News You Can Use

There’s no need for one of these here at Casa Verde, but I’m sure it would be a welcome addition to many other homes:

Do you spend too much time on Facebook? Why not administer non-lethal shocks to your body when you click over to your News Feed! Two Ph.D. candidates at MIT, Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff, did just that when they realized that they were spending over 50 hours on the service per week combined, and the results – and questions their project raises – are quite interesting.

“The shock’s unpleasant but it’s not dangerous,” said co-creator McDuff. However, they do hurt. The system watches your actions and sends a signal to an Arduino board that, in turn, administers the shock. Over time the user will tend to avoid Facebook and/or rock silently in the corner, quietly weeping. The system uses a specially wired keyboard rest to send the pain.

Did it work?


Not very well, apparently. I’d make the time limit shorter. And more random. It might not work any better, but it would sure be a lot more fun.

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