Google outlines plan to make passwords passe


Logging into online accounts with a physical object like a car key, instead of a password, may soon become a possibility. This and more in this week’s Regalix Roundup.

Google Outlines Plan to Make Passwords Passe

In a bid to enhance security protection of email and online banking accounts, Google is planning to add a physical component to the process of logging into accounts. If Google’s plans materialize, passwords may become outdated, as users would require some sort of hardware device to log into their accounts. The Google security team experimented with a tiny Yubico cryptographic card that — when slid into a USB (Universal Serial Bus) reader — can automatically log a web surfer into Google. Members of the team will publish a paper in next month’s IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine examining scenarios in which passwords would be a thing of the past. In the distant future, it would be possible to integrate the technology into items like jewelry or car key to access accounts.


Interactive Dot Map Aims to Show Every Person in U.S.

MIT graduate student Brandon Martin-Andersonhas built an interactive online map that displays one dot for every resident of the United States as counted by the most recent Census (the total dot count adds up to 341,817,095). As one hovers over the map, black smudges on the map gradually dissolve into dot clusters and finally into individual dots as one zooms in. Though the map contains no identifying labels, roads or geographical features, Martin-Anderson says he wanted “an image of human settlement patterns unmediated by proxies” such as arterial roads or city and state boundaries. With this Martin has inched closer to his dream of mapping all seven billion people on the earth into a gigantic Sim City so that people could get to know about the forces that drive the economies of urbanization.


Mozilla unveils Firefox OS-based Keon and Peak smartphones

In an effort to encourage developers to develop apps and improve its operating system, Mozilla has introduced two phones powered by its open source Firefox OS platform. The browser maker has teamed up with a Spanish start-up named GeeksPhone and Spanish telecommunications provider Telefonica, to introduce two 3G phone models, Keon and Peak, for its mobile system.



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