A random thought regarding this article and word association: A ‘pen’ can have two modes, and a built in Bluetooth transmitter for communication to and from your smartphone.
The initial mode of the thin ‘pen’ like device allows the person/student to read the question using Optical Character Recognition by moving the thin pen like device over the question. The question is wirelessly transmitted to your smartphone, then the second mode of the device receives the answer from the smartphone in your pocket using the smartphone search, and can allow the user to have a simple output of ink, by rolling the highlighter against a white background. The inverse of the highlighted area would contain the letters for the answer. A bonus is to have disappearing highlighting ink. Just an idea, kids.
So I was perusing this article in the New York Times, How to Devise Passwords That Drive Hackers Away, and saw this picture, sorry NYT, I paid my subscription, so if you want, I will yank out the picture, let me know, else I will consider public domain. See the below image. That’s when I said, wow, neat idea. It’s like those Hershey’s Reese’s pieces commercials, peanut butter and chocolate, well, look at the below image, now if the user can use a Hasbro® Rubik’s Cube type device, that fits on your key chain, like an RSA key, and turns the 6 sides of the cube to the right combination. The Cube can be the size that fits in the palm of your hand. You set the key with all different colors, and letter combinations, then place it in a small docking station, which attaches to the computer via a USB slot. Even add a sensor in the middle of the cube center square which reads your finger print, and poof. It gets stolen, no problem, don’t have your finger print, and the letter combinations on the colors help you remember the order. So how strong is a 6 sided cube with 9 inner squares, an alphanumeric character overlay, and optionally a finger print reader? You can also make it an application using 3 dimensional software to manipulate the object, hey, throw in Google Glasses, you can manipulate that object in virtual space. Easy implementation, is the 3 dimensional graphics generator and optionally use the finger print reader already on your computer, if you feel it is reliable. I liked the portability of the physical object, such as a physical, compact cube that fits in your hand and a docking station. To knock it out of the park, put in SD memory into the card, and then you can use it to transport information. The bits of information are only stored on a particular point within a cube, once the pattern is locked, so it would be necessary to have the combination to access the information. Secure, on the go, information, and probably cheap to manufacturer. You of course, can expand the number of cubes on each side, color variations. Of course, depending on the set of alphanumeric characters you allow increases the encryption protection. Also, for ease, of use, you may align up corners, and only remember 24 characters, six (sides) times four (corners).
A simple 9 squared cube,
One bit associated with each combination (1/0)
1st bit) 6 sides times 9 squares = 54 total squares,
2nd bit) 54 total squares (Red,Yellow,Green,Blue) times 4 colors = 216
3rd bit) 216 times 128 (e.g.7F) ASCII Hex combinations = 27,648 potential combinations
Equals three bit combinations, which can then be applied with software to cycle the bits, increase the number of bits. A utility like this can be easily manufactured, implemented and integrated with any applications (e.g. email) with a flexible Security API