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Monthly Archives: March 2007

I noticed Stalker – the game is finally finished. It looks pretty fun and exciting. Supposedly it has a DirectX 9 feature complete engine. The game takes place in Chernobyl, however in this world its made up of mutants.

Here’s a fun video:

If you like the security that User Account Control provides, and you are a user that is also in the Administrators group, but don’t like the constant elevation prompts here is how you can change that behavior.

Click start run and type in secpol.msc into the search window and hit enter. In the security policy editor browse to:

Local Policies > Security Options.

At the bottom you’ll see several entries for User Account Control.

Most of them are self explanatory. The entry you’ll want to change is"User Account Control: Behavior of the elevation prompt for administrators in Admin Approval Mode". Change it from "Prompt for consent" to "Elevate without prompting".

I should mention though – realistically no-one should be using Vista as a user in the Administrators group. The reason why you shouldn’t is because it is insecure. One of the reasons Windows makes all the news when it comes to malware, viruses and other undesirable applications is because users run as Administrators all the time. This is actually the only thing that keeps OSX out of the headlines – by default users on OSX are not administrators, and applications don’t have full run of the machine.

Microsoft kind of dropped the ball on this by making your new user in setup part of the Administrators group. UAC prompt for elevation was put in place because some engineer thought well if they are going to do this (bad behavior) lets let people know when its happening. I think what will happen ultimately is users will disable UAC, or click continue blindly even when its a piece of malware while those of us who care about security will use our computers as users and only elevate ourselves to Administrator when we need to do administrative tasks.

With that I promise to get back to World of Warcraft stuff and Catgirl stuff next time.

I’m sure most people have seen the Apple advertisement making fun of the Vista Cancel or Allow dialogue. It turns out there’s more here than Apple is revealing (shocking I know). It also turns out that Microsoft’s UAC is more similar to Apple’s security model than I’m sure they would like to admit.

To start with the Cancel/Allow dialogue only appears when the application manifest or the application settings are set to only run the application as Administrator and the application is not signed. You pretty much won’t see this dialogue anywhere else. Any application designed for XP or 2000 Windows logo certification won’t require settings like this. Any well designed application made in the last 10 years won’t require this either. I suspect most of the apps that will require administrator settings are games and vertical market apps (GlasPac?).

I suspect Apple is making fun of the far more common Continue/Cancel dialogue. These only occur when you are a regular user that is also in in the Administrators group and the application can or wants to be elevated to administrator. The warning pops up because Windows is changing security tokens from User to Administrator – the so called split token warning.

What happens if you even the playing field and try this same operation as a regular user? This after all would be just like the Macintosh/OSX right?

Installing Reader as a regular user on OSX:

Installing Reader as a regular user on Vista:

Whoa – its exactly the same! Its also worth noting that while using Vista as a regular user you won’t get those split token warnings – applications will run with normal user permissions.

Next time I’ll tell you how to disable the Continue/Cancel warning without disabling UAC for those of you who want to live on the edge.

This is Lake Union just outside the Adobe Seattle office.

Some news: I hope to get some new glasses on Monday, and I found my camera battery/charger :). Hopefully the weather is nice enough to get some riding in.

Now on to the guild Company of Heroes on the realm Staghelm. I was originally going to post something on their forums, however I never gained access (more on this later). Company of Heroes is the first guild I belonged to in WoW, however I left the other day largely because I wanted to progress my character and wanted to support my friends. I actually really like everyone in the guild itself, and I hope in the future I can help them progress as well – they have lots of really good players.

I like playing World of Warcraft for the most part. You meet nice people, do fun things etc. One aspect of the game that is troubling however is that if you want to play around in dungeons (instances) you need to be part if a guild. The reason for this is many of these instances require a bit of organization. If you want to experience a Raid instance it takes a lot more organized guild with higher level characters. There are tools inside the game to look for people to group with to run through these instances, but in general the level of organization is not there to do this. Level 70 dungeons especially are tough enough that you have to be on your toes at all times to complete them. I can’t imagine what level 70 raids are like.

Guilds generally help solve this problem. However thinking back there were only 2-3 dungeons I went to because a guild member invited me. Every other dungeon I had been to however was organized by two of my co-workers (Sorien and Fugliest). For the most part this is still true :).

More recently however the only lvl 70 logged in Company of Heroes were Sorien and I. Its actually impossible to progress when the rest of the guild is Level 60 or less in a lot of cases. I enjoy running through some of the older dungeons – especially since I haven’t been to a lot of them, but I know that is going to get old eventually. Also if you are a Level 60 running older dungeons is the slowest way to progress – so it seemed kind of counter productive.

So I left – I’m now part of a guild called DragonLance. One thing I’ve noticed is I actually get requests from other guild members to go dungeons – and some high end ones :). I hope it pans out – I think if it doesn’t I might look for something else to do, maybe level a new character or something.

More on the forum – so yes I planned to post a note like this on Company of Heroes forum. I signed up about a month ago (I think)? But no-one has validated or approved my account. Kind of a bad sign if you are trying to gauge guild activity.