Internet Security, Lessons Learned From Sony

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What’s happened to Sony has been extremely costly. Millions of users’ account information including credit card numbers stolen and the Playstation network crippled. Millions in revenue lost not to mention a crisis of customer trust. It’s still not clear who’s the culprit. Sony has indirectly accused the hacktivist group Anonymous who deny responsibility.

This incident shows that in an age where more and more products and services are dependent on technology, companies, individuals, and governments need to be ever more vigilant against malicious crackers/black-hat hackers. This means constantly testing vulnerabilities against exploits and making sure to practice best security practices. One doesn’t even need to know the difference between Java and Python to be able to crack or attack websites. There are free, open-source software available on websites, hacker forums, and torrents for script kiddies (pejorative term used by real hackers to denote noobs) to cause mayhem and destruction.


Centennial Park Journals

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I described my hometown’s local parks in a previous post. In that post I mentioned a communal journal in the back of the park in which visitors would write down their thoughts as they admired the view and stillness. These anonymous entries are touching and sometimes painfully honest.


Funny Fortune Cookies

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So what do I do when the moment comes?
I don’t have any clean party clothes

This Is How Fast I Can Ride My Bike

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Okay, so not enough people have seen this awesome video I made of myself biking around Manhattan with a camera on my head. It was filmed with a GoPro camera and then sped up eight times.


I Am Internet’s Number One “David Xia”

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seconds since I’ve been #1

That’s right. I’ve known (and relished) for a long time the fact that I dominate Google’s top search results for “David Xia.” But being a winner always feels better when the losers concede defeat. Here’s a blog post by another David Xia who laments, “I’m no longer number one.”



Wellesley High School 2006 Commencement Address

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This is the commencement address delivered at my high school graduation by David McCullough Jr., son of historian David McCullough Sr. As I was about to post this, I tried to find this speech online to check for copyright and permission to republish. It used to be hosted on Wellesley High School’s website. Since then they seem to have taken it down, and I’m not able to find it online anywhere. So for posterity, here it is.

“GO” 2006 Commencement Address – David McCullough

Dr. King, Mrs. Mirkin, Mr. Keegan, Mrs. Jablonski, friends and families of the graduates, members of the Wellesley High School class of 2006, for the honor of the invitation to speak this afternoon I am very grateful. Thank you.

The occasion is commencement, a beginning. Let us not, therefore, spend too much time looking backward. Suffice to say you spent four useful and, I hope, happy years in that lovely pile of bricks, that you now know the difference between Dickens and Dickinson and recognize a pythagorean theorem when you trip over one, that you can conjugate an unAmerican verb or two and navigate most regions of the periodic table. You know, I hope, something of history and its particulars, and you understand it is (present tense) populated with people, every bit as real and vital as you are, with loves and wishes and apprehensions just like yours. I hope in that building and on its green fields you learned the indispensability of passion and practice and teamwork, that you felt both victory and defeat, that you learned something of the connection between dedication and achievement, between effort and results. You enjoyed, I hope, the peace of mind of knowing you tried your best.


From Individualism to Collectivism, the American Nowadays

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An essay I wrote for United States history class in my junior year of high school. My prose can definitely be tightened, but the kernel of my idea is still intriguing.

David Xia
AP2 US
Jan. 11, ‘05

From Individualism to Collectivism: The American Nowadays

Americans have always been proud of their “rugged individuality.” The roots of this sentiment originated in the conditions of the establishment of the country. From proclaiming their independence from England in 1776 to the gradual settling of the Great West, self-autonomy was trumpeted as the defining characteristic of the American. However, when one now examines the current trend in society today, the old rugged individualism exemplified by the romanticized cowboy of the West has disappeared.


Costa Rica Trip 2010 Video

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Finally got around to editing this. This is filmed with low-resolution point-and-shoot cameras, handled with wobbly camera work, and edited with no prior film-editing experience.