This is an update to my September 13th post.
The USPTO announced on its website, link, that its interim authentication method will be available starting on October 24th.
And, sure enough, they sent on October 21st an email making that same announcement in case you didn't see the website announcement.
Additionally, they published a bit more information about Java Web Start, link.
The key take away is that you will be downloading a JNLP file, and running that file using Java:
My, oh my, wouldn't it be great if they consolidated all of this information into one location.
updated on 10/23