Oracle Java Certfication

I passed my 1Z0-803 Java SE 7 Programmer I exam the other day – and it was without doubt the hardest exam I’ve ever taken by a country mile.

The entire thing’s made of trick-questions, corner-cases and large ‘human-compiler’ questions which have you substituting multiple pieces of borderline-legal nonsensical code into large swathes of horribly structured and badly laid out code to mentally determine which ones result in a given set of output. Horrific.

Also, on top of having to race your way through 70 questions in two hours, there are an undisclosed number of “non-assessed questions” which don’t count towards your score – the only possible reason for these I can think of is to burn the clock and artificially inflate the fail rate, thus scoring Oracle ~$300 a pop on resits for people who need an Oracle cert for their work. What a complete and utter rort.

Java-Cert2

Nailed it – but the only way I’d ever do another Oracle certification would be if there was something big like a specific job riding on it. And even then I’d think twice about whether it’d be worth the grief.

Final rating: 0 out of 5 Rubber Chickens. Avoid like leprosy.

XBox One DRM is just as bad as you feared, and worse

In a move straight out of a DRM lobbyists wet-dream, Microsoft’s policy for the XBox One is officially as follows:

With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies.

So if your console hasn’t phoned home in the last 24 hours to verify that you have the right to play the video games that you’ve purchased with your own hard-earned money – guess what? You can’t play them – plain and simple. Because everyone loves always-online DRM and it worked so great for EA with SimCity recently.

XBox One DRM is hideous - but Microsoft think you'll buy one anyway.

As the 360 is my gaming platform of choice this gen (my ‘attach-rate’ is like 80 games or something), I was really psyched get a new XBox this year, but this is just the final straw for me – so that plan has now changed and been replaced with a new plan: I’m going to get a PS4, and Microsoft can get fucked.

Great job in dropping the ball and completely destroying your brand loyalty, Microsoft – you could have done something wonderful, but instead you offer us this. Sony and Nintendo corporate are going to be celebrating your failure for a long, long time.

You can read more here: http://www.destructoid.com/xbox-one-games-require-online-verification-every-24-hours-255542.phtml.

Candy Crush Rip-Off

Candy Crush Saga IconThis should come as nothing of a surprise to anyone with a few working braincells, but shiny, happy match-3 game Candy Crush Saga is bullshit. The game itself is allegedly free to play, and it kinda is – only it’s designed so that you can’t finish any but the very earliest levels without paying for in-game upgrades via micro transactions.

Now although I’m not a huge fan of micro-transactions and software trying to constantly nickle and dime me (especially in software I’ve already paid for – I’m looking at you Dirt 2/3) – if an application is free to download then I don’t fanatically object to it trying to entice me to purchase a few extras here and there to support a game I might enjoy. But this is where I do take issue: If you want to make any real progress in CCS it’s not optional at all to have to pay for items – without them your progress will be hideously, torturously slow – if any progress can be made at all.

The company who make the game (who I won’t link and namecheck) would no doubt claim that technically it’s possible to finish the game without making any in-game purchases. However I’d argue that it’s only technically possible in the same way that’s it’s technically possible to win fifty million on the lottery. Without that degree of good fortune, expect to play the same level over and over until you have no more lives left, at which point you can wait an hour or so for your lives to regenerate, or you can buy five more lives for 99 cents…

Or (and how about this for a deal) – you can buy a paintbrush to change normal candy into column/row destroying striped candy for a mere forty frickn’ dollars!

Forty dollars for an in-game extra? Nope - get lost.
Ahahahahahaha… No.

So, do the right thing and uninstall that money-grubbin’ time-vampire – you’ll be glad that you did.