Wired magazine says it “sounds like something out of a darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia.”
As CNet News writes: “Yep. It is exactly what it sounds like—walking, talking homeless people who provide access to a 4G network in exchange for a donation (BBH Labs suggests $2 per 15 minutes). … The 13 men who have been chosen to participate in the program are roaming the streets of Austin in T-shirts that say ‘I am a 4G hotspot.’ The campaign has drawn ire from some who claim it’s dehumanizing.”
Jon Mitchell at the ReadWriteWeb blog says “the digital divide has never hit us over the head with a more blunt display of unselfconscious gall.”
BBH Labs, though, says its “test program” lets the “Hotspot Managers” (the homeless men) keep all the money they earn. It sees the project as an attempt “to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations.”
And one of the homeless men — Mark from Houston — tells ReadWriteWeb that the program is “awesome.” It “helps kill the stereotype” that all homeless people don’t want to work, he adds. BBH, he says, “is not taking advantage of us.”
It’s a case of teaching him how to fish, “rather than just giving me a fish,” says Mark, because he’s learning how to market himself thanks to the program.
Does this “Homeless Hotspot” program sound like a good idea to you?
i think this is superb
“To keep their children from going to the fields, some parents in the 17th century would allow their daughter to sleep in the same bed as the young man courting her – but both the woman and man were tied down with heavy rope, in a practice known as ‘bundling.’” — From today’s Fresh Air, on the history of bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
[Photo via weheartit]