Austin makes homeless roving "hotspots" | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Austin makes homeless roving "hotspots"

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 6:32 AM

An idea for Mayor Mark Stodola, Downtown Partnership Director Sharon Priest and others. It's from New York Times coverage of the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas:

Getting a decent data connection at SXSW can be a challenge, given that it attracts what may be the most data-hungry crowd in the world. With a project called Homeless Hotspots, a marketing company is helping out with this, while helping the homeless and promoting itself. Homeless people have been enlisted to roam the streets wearing T-shirts that say “I am a 4G hotspot.” Passersby can pay what they wish to get online via the 4G-to-Wi-Fi device that the person is carrying. It is a neat idea on a practical level, but also a little dystopian. When the infrastructure fails us… we turn human beings into infrastructure? — David Gallagher

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