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Education

AU Government To Build "Unhackable" Netbooks 501

bennyboy64 writes "In what may be one of the largest roll-outs yet of Microsoft's new Windows 7 Operating System, Australia's Federal Government decided to give 240,000 Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbooks to Year 9-12 students. Officials are calling them 'unhackable.' iTnews reports that the laptops come armed with an enterprise version of the Windows 7 OS, Microsoft Office, the Adobe CS4 creative suite, Apple iTunes, and content geared specifically to students. New South Wales Department of Education CIO Stephen Wilson said that schools were 'the most hostile environment you can roll computers into.' While the netbooks are loaded with many hundreds of dollars worth of software, 2GB of RAM, and a 6-hour battery, the cost to the NSW Department of Education is under $435 (US) a unit. Wilson praised Windows' new OS: 'There was no way we could do any of this on XP,' he said. 'Windows 7 nailed it for us.' At the physical layer, each netbook is password-protected and embedded with tracking software that is embedded at the BIOS level of the machine. If a netbook were to be stolen or sold, the Department of Education is able to remotely disable the device over the network. Each netbook is also fitted with a passive RFID chip which will enable the netbooks to be identified 'even if they were dropped in a bathtub.' The Department of Education also uses the AppLocker functionality within Windows 7 to dictate which applications can be installed."

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