Passwords are long and complicated and hard to remember. And that's only if they're good passwords. No matter how you slice it, passwords are annoying and on top of that, they're not even all that secure. Google knows that all too well, and it's pushing for the next big thing. A ring maybe. Like, for your finger.
Google's been getting behind two-step verification for a while, and although that's more secure than a standard password, it's also more annoying. Hardly a perfect solution. In a paper to be published later this month in IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine, Google's President of Security Eric Grosse and Engineer Mayank Upadhyay are pitching alternatives like cryptographic card for your USB, or some kind of (presumably NFC) ring.
Google's got some software in the making that'd allow this kind of stuff to log you into a browser without involving any sort of software in the middle, just you and your browser. But even in the best possible future, it won't kill passwords completely. So long as your little key can be separated from you, you'll have to have a PIN or something, and the more conveniently short the PIN, the more important it is you don't loose that key. Still, it beats straight passwords and two-step verification annoyances. And the sooner the password can finally be laid to rest, the better. [Wired]