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back to article Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

An 11-year-old boy has been charged with vandalism after relieving himself on a cartful of Apple MacBooks at school, causing $36,000 (£22,170) worth of damage. The computers, the property of Upper Allen Elementary School in Pennsylvania, were destroyed beyond repair, local publication PennLive reports. Manneken pis wears …

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HA!

I laughed far too hard at that last bit...

But as a thought how many of us have gotten none-powered electronics wet only to let them dry off and they be working fine afterwards ?

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Re: HA!

Indeed, I got to work this morning and promptly poured coffee all over my phone - quick dash for paper towels and its all better.

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Re: HA!

I had a Nokia 3210 back in the day, it went through a 40c cycle and still worked after, it didn't vibrate any more but worked fine otherwise.

Dont think my One X would stand up to a similar punishment, don't make em like they used to.

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Moisture sensors

I am told that Mac have internal moisture sensors that "go off" when dampened and are used by their service people to deny warranty claims. It may be that a kid with a good aim didn't actually destroy the Macs, just dampened them enough to void their warranties. Although to describe them therefore as being "destroyed beyond repair" may just be a ploy to get the insurance (or the child's parents) to pay out.

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Re: Moisture sensors

They do -- iPhones also have them, inside the headphone jack, and they're used for the same reason.

Even without them, though, I think I'd rather claim for replacement than repair -- who wants to use a laptop that reeks of piss?

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Pint

Re: Moisture sensors

Just one tiny drop of rain on my iPhone is enough to invalidate the warranty, so scale that up to a few large drops on a Mac and the kid could probable wee a Apple store full of them into oblivion.

Just imagine how many an El Reg reader could wee off after a Friday feed of beer.

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Pint

Seems a little implausible

£22,000 worth of Macbooks. Now, being educationally minded, these probably aren't Macbook Pros but one of the older, pre-Air sorts. Now, assuming the school cough about £1k per laptop, factoring in bulk buying and less taxes, etc, it's 22 Macbooks.

In an adult, it can contain about 300ml, according to wikipedia or in another word's a Coke can's worth. In a child it's probably about the size of a Capri Sun.

I'm just trying to work out he would have arranged the Macbooks in order to ensure they all get soaked to bust the warranties. If he put them all in a huge stack, i.e. 22 ontop of each other, would he have been able to fire up to reach the ones on the top?

But then if he laid them out on the floor in a 4x5 grid arrangement, would there be enough surface area to cover them all....?

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Re: Moisture sensors

> Although to describe them therefore as being "destroyed beyond repair" may just be a ploy to get the insurance (or the child's parents) to pay out.

Well if you were to bring them back to Apple for repair, they would indeed be declared "damaged beyond repair", and out of warranty too, even if they were working perfectly well. Having 22 grands worth of kit that the manufacturer (sorry, rebrander) will absolutely refuse to service no matter what the cause of the (future) defect is probably a risk that the school is not willing to take. Can't blame them.

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Thumb Up

Re: Seems a little implausible

Exactly right but this was Pennsylvania so with the educational discount even a MacBook Air is under $1k so even if they were of the Air variety we'd be talking 36 of them maybe even 40+ in bulk. Either way it was probably enough for entire classroom. Of course why they hand out laptops to the kiddies is beyond me. Perhaps they've never heard of thin clients or even a Mac Mini.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: who wants to use a laptop that reeks of piss?

I'm sure we'll find out when MS release Win 8.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems a little implausible

I speak from experience--a 12 oz can is much smaller than a human bladder. I have overflowed a 16 oz bottle in an emergency

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Moisture sensors - 'rebrander'

'rebrand' - under what brand were these products previously released for sale?

What you mean in this context is 'brander', but 'designer' and 'financier' would have done as well.

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Re: Moisture sensors

If they were school property, would they not be under a service contract of some kind, instead of a warranty? In which case, if it's a write off, it is because it is so badly damaged that it is impossible to fix, not a voided warranty.

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Pint

Re: Seems a little implausible

A 300ml bladder? I can speak from experience in an emergency my bladder holds more than 32 ounces (946ml.) That 32oz Taco Bell cup couldn't hold everything I had.

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Re: Moisture sensors

These comments seem to carry the implication only Apple products have moisture sensors - that's not at all true. All cellphones have them, and all cellphone companies refuse warranty repair if the moisture sensor is triggered.

