Navarr Barnier

Software Developer

Read this first

Mine-Ads Cancelled

This is a copy of an email I sent earlier today to those that subscribed for updates on Mine-Ads

It’s been about a year and a half since I announced that I wanted to do this thing. Rest easy knowing that I sadly did not get very far.

However, with Mojang’s new changes to their Commercial Usage Guidelines - I’m going ahead and Cancelling the Mine-Ads Project.

Mojang is cracking down on what sort of promotions you can do in Minecraft - and it’s basically nothing. Minecraft is locking down it’s ecosystem, and while the language of their CUG is shaky enough that Mine-Ads might be allowed, it is far too risky for me to think it worth spending my time on.

You can read Mojang’s post about their new guidelines here:

You can discuss my decision on /r/admincraft here:

While I do not think it is a risk...

Continue reading →

Mine Ads: Make Games, Get Paid

I’ve been volunteering as an administrator/web developer for a Minecraft Network for well over a year and a half - though before then I’d been paying special attention to the network’s attempt to monetize and reach profitability. It did this not out of greed, but out of necessity - the network has tonnes of servers and the administration is entirely unpaid, volunteer workers.

I wouldn’t consider that a bad thing - but it does mean that they have to attend to other obligations. It very easily, very quickly means that administering the network becomes the lowest priority. No matter how passionate volunteers are, incentive becomes necessary. I know a lot of them, despite the toxic community they have to deal with, would more than love to spend all of their time working on bettering the games.

Mine Ads is going to be my solution to that problem. Networks have attempted to bring in...

Continue reading →

You should be using

Disclaimer: This article reflects the personal opinion of it’s poster only.

It’s been a little more than three years since Google introduced , and it’s hugely surprising how few online shopping markets are using the simple new standard to differentiate themselves from their competitors on Google.

Let’s look at an example. I’ll run a Google search for some luggage. How about the IT Luggage Copenhagen 4 Wheeled 3 Piece Luggage Set?

A website without Technologies:

A website with Technologies:

There’s a very obvious difference. For one, the rating immediately draws the eyes - pulling the gaze of the searcher to the product listing. And then, the searcher immediately knows the price, the rating, and even a category listing to draw the searcher to other parts of the store. Here’s another example:

While this website doesn’t have the rating, it...

Continue reading →

How Swatches Work [Magento EE 1.14.1]

Magento Enterprise Edition 1.14.1 was released today, and with it came the very nifty feature of Swatches! My team was very interested in figuring out how to manage and utilize this new feature for our clients.

The first thing that we noticed is, for our pre-existing installation anyways, Swatches were disabled by default. To enable them, you need to go to the “Configurable Swatches” section under the Catalog heading in your Configuration. There you will find the ability to Enable them, and an area to select which attributes you wish to display swatches for.

Color Swatches

Perhaps the most nifty feature is that - by default - colors appear for the color attribute when enabled for swatches. When first demoing this, you’d have to think it’s magic, but it isn’t!

As it turns out, Magento checks for the existence of the attribute value (in lowercase) as a png image in...

Continue reading →

Heartbleed and GVOMS

Google Voice for Outlook has finally shut down - the same week that the Heartbleed vulnerability was discovered.

Luckily, from what I can tell, the server hosting GVOMS was using an older version of OpenSSL (0.9.8) and so was not affected by the Heartbleed vulnerability.

And that’s all there is to say on the matter.

View →

Social is the PURPOSE of VR

Facebook acquired Oculus Rift today. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

However, I’m not one of those. While Facebook’s track record is shoddy at best, I still have faith in what they’re attempting. They see the potential of Social in Virtual Reality, and it’s a wondrous vision.

But I don’t want to work with social, I want to work with games.

— Notch, Virtual Reality is going to change the world

But games are social. Most fun games are inherently social. Dark Souls wouldn’t be quite so much fun without some random player barging in and screwing up all you’d worked for. League of Legends would be nothing if all you played were bots. And while Minecraft is tonnes of fun to play all alone in survival, what keeps me coming back to it is playing online with all of my friends.

Has everyone forgotten what Social really is? It’s not...

Continue reading →

How are cold-calling ceasefires illegal?

I’ve been reading the news lately of Google, Apple, & al. mutually agreeing not to cold-call each other’s employees (and, at worst, absolutely not hire each other’s management). While the later is certainly much more questionable on the legality standpoint, how on earth is it illegal to ask your competition not to cold-call each other’s employees?

People are outraged about this, the vast majority of people being Software Engineers, much like myself - and I absolutely can not understand it.

These actions for Engineers did not stop engineers from switching jobs or getting higher salaries. I see no aspect in which price fixing engineer salaries was involved. Simply the “Hey, stop reaching out to my employees. Let them contact you if they want a job with you.”

And I feel like that’s completely reasonable. The letters from Google in particular were about “Don’t cold-call my...

Continue reading →

Shutting down Google Voice for Outlook

Google Voice for Outlook Mobile Service was a pet project I started during my year between High School and University. I created it because I had an odd obsession with Outlook at the time and I thought it amazingly silly to pay someone to send text messages through Outlook when I already had a Google Voice account.

At first, the service was run through mirrors (other people hosted my code and I help them set it up with the agreement that their endpoint be available to the public). I wasn’t too fond of this, as I didn’t have real control over the security aspect (if they were so inclined, they could have stolen your username and password). Two years ago I purchased an IP address and SSL certificate on my shared host for the explicit purpose of securely hosting Google Voice for Outlook.

I mentioned the cost a few times, and solicited donations. I didn’t keep very good track, but I...

Continue reading →

“Document labelled UTF-16 but has UTF-8 content” - or how I was accidentally emailed a user’s password

I have very few personal projects, and I tend not to take very good care of them. Of these, the most expensive and one of the longest running personal projects is Google Voice for Outlook Mobile Service. I believe I made it the summer after I graduated from High School, and for some crazy reason I just loved Outlook.

Either way, I figured out that Outlook, when connected to an OMS provider, could send text messages. “How beneficial!” I thought. Have your text messages and email addresses in the same inbox, yet still appearing separate.

I looked into these OMS providers that Outlook linked to, and they all charged money, of course. Pay per text message - every single one of them. It was a hard bargain for me, since I had a cellular phone I paid for and Google Voice on top of that. Why should I get another number, that will only be useful inside of Outlook, and then pay for every...

Continue reading →

Test Post, Please Ignore

This is my first test post. I want to see what writing a post on Svbtle looks like. All in all, I’ve been a big fan of the simplicity of the platform – reading different posts on it while browsing Hacker News, and I’ve considered re-creating something similar to it in PHP to transition my own blog to.

But now that it’s open, I think I’ll just stick with using it, and start transitioning my professional writing over to it. Just about everything on my technical blog is out of date, and my personal blog is post-less (and will remain that way, since I no longer see a need to write too much about my personal life).

All in all though, it looks like a terrifically wonderful platform for writing and I can’t wait to see how this post turns out.

View →