back to article Police turn to extreme-sport mobe sucking

Mobile forensics company CY4OR is offering police silica-lined bags, into which they can drop waterlogged phones in the hope of extracting the water, and therefore some useful data too. The bags have been knocking around for a year or so, under the Bheestie brand and sold to those who think they might drop their phone in the …


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  1. OffBeatMammal

    should have dispenders...

    in public restrooms!

    make a mint off distracted/drunk teenagers :)

  2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Mobiles and water

    My wife once dropped her Motorola clam-shell phone into a bath full of water. It stopped working (the phone that is). After being left to lie for about 2 days on the table it started working again. It worked for at least a year afterward (until the upgrade came through on the contract and she chose another phone).

  3. Pete 2

    Maybe not water ...

    > drop his phone in a glass of water making it impossible to read

    but there are many, many corrosive liquids readily available to even non-master criminals that will do the trick.

    1. Martin 71 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Cola springs to mind :-)

      as per title

      1. Paul 4


        Cola aint that strong, what-ever urban myth might say.

        1. The Other Steve

          Coke or Pepsi

          It's not the acid, it's the sugary crap crystallising on things and generally gumming stuff up.

        2. g e

          ah but

          the sugar crystallises on the surfaces when dry, affecting the electronics where water evaporates away, often with no real residue

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sugary coffee

      I used to come across users who had spilled stuff in their keyboards years ago and most of the time, a good rinse under the tap and careful drying would sort it out. Sugary coffee however, if it wasn't washed off more or less immediately made a right mess, eating into the copper tracks and gold leaf. Nasty.

  4. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    If It Fell In The...

    ...ocean, a good rinse with distilled water might be a great help.

    Water is not particularly damaging to electronics, an hour in the sun revived my GF's waterfall dropped camera. But a single drop of ocean water rendered another "unrepairable."

    As to killing phone chips, keyfob memory, etc., methinks a minute or two in a microwave would be quite irreversable.

    211 seems to wipe my memory, just not for long enough.

  5. Donn Bly

    Inexpensive Alternative

    Immersing the item in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice would seem like a less expensive and equally effective alternative.

  6. James Hughes 1

    $20 Seems a bit steep

    For a ziploc bag with some silica gell in.

    Esp. as sitting on a warm radiator for a couple of days normally does the trick.

    1. Asiren

      And come with the bonus of

      having a quick snack ready afterwards!

      1. Anonymous Coward


        on what kind of liquid the phone had been dropped in. eau de toilet not my favourite marinade

    2. Anonymous Coward

      3 pints of

      1664 does it for mine

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mobiles and water

    Could have been useful a couple of weeks ago when my son dropped his iPod touch in the bath ... fortunately a week in a box of rice on a radiator seems to have recovered it. However his (fortunately fairly old) mobile wasn't recoverable when a month earlier he'd left it in the pocket of a pair of trousers that were destined for the washing machine!

  8. Dwayne
    Thumb Up

    Motorola Clamshell...

    Scuba diving off the coast of Southern California and found a Motorola clamshell on the bottom at 45 feet. Took it into work and dried it out and we were able ti power it up. Had been on the bottom for ~30 hours. Original owner was very surprised - He had dropped it into the ocean while fishing.

    1. Lionel Baden
      Thumb Up

      Oh wow

      That must of been an awesome call to the original owner !!!

      Hey mate i just found your phone on the bottom of the ocean. Its working again you want it ?? :D

    2. 100113.1537

      Washing machines....

      Yeah, washing machines are a pretty good iPod killer - as i have found to my cost!

      [this is me checking my coat before washing it form now on!]

    3. jubtastic1

      Did you wind him up?

      By claiming salvage on it?

  9. The Other Steve

    I for one

    Welcome our new "top tips" masters. For myself, I've got enough of the 'do not eat' stuff saved up to fill a bin bag.

  10. TheRealRoland

    small boys in the park... phones for goal posts

    And then a thunderstorm... and then forgetting the phone completely -- which then starts calling the mum... Small cries, indeed.

    Anyways. a bag of rice for a couple of nights did the trick.

    A side note: if you put rice kernels in your salt shaker to keep salt from caking... what do you use in your bag of rice?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mucking About With SPOC

    The handset might give up its information without mucking around with a Single Point of Contact officer, but I don't think officers will want to be doing that too often..

    Unless it's a life and death thing, I believe bobbies are generally expected not to bugger about with phones they find, for A) there are privacy, surveillance and data protection issues; and for those who don't believe the police concern themselves with that sort of thing, there's B) the understanding that evidence may be lost if untrained people just mess around with devices without any guidance.

    1. Dave Bell


      Not just evidence lost, but made unusable in court.

      This bag is something that could be part of a written-down procedure. You put the item in the bag and do the usual marking and signing of the bag, and then it goes to the experts.

      Whether you can have something such as washing in distilled water done at a preliminary stage, I'm not sure. It protects the electronics, but how often would that be needed?

      Checking a phone for a contact number is becoming a routine thing for such people as ambulance crews, so there must be some slack in the evidence requirements.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    USB keys + salt-water swimming pool

    I've taken my car-key alarm fob and attached USB keys swimming twice now. The USBs have long since lost their little snap-on covers.

    An hour in the sun and they're as good as gold.

    Apply slow heat.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    an engineer writes

    boring but true, and hopefully useful:

    if you get your phone soaked, first thing is to take the battery out immediately - its voltage on the PCB tracks which accelerates corrosion 100x.

    the phone can then be dried out at leisure

    if its a li-ion battery, be careful to tap any trace of water out of the contact area - there is always a tiny battery protection PCB which is permanently powered and will corrode - if this happens you will need a new battery but the phone should be OK. you can try blowing the water out witha straw, or using a hair dryer - but be careful not to get the battery too hot. .

  14. Eden

    what's wrong with...

    What's wrong with just dismantling it and sticking it in the airing cupboard for a day or two? always worked for me!

    If it's something nastier than just water than a quick wash with purified water prior to a drying should sort it as long as it's not been submerged for a long time...or in acid =p

  15. Jo 5

    Thats nothing

    We found an old nokia out in a field in Arkansas USA (where extreme weather events are normal, -20c in Winter +40c in summer, lightening, hail, long frosts, and bugs etc).

    We powered it up and called the owner thinking it had been there from the previous day when a brush hog had been out there - it turns out they had lost it there 18 months previously!! I doubt my iphone would survive the same.

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