A Plastic Brain In Your Pocket

French microchip engineer Jean-Pierre Gloton slips a thin rectangle of plastic into a port linked to a PC and types in a code. Voila! A personalized Web navigator blossoms on the screen. "With this, I can access various e-mail accounts and websites, trade stocks, buy goods and pay bills with a single click, using personal and banking information stored in a fraud-proof way," says Gloton, 56, as he removes the "smart card" that gives him these powers and returns it to his wallet. "This card contains a microchip that makes it a veritable minicomputer--with memory and processing power," he goes on....

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