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Virtually Private

A new Swedish network helps you hide online

3 min read

A report in The New York Times back in September noted that one of the ”most common forms of identity theft involves illegal immigrants using fraudulent Social Security numbers.” In other words, some people have been stealing other people’s identities not to drain their bank accounts but merely to abscond with their places in legitimate society. Well, that’s a relief!

Identity theft is hardly the only assault on our electronic selves. There’s spam, computer viruses, and ­cyberstalkers. And, in the United States at least, it seems everyone from the National Security Agency to Hewlett-Packard is trying to tap our phones. Sometimes you just want to make sure you have a little privacy. That’s where Relakks comes in. Relakks is a service by Labs2, an Internet service provider in Lund, Sweden, that offers a way to spend time on the Internet anonymously.

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The Future of Deep Learning Is Photonic

Computing with light could slash the energy needs of neural networks

10 min read
Image of a computer rendering.

This computer rendering depicts the pattern on a photonic chip that the author and his colleagues have devised for performing neural-network calculations using light.

Alexander Sludds

Think of the many tasks to which computers are being applied that in the not-so-distant past required human intuition. Computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars.

The technique that has empowered these stunning developments is called deep learning, a term that refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

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