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A pair of academic researchers have analyzed the use of
passwords by many prominent online sites, and found that many sites
require passwords as a sort of security theater, requiring them in
contexts that are superfluous and failing to do their part to secure the
information on their end. The end result, they argue, is a tragedy of
the commons, with the commons being the finite memory of the average
user. Read the full article. [Ars Technica]. Read the study.