The New York Times

The New York Times descends on Austin for the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive festival.

“We saw it as a means to raise awareness by giving homeless people a way to engage with mainstream society and talk to people,” he said. “The hot spot is a way for them to tell their story.”

Saneel Radia, the director of innovation at BBH Labs who oversaw the Homeless Hotspots program, that hired homeless people to walk around carrying mobile Wi-Fi devices during SXSW, defends the project, which has set off a controversy around the Web. — Jenna Wortham