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MJI
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Now I know how old AC is

So this AC is 11 years old and lives in Pennsylvania

http://forums.reghardware.com/post/1393083

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Re: Now I know how old AC is

I'm astounded that nobody has mentioned that:

Police charged the (eleven [11] year old) boy with institutional vandalism and criminal mischief and are turning him over to the Cumberland County Juvenile Probation Department.

Eleven, yes 11, year old boy pushed through the septic justice (sic) system. FFS!

Really FFFingS!?

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WTF?

Re: Now I know how old AC is

That's nothing - there are plenty of cases in the US of children under the age of ten being arrested for what is really just bad behaviour.

Even worse! In some parts of the US, breaking the school dress code or behaviour policy is a criminal offence. Kids go to court - and jail - for dressing wrong.

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Unhappy

Death by Electric Chair?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stinney

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Trollface

Of course, some macbooks were 'mistakenly' diagnosed beyond repair. These have now been carefully disposed of by kind individuals...

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Joke

In his defence...

...he said he was just implementing the WEEE Directive.

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Facepalm

Re: In his defence...

There's an app for that: iPeeFreely.

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Joke

Who'd have thought..

..a Mac would need a raincoat.

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Coat

Re: Who'd have thought..

Ribbed for your iPleasure?

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Re: Who'd have thought..

To quote Ron burgundy, 'that doesn't make sense'

..... At least in the context of this article. Also.... It's not funny.

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Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

A while back my clients had a small fire that resulted in the fire service spraying gallons of water over 12 identical computers. When they had finished there liberal wetting I aquirred the sodden computers. It was all above board with the insurance company....(sort of)

Out of the 12 rather high spec units 11 of them lived on, The 1 that refused did however have a working drive and memory.

*apologies for my title

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

Urine isn't just water - I believe the urea will break down into ammonia when exposed to air which, apart from the smell, may be very damaging to circuit boards (it dissolves copper very efficiently for example). Very small amounts of the wrong kind of fluid can be catastrophic to electronics.

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Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

"Very small amounts of the wrong kind of fluid can be catastrophic to electronics."

The best spillage event I ever dealt with was the Cola Keyboard. A young lady brought a laptop to me that she had spilled cola (lots of) into the keyboard area. I asked what she did next (turn off? etc) she said she carried on using it until the keyboard got to sticky and crunchy at which point she poured water into the keyboard to fix the crunchiness. Whilst pouring water into the keyboard solved the crunchy key dilemma it completely killed the laptop. Britain's brightest and all that!

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Devil

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

Urine is much more conductive than water. If any of these laptops had a viable battery pack and the urine got inside they are pretty much dead. The only thing to save kit in this case is to wash it ASAP with lots of deionized water and let it dry.

However, there is just no way a minor can relieve himself successfully over 20+ laptops. Granted there is an obesity pandemic, but someone with "capacity" that BIG. Give me a break. Someone is seriously taking the piss here. Literally.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

Many a mixing desk in a radio station has had its life ended by people tipping Coca Cola onto it. Gets into the holes on the faders and corrodes the circuits as the jocks are too frightened to report it. They just mop up the spill and hope for the best.

Although the prize has to go to the mixing desk at a radio station which had some failing faders. When the engineer took it apart he found the fader tracks gummed up with a suspicious looking white powder.......

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Silver badge

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

The first thing to do, after a spill, is to whip the battery out, pronto. Oh, wait...

This lad should be made to wee on some kit with capacitors in... educational, like.

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Alert

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

How about german white wine spilt during a christmas party, it had actualy dissolved the copper tracks by the time we came back in the new year !!!

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Gimp

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

Gin & tonic is worse, it eats away the wiring, fast.

Had to laugh when one user came in, the night before his wife handed him his 6 month old son while she went to get a Nappy excited by getting a cuddle from Daddy while he worked his Son showed his pleasure by washing the keyboard.

Being an engineer he got a new laptop keyboard to fit himself and an accelerated replacement was organised. Out there someone has a second hand laptop with a Wee problem (laptops are disposed under WEE directive to licensed contractor, we forgot to mention the accident).

two stacks of 11 very easy to wee over by an 11 year old boy, remember playing fire hose at the urinals?

