back to article It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

Maneesh Sethi, a developer and blogger who rose to fame after hiring a woman to slap him whenever he wasted time on Facebook, has unveiled a wearable device designed to administer electric shocks to users. The “Pavlok”, as the device is named, “uses instantaneous triggers, like vibration, beeping, and even electric shock (up …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not?

    Humans are terrible at overcoming their natural inclinations. Willpower alone just doesn't do it. That's why abstinance-only education doesn't work, and why so many people are fat slobs. A technological aid to willpower is potentially a very useful thing.

  2. Andy Tunnah

    First application:

    5 will get you 10 foxconn has these on every single employee by year's end.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I logged on to my wrist band tracker the other day. Apparently I masterbated for 4 miles last week.

    Devices like this are great. It can now detect and shock me when I engage in bashing one out.

    The Victorians would be proud.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Geoff Campbell
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Tracker

      Failure of Imagination Error in Line 1 - ReDo from start.

      You should be able to program it to encourage you to masterbate more often. It's a motivational device, right?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tracker

        Trouble is you'll get accustomed to it, then you'll not be able to get off unless you've got 300V shooting current through your neck.

        (I presume you wear this thing "The Running Man" style?)

  4. DropBear Silver badge

    So when does the neck-strapped version come out? And the one with the built-in explosive? 'Wedlock' fans want to know...

  5. MikeOxlong

    Rule 34

    Sweepstake on which porn site has first video footage of some block wearing one like a cock ring.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge


    When you look for more info on this, there's nothing.

    There are some websites that show two different 3D images of what it might (or might not) look like. There seems to be a press release which forms the source for all the media "buzz" - and that's your lot.

    Apart from the obvious question: why wouldn't users simply take it off? It's difficult to see how you'd program this gizmo about what constitutes "punishable" activity. And where the battery is supposed to go. If this is merely meant to modify the behaviour of computer users - and assumes that wearers only have access to a single computer, but no tablet, or smartphone then it would be much simpler to either have the 'pooter switch itself off when the aberrant behaviour is detected, or to build the user-shocker into a mouse and electrify the buttons.

    Plus: every stick needs a carrot.

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Why would I do that?

    I mean, inspired by The BOFH I acquired a handy cattle prod* which lies in my office drawer, ready to be deployed whenever need be. So far, I only used it once, against a colleague, in a long running workplace vendetta. But wouldn't it be right out of my mind to use it against myself?!

    Yep, mine's the one with the prod...

    *In case you wonder, it's the model "magic shock", ordered from an agriculture store in Germany, under a disguised name.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Why would I do that?

      "Ordered from an agriculture store in Germany"

      "Cattle Prods" for getting the cattle to react.....

      "Vacuum pumps" for sucking on teats.....

      "Pointed nose rings" which can be inserted into orifices...

      "Large vibrating sticks" apparently for stimulation during the insemination periods.

      "Whips" all the good cowboys had a whip n'est-ce pas.

      And which is actually a front end for the largest S&M distributor in Europe...

      I am sure that there are others but not being a daily "Skins" mag reader I must admit to lacking the finer details of aforementioned hobby/lifestyle/choice/fantasy.

  8. Steven Raith

    Major downside

    If it's a saturday morning, you forget to reset the devices alarm, sleep through the initial warnings and are.....exercising your wrist...(don't look at me like that, you all do it)...

    Well. some might enjoy it, but I think I'll stick to paying by the quarter hour for that stuff where I can have a safe word.

    Computers don't have safe words....

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Major downside

      Dont give the catholic church ideas!

    2. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re:Computers don't have safe words

      oh, but my computer does have safeword, and I am buggered if I can remember the phrase

      1. Tabor

        Re: Re:Computers don't have safe words

        " and I am buggered if I can remember the phrase"

        I'm all for security, but as far as 2FA goes this does seem a bit extreme.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re:Computers don't have safe words

        Is the safe-word fluggaenkoecchicebolsen?

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Major downside

      > If it's a saturday morning, [...] exercising your wrist...(don't look at me like that, you all do it)...

      Not sure the missus would let me. She'd insist and show me how it's done. Women are like that, they always think they know better.

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: Major downside

        I work in IT, I'm legally not allowed to have a missus.

        Hold What's that you say...When the hell did that change? When were you all going to tell me? THAT'S NOT FUNNY*.

        Steven "certifiably single" R.

        *I knew I nicked that from somewhere - futurama clip:

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: Major downside

          Steven, I'm sorry, we really thought about telling you. But as long as you strive for making your life easier, there's really no point of even considering getting a gf.

          1. Steven Raith

            Re: Major downside

            Evil Auditor, just admit that you left me out of the BCC when the meeting was arranged.

            I'm off to find me a floozy.

      2. Hollerith 1

        Re: Major downside

        Perhaps they just know better than you.

    4. Nick Woodruffe

      Re: Major downside

      I'm not sure about "exercising my wrist" when the shock is liable to cause un-commanded muscle contractions. Either that or it's likely to cause me to tug it right off.

      Could be fun for some

  9. wowfood

    If only

    they could give it some way to monitor when you're falling asleep, could be useful for keeping me awake in boring / any meetings.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: If only

      Sounds like a great idea, but if the meeting is going very slowly, you jerking in your chair, shouting "FUUUCK" and dribbling slightly every ten minutes might make you a subject of suspicion.

      It would, at the very least, make it more interesting for everyone else, though!

