big brainy-pants write super sleek modern codez. (Read: He's doing magic to fix it.)
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