Meet Clarence. He was made homeless by Hurricane Katrina. In some cities, the homeless hawk newspapers as a way to raise income. With the help of the charitable arm of advertising agency BBH New York, Clarence is selling 4G wireless access at SXSW — $2 for 15 minutes. And in case you need said access to follow you while you’re doing something, he’ll follow along and even keep you company. This is cool and kinda innovative.
EDIT: As one or two folks raised concerns about the idea, we asked the Homeless Hotspots folks via Twitter what sort of response they’ve gotten. Here’s what they had to say:
@ShortFormErnie The few concerns (there’ve been some) are from people who haven’t seen 1st hand. Activists & experts generally v positive!— Homeless Hotspots (@HHSXSW) March 11, 2012
Second EDIT: Please hop over here to see some more of our thoughts on this issue. Ultimately, the key thing is that this is a difficult issue, and difficult issues are prone to debate.
» AT&T’s contributions = Rick Perry’s support? Back in May, Rick Perry told the FCC he backed the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. “I believe that this merger will continue to provide for great consumer choice, offer a wide range of service options, and spur continued innovation,” he wrote. He might’ve had a little help from those campaign contributions over the past decade. AT&T has a bit of a history of going out of its way to turn public favor its way, going so far as to bizarrely convince GLAAD to support the merger. With the Justice Department coming out against the merger and AT&T’s contributions to Perry coming under scrutiny, will Perry back down? (Strangely enough, BTW, the Justice Department’s James Cole made a statement that reads like the polar opposite of what Perry wrote: “We believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices, and lower-quality products for their mobile wireless services.” Hrm.)