More and more online merchants are signing up to accept payments through Microsoft’s Passport system. It’s an important part of Microsoft’s long-term goal to take over the Internet and collect fees for every online transaction. I signed up. If you have a Hotmail account, you’re already plugged into the Passport system. If not, signup is easy and the service is currently free. The way it works is straightforward: you supply information about your credit cards and billing & shipping addresses. When you’re buying something online from a merchant that’s set up with Passport, a click allows you to choose which credit card and which shipping address is used and you can bypass filling out the online forms for that merchant. It’s seductive and easy. Click here for more information or to sign up.

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