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Laptops with unbreakable link;In brief

SCEPTICS have wondered how schools would prevent valuable technology finding its way into car boot sales if the dream of providing a laptop for every pupil is ever realised.

A pioneering American project may have come up with the answer. Rio Bravo Middle School, Texas has 94 per cent of its students living below the poverty line but all are equipped with portable computers. Using a wireless infrared network, students receive homework on screen, send e-mail and surf the internet at high speed. Their lap-tops, crucially, become unusable if they are not connected to the school network regularly. The only catch: it costs more than pound;1,300 per pupil.

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