Re: Stupid patching!
Flash updates are hopeless.
If the update is a point release on the same version then it will update automatically. If it's a major release (which seems to be at least every other month) then the auto update window appears. Clicking update opens your web browser and takes you to the adobe website to download a new copy of flash with whatever toolbars Adobe is peddling that month. You then have to manually install the update from the download.
Adobe reader doesn't get updated too much, I think there has only been 8 updates since 11 was released.
Java is the worst of the lot. UAC prompt to load the update notification, followed by a manual process to initiate the install which installs the ask jeeves toolbar even though you told it not to when you first installed. Then the new Java 8 installer doesn't automatically remove Java 7 as part of the default install. I know some people need to retain multiple versions but that should be an option on the custom install not the default.
These people need to look at Google or Mozilla to see how auto updates should be done