Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An (in)decent proposal during SXSW — and, maybe, the DNC?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 2:02 PM

A controversial project called Homeless Hotspots is turning homeless Austin residents into mobile wireless hotspots outside the South by Southwest convention center.

With all those WiFi-hungry delegates and journalists descending upon the Queen City in September, would this idea gain traction here? Is it dehumanizing or revolutionary? Commenters, fire away.

Says CNN:

It's part marketing stunt, part genuine charitable initiative — and it's generating lots of double-takes and chatter from those who pass by.

"I'm Melvin, a 4G hotspot," reads the T-shirt of participant Melvin Hughes. "SMS HH Melvin to 25827 for access."

Hughes is carrying a Verizon MiFi 4G hotspot. Texting his code sends back his network password, which the recipient can use to suck down a few minutes of fast broadband access — a scare commodity at SXSW, a tech/film/music gathering that has drawn more than 20,000 visitors to Austin, Texas.

Read the full story here.

A controversial project turns the homeless into WiFi hotspots.
  • A controversial project turns the homeless into WiFi hotspots.

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