Here’s A Striking Patent

Via Slashdot’s Microsoft Patents sudo6,775,781

Administrative security systems and methods

Abstract

A computer such as a network appliance executes an administrative security process configured to run under an administrative privilege level. Having an administrative privilege level, the administrative security process can initiate administrative functions in an operating system function library. A user process executing under a non-administrative privilege level can initiate a particular administrative function that the process would not otherwise be able to initiate by requesting that the administrative security process initiate the function. In response to a request to initiate a particular function from a process with a non-administrative privilege level, the administrative security process determines whether the requesting process is authorized to initiate the particular administrative function based on information accessed in a data store. If the requesting process is authorized, the administrative security process initiates the particular administrative function. In this manner, the administrative security process facilitates access to specific administrative functions for a user process having a privilege level that does not permit the user process to access the administrative functions.

The discussion is worth a read, as the Slashdotters go though prior art, obviousness and the distinctions between applications and server daemons. But, really — should the USPTO allow patent examiners who don’t know the first thing about running a Unix/Linux system review computer method patents?