Re: Problem is inherent to closed source
Alright, I was in a hurry when I wrote that first reply. Properly, I should have said, “free software,” but the distinction is too complicated to explain quickly, and Eric Raymond and Bruce Perens are bad men who made “open source” the instantly recognizable phrase instead of “free software.”
The crucial bit is the freedom to seek your own software providers. Don’t trust Canonical? Then take advantage of their hard labor and use Linux Mint. Don’t like OpenSSL? Then sponsor development of LibreSSL. Feeling cynical about Code.org’s message of universal coding? Just code for yourself.
The open aspect is also nice. Apple sends your searches to spammers? Nobody knows until somebody does a packet capture or something. Canonical sends your searches to Amazon? There’s immediate outcry, and, before it even ships, multiple opt-out methods are provided. Including that Linux Mint option.
Everybody knows that nobody upgrades the software on their computers. Part of that is the training: Everybody is told that they are not supposed to modify the software on their computers. This goes all the way back to the beginning of the software industry, exemplified by Bill Gates’ Open Letter to Hobbyists: Since he made the software, only he has the privilege of modifying it, and everybody else should pay him to do so.
That set up a dysfunctional dynamic, so that the bosses of Lenovo thought it was a good idea to put a little piece of unvetted closed-source software onto their customers’ computers. After all, the rest of the software is unvetted, all the way down to the operating system and the firmware that runs before the operating system runs. What more harm can one little bit of software do? (Plenty, it turns out, this time.)