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Secure Encrypted Browsing With Your College’s VPN

On 15, May 2012 | No Comments | In Technology | By Daniel Kao

To Lynbrook High School Students: Sometimes, you may just be sitting at school, perhaps stuck in class, and you’re itching to get on facebook. After all, your class isn’t really doing much and all your senior classes are wasting time anyways. I mean, who really expects seniors to do any work? So you might as well just kick back and use your University-To-Be’s VPN to access facebook.

I mean, everyone knows there are other ways to get past the iprism filter, such as the extremely trashy piece of software known as “Hotspot Shield”, but seriously, if you want to avoid glares of judgment from the highly technologically savvy individuals, don’t do it. Please don’t ever install that flaming piece of uselessness on your computer.

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”, and it is designed to allow students to access the Internet from anywhere as if they were browsing from the physical location of the VPN server, in this case, your university. Now, you’ll have to double check to ensure that your university has a VPN, because it may be different for each school (UCs all have a VPN).

Go ahead and Google the steps to set up a VPN with your school, going through whatever authentication is necessary.

UCSD’s can be found here: http://blink.ucsd.edu/technology/network/connections/off-campus/VPN/index.html

After you get that set up, you should be able to connect to an unfiltered Internet connection anywhere you go! Not only is this useful for bypassing Internet filters, it is also recommended to use a secure browsing whenever you are connected to a public network, such as libraries, coffee shops, your neighbor’s Wi-Fi, or the random “linksys” you find on the side of the street.

Feel free to contact me if you need help setting up a VPN!

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High Schoolers Suck at Leadership

On 10, May 2012 | No Comments | In Education | By Daniel Kao

And the current education system isn’t helping.

“Follow Instructions” has always been the very basis of our classroom learning environment since our elementary school days. We are trained from a young age to “do as we are told”. Everything we learn in school, including every project and test, has some sort of specific rubric to follow. Even “leadership roles” at school are merely positions for students to act as mediators between students and administration, also with a specific list of roles and responsibilities.

What happens when you give complete freedom to someone who has always followed directions all their life? (And by complete freedom, I mean freedom to decide everything from purpose and direction to actions and logistics.)

You get a whole bunch of confused leaders, not sure what they are doing, and most of the time, nothing happens. Things fall through, because high schoolers have never been trained to work with absolute freedom.

We’ve been trained to avoid failure at all costs, because failure brings judgment, inadequacy, and insecurity.

Schools are afraid of failure. Schools are afraid that if they allow students with more freedom to lead, there will be inevitable failures and mishaps. And we can’t have that. We can’t afford to tarnish our reputation for the sake of practical education. Besides, failure is something you want to hide from people, because it won’t help you get into college.

Being an effective leader requires a lot more than meeting requirements. Being an effective leader requires a great deal of passion and determination, and a willingness to unapologetically pursue dreams. Being an effective leader requires the perseverance to continue even when your peers are lacking morale. Being an effective leader requires an ability to think differently than everyone else, in order to inspire and encourage people.

I wish I learned how to lead long time ago.

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