They are a bio hazard they have to write them off.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

I spilled a large glass of white wine into my dell laptop keyboard, I tipped it out again and mopped up what i could with kitchen towels. Aside from a sticky backspace key, it's perfectly fine. All the backlighting still works too.

I think it depends on how watertight your keyboard underlay is, and how quickly you get it out again. I thought macbooks were supposed to be quite good in that regard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Piss? Sounds like a load of shit!

Since we're comparing spills...

This one is NOT for the weak of stomach.

After a particularly heavy Friday night sesh many years ago, involving Buckfast, rum and whiskey, I had a somewhat unfortunate "passing out and vomiting profusely" moment. My mate's Amiga A500 was right there at the epicenter of the mess.

It ended up being immersed in water to wash the crud out, and dried for several days. The keyboard never worked again, but everything else was operable. We even used it to do graphics for a game we were working on a few years later.

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A couple of years ago, our flat was broken into, and the scrotes tipped a desktop PC onto its front and poured water into it. They probably did this because they thought it might be recording them via the connected webcam. Despite being switched off. After an overnight drying out, the machine worked fine.

Skip forward to two weeks ago, and the wife poured hot tea into her laptop. I left it upside down for a few hours (the laptop that is) and it also worked fine.

Both machines were Dells - freebies from work when we upgraded. Surely if they can survive a thorough drenching, so should a Macbook?

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I've found second hand Dells to be reliable machines. Put a few in a place that didn't want to buy new ones and they're still running on (albeit with a slight RAM upgrade)

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Anonymous Coward

liquids - the one big Mac killer

Of the Mac laptop hardware failures that I'm aware of, 3 were coffee-keyboard interface problems and the last one was a duff hard drive. PC laptops, even cheap ones, seems to be a lot more resistant to spillages - though we do have users who are capable of killing anything via a generous application of food products.

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Thumb Up

Re: liquids - the one big Mac killer

Interesting point re resistance of various laptops to fluids: I spilled a bunch of water on my relatively new Toshiba, and it turned out the (no longer typing properly) keyboard was a sealed component, itself with what seemed a de facto seal around its edges, which more or less prevented any water seeping further into the machine. I replaced the keyboard unit at a cost of £10, and the whole getup works just fine.

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Stupid question

but how many pints/litres in a "Bunch" of water?

i could of just ignored there sloppiness but im loosing the will to live

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Re: liquids - the one big Mac killer

My Dell has what look like water run-offs at the bottom of the keyboard - but I don't know where they drain to! It was advertised as being spill proof, but I haven't tested it yet!

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Stop

Re: Stupid question

...but how many pints/litres in a "Bunch" of water?

i could of just ignored there sloppiness but im loosing the will to live...

*sigh*

...I...

...could HAVE...

... their...

...losing...

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Devil

Re: Stupid question

They're, They're... Setlle down.... It'll be all over, soon.

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Re: Stupid question

Whoosh!

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Anonymous Coward

Harsh punishment

£22k of Macs is worth about £5k.

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Joke

I place the blame at the teachers

I think the teachers are to blame for this for not teaching the students what biometric logins are and how none currently work on urine. This and people going around saying "Apple tack the piss" realy don't help the young minds of today learn about computers.

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Sounds like some employees want free macbooks. Wee won't kill them. I have a mac keyboard that was cleaned in a dish washer and it still works.

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I regularly

Put my wireless keyboard in the dishwasher, batteries removed obviously. Once the cycle is complete; shake vigorously and place in airing cupboard, leave overnight +a working day; job's a good un! Sparkly keyboard -cat hair -beer -coffee -spittle (from the occasional FotW entry) &c.

Having previously worked in a hot desk environment using crufty, crusty, shitty, disgusting & hairy keyboards, I can say it's a pity their dishwasher was only used for crockery.

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Happy

kiddo might have been a Reg reader...

considering the how polarized the readership here is about Macs, maybe this kid lurks amongst our very forums. I shudder at the thought and indeed feel my bladder loosening...

Aside from that this article was most entertaining on a dreary Monday morning. Though I confess "Badum tish" was too much for my English-as-a-second-language understanding.

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Badum tish

The written version of a cymbal being hit to indicate the punchline of a joke.

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