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Did anyone ask for extra spam?

It's not often that all those pesky spam emails get you thinking.

Personal finances and sexual performance seem to have been identified by the spammers, whoever they may be, as the psychological weak-spot through which we can be got at - in the Ferret household, at least.

Most of us can go through life without being too preoccupied about the size of our endowments - financial or otherwise. Other things in life are more important. Which is why, whenever teenagers log on to their emails from now on, they may need to look a little closer at the unsolicited material in their inboxes - because some of it will have come from a source a bit closer to home: their own colleges.

Derby college has introduced a new system of emailing absent students automatically to tell them to get their backsides into college, although I understand the wording is more inclusive than that.

If the scheme works, it will be spread around the country by the Government, which has already provided pound;237,000 in funding through its Connexions service.

In future, though, students may be too busy playing games on their computers to be bothered with checking their emails - even if they are at college.

The latest CD-Rom-based game is actually recommended by the Learning and Skills Council and the European Union. As the identities of its sponsors suggests, it's not exactly Grand Theft Auto.

The game is called Entrepreneur and allows the player to set up a virtual company while learning about the ins and outs of business along the way.

And the prize? For those who complete the game, there is an Open College Network certificate in "setting up your own business" and "business management for small and medium-sized enterprises".

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