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: If only

      wowfood, I understand your requirement for I'm one who fought regularly against sleep in said meetings. As I grew older I realised to futility of such a fight and what's more, I realised the insanity of staying awake. So nowadays I either simply leave or don't hesitate falling asleep. Mind you, I'd still consider snoring (which I don't) as rude behaviour, maybe not as rude though as organising a pointless waste of time meeting.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: If only


      You're showing a lack of critical thinking here. You don't want to be administering any more pain to yourself. You give this product to the boss, "here, wear this wristband, it's linked to the Powerpoint PC, so you just wave your arm and the slide changes."

      You then either program it to do this, or simply operate the thing yourself, every time he waves his arm. Any presentation that lasts longer than say 5 minutes, elicits a shock.

  10. Billa Bong

    Wrong way around

    Reward for good behaviour is by far more powerful at creating the habit pathways in one's brain than punishment for bad behaviour is. That's essentially why this thread has digressed onto self-gratification, and the BOFH is never able to put is prod down. A wrist band that somehow hooked into a trigger for, or supplied endorphin like rewards would potentially work, though we are a smart species - it wouldn't be long before someone was able to hack it to self-administer at will completely losing the value. Therefore the best course of action is usually measured recognition and reward from peers and (not being able to find the right word, this one will do) elders, be that parents/guardians or managers.

    This guy pays someone to slap him, he wants to self-administer electric shocks (he could easily take the thing off and I would wager that most people within a few shocks would learn to do so without ever properly waking up as soon as they hear the beeping)... he's got it the wrong way around.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      @Billa Bong - Re: Wrong way around

      > Reward for good behaviour is by far more powerful at creating the habit pathways in one's brain than punishment for bad behaviour is.

      COMPU-TEACH: Good morning life-form.

      PUPIL:Hi teach.

      COMPU-TEACH: Are you sitting comfortably?

      PUPIL: Yes.

      COMPU-TEACH: Then stand up! Harsh Economic Truths, Class Seventeen. You are standing up?

      PUPIL: Yes.

      COMPU-TEACH: Good. Posit: you are living in an exciting, go-ahead civilisation. Where are you looking?

      PUPIL: Up.

      COMPU-TEACH: What do you see?

      PUPIL: The open sky. The stars. An infinite horizon.

      COMPU-TEACH: Correct! You may press the button.

      PUPIL: Thank you.

      [Button is pressed. A surge of energy]

      PUPIL: Wow! That feels nice.

      - The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        .... now press the OTHER button.


  11. Dick Pountain

    Dope Amine

    Billa Bong is on the right track here - rewards are far more effective than punishments. This chap needs instead to base his device on those electric probes they use to harvest bull semen for artificial insemination. Worn conveniently out-of-sight up the jacksy, it would cause you to ejaculate every time you scored a point in the office power struggle.

    1. Graham Marsden

      @Dick Pountain - Re: Dope Amine

      ... and then fall asleep for half an hour or order a pizza?

    2. Billa Bong

      Re: Dope Amine

      So how long before this is hooked into the reg's upvote mechanism? Ooo yeah....

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Dope Amine

        Now I feel dirty for upvoting you...

        I'd much prefer it if electric shocks were built into the downvoting button instead.

        Although, come to think of it, that makes me sound like a massochist. I might have commented less on El Reg if I'd had 1,000 electric shocks for my pains. I'd certainly have learned to be nicer about Julian Assange, Bitcoin and Google...

        1. Graham Marsden

          @ I ain't Spartacus Re: Dope Amine

          > I'd much prefer it if electric shocks were built into the downvoting button instead.

          I can think of a couple of posters on El Reg who would be fried to a crisp if this was introduced given the number of downvotes their posts have accrued...!

  12. Ivor_Biggun

    Chistmas Presents?!?

    "Let's hope they beat that schedule so the Pavlok becomes a Christmas present possibility. We're sure you can think of just the person who deserves it."

    I'll get half a dozen for Xmas if that happens... :-(

  13. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Slapping and zapping? Sounds like this Sethi bloke has, um, specialist interests.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      To stay with the Hitchhikers' Guide: Maybe he is a masochist on a diet (but then he would have made a nutrimatic machine)

  14. Zot

    Must *bzzz*, spend *bzzz*, less time *bzzz*

    On *bzzzzzz*, aargh fuck, The Register *bzzzzzzzzzzz*, shiiiit!

    I've got to take this thing off to carry on wasting my time on the Internet...

    1. Bob Wheeler

      Re: Must *bzzz*, spend *bzzz*, less time *bzzz*

      New keyboard needed please.

      Oh, and some screen wipes.

      I have always told tut' management, that "The Register" is in-depth, demanding research, keeping up with industry trends, cross market infussion of ideas, peer-to-peer networking, and just taking the piss out of stuff............

  15. Identity
    Black Helicopters

    Just wait

    until they're mandatory!

  16. Craig 28

    Slapper from Craigslist... Anyone else think that sounds like something completely different?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      I had a feeling she was probably an especially well trained professional, craigslist and all... and the slapping, and being paid and what not.

  17. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "The Craigslist slapper experiment"

    hard to think of a more concrete examples of two nations separated by the same language ....

  18. Stevie Silver badge


    So, repackaged electrostim unit then?

  19. Down not across Silver badge


    Bets on how quickly it will be hacked for some 3rd party fun...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is for wimps.

    Look here for the real McCoy!

  21. DerekCurrie Bronze badge

    The Bracelet Of Misery :-(

    Gadgets like this show just how desperate some people are to suffer. Other than that, what's it for? Making people into robots? The corporates will love that. Then they'll start stamping numbers on the robot's heads. '666, we want you as the new CEO of Dehumanization, Inc.'

  22. cortland

    Wakeup for masochists?

    Some decades ago I proposed an electric Platoon Sergeant: First it blows a whistle, next it shakes the bed, and finally overturns it and roars at you.

    Ah, technology!

    And yes, I've BEEN a Platoon Sergeant.

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