Vista-Rant: A Formal Approach

/* I've been using Vista for a few seconds now and already I hate the dialog box that pops up, dims the screen, and asks you if it was you who just clicked whatever it is you clicked.
My first reaction was "sure, weren't you here?". The second time, I became somewhat irritated. Now I hate it. Everyone hates it (except for Apple).

My guess is the Vista product team has a 6'8 giant in charge of security called "The Crasher". His first plan was to just turn off the power - "No Power, No Hacker!" (Incidently, The Crasher has a heavy Austrian accent which makes it rhyme perfectly). After many a day of arm twisting they've reached a painful compromise which is what we are dealing with today.


Instead of bitching about Vista like everyone else, I've decided to provide scientific, rock-solid proof that it is a silly feature. We'll start with a premise, contradict it and hopefully the whole thing will just go away.

1. The whole point of this ordeal is making sure the active user never does anything with admin privileges unless she asks for it explicitly.
2. Why? If you are downloading some malware (how many times do I have to tell you Mom, not to open attachments from the damage it can do is limited by the fact that it does not run as an Administrator (that does not include all personal data but we will let this one slide).
3. Once you click continue, whatever it is you are running gets Administrator privileges and can do whatever it wants.
4. A user (any user!) has no way of telling which actions will require a "continue" and which won't.
5. Any program can be configured to run as Administrator which, when launched, triggers the "silly dialog".
6. A potential malware can replace a non-admin-requiring action with itself and make sure it requires admin privileges.
7. The next time our user is trying to perform the "infected" action, Vista will ask if it was actually her that is performing the action. Our user is sure to click continue (see 4).
8. We now have malware running as Admin. For good measure, it can run the actual task so everything looks nice and normal. This contradicts are starting point (1 I believe was its number), proving, once and for all, that the whole thing is just silly.
QED (and good riddance).

PS - Crasher, if you're reading this, I just want to say I've always admired your sense of humor. Also, if you need me, I am temporarily staying at the Hilton Tikrit.

public class U {
   public Set<Thing> queryUniqueThingsICanDo() {
      // return thingsICanDo().removeAll(World.things());
      // Optimized: Found out there is
      // Nothing you can do that can't be done
      return new HashSet<Thing>();

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