This whole idea of kernel mode/user mode being the only security barrier in a computer has to go.
I agree. But remember the fundamentals of Unix-like systems came from this idea of time-sharing on steroids with multitasking over a "captive" or "controlled" population of users with lesser privileges than the root. Likewise, it was easy and convenient (to both design and implement) to view the OS as a core considered "safe" / "trustable" and "trusting" and several layers around it with less and less prerogatives (or none) (kernel > services > apps, etc) vis-a-vis the hardware and the overall system integrity for the user(s). Which was fine in the beginning, the user population were mostly research, academia, and the needs and usages were essentially computing, number crunching. Unlike today, where people put or almost "spend" their lives with, by, for, whatever OSes they use. Including trusting the computer enough for data about their money, opinions, families, lives, past, present, and even contemplated future.
Thus, nowadays also, be it Un*x-like or Windoze, everybody "is root" by default 99% of the time, with their devices and OSes, except for the 1% educated users who either don't trust themselves enough to be root for common tasks that don't absolutely require it, and/or who don't trust a priori any 3rd party their system may connect to in the process.
Technology, there, in software and networking is still very poorly understood : the two edged sword is that beyond the intrinsic qualities in design or implementation, those mean nothing or can be completely ruined and/or harmful, if the users don't have the slightest clue of what's actually happening behind the UI scene.
We also need more and better open source hardware.
Now, I wholeheartedly agree. You're preaching to the choir, here. Because as much as I can be bored and picky to be surprised in so-called "software innovation", I am really worried to see hardware, on the other hand, to keep being really innovative but also, SADLY! in a world where big corporate conniving with big government is becoming more and more the rule and no more an exception. That REALLY doesn't make me feel safer when I know their stuff stay proprietary, in a domain where the learning curve for the required reverse engineering skills (for people's inspection / reassurance) isn't in the same ballpark as code.
(Call me old-fashioned if you wish but I'm among those who still believe that hardware is where the real stuff happens... for BETTER OR FOR WORSE, and may not be trivial... NOT AT ALL)
"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.
"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius
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