I had to turn off UAC in Windows 8 to compile and automatically copy my plugin project to its proper directory because that directory is under Programs Files. This was necessary because I had set the host program to start immediately afterwards in order to debug my plugin as it ran. This worked, but in doing so, I lost access to my Windows 8 apps. I only use a few, but it was annoying enough that I eventually moved the project to a Windows 7 machine (and you don't have to turn UAC off completely, it's just as far as Windows 8 is concerned, if that one registry entry concerning protected directories is toggled off the whole thing is compromised).
So, while any rebuttals here to the effect that "undoubtedly you can turn this off" are probably accurate, I wouldn't be surprised if there were things like this built into the system to encourage the user to keep it on. "Want to develop software on your PC? Well, either apply for a personal certificate or stop using Metro apps." It won't really stop developers, but it could shut down new user interest outside of closed markets.
The worst he could really do is paint graffiti on the Post Office.
If that's not a failure of imagination, I don't know what is. Young, "powerless" people are the ones blowing things up.
I'm glad the EFF has taken up this fight. To me there's no symbolic difference between the code controlling the digital throttle in my xB and the cable doing the same thing in my 24 year-old Tercel... except that the Tercel does it better. I'm not sure, but I think the values that represent my throttle pressure aren't as smooth as they could be, and it might be due to it not being a float value.
Wonky throttle values aren't exactly unknown to Toyotas, as Wozniak discovered with his Prius. I probably would be unable to fix this bug, but he could. It's also possible that the somewhat rough transition between super-light pressure and the notch above that is actually a developing issue with my engine (it's not that noticeable, so the nuance leads me to believe it isn't physical - or at least that it could be improved in code).
So what if I could kill someone by editing the code in my xB? I could kill someone by working on my Tercel too. The legal responsibility rests with me either way. There's no real difference except that there exists precedence for controlling what people can do with the code in their gadgets. Perhaps in some crazy parallel universe, not only could automakers argue that the code isn't yours, they could argue that the whole car isn't yours to do with as you please either. I can imagine the same kind of EULA you agree to in software being applicable to the entire vehicle, listing off all the things you can and cannot do to with "your" brand new car. If they say you must go to the dealer for all repairs, then you must do it, and in the event of tempering, they can revoke your license and take your car back from you.
It's really the car analogy come to life. I have no doubt this argument has been made before. It's just that in the past, computers were computers, cars were cars, and if your car had a computer, it was just an 8-bit micro-controller that managed your vacuum control valves and fuel pressure.