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This is a change to keep the login cookie from expiring and causing you to be unexpectedly logged out. The number of simultaneous logins allowed may also be increased using this feature.
If you confirm your password every week (or at longer intervals if you don't use the site regularly), you will stay logged in. If you fail to come up with the password, you are logged out immediately.
To explain the confusion regarding the weekly prompt versus the 60 day cookie issue:
Your login name is remembered for the next 60 days, but for security purposes, you must verify your password every 7 days. The reasons are two-fold: it minimizes the risk of accidentally leaving yourself logged in to a public computer, and there seems to be a number of site users who routinely forget their passwords, so this helps them to remember it.