Tool Turns off the Tube

His name is Mitch Altman, and he is a television advertiser's worst nightmare.

As the inventor of TV-B-Gone, a keychain device designed to universally turn on or turn off virtually any television, Altman has enabled people to zap screens in public places restaurants, hospitals, and bars with the simple push of a button.

"I'm not out there just self-righteously turning TVs on and off," explains the San Francisco-based inventor. "I turn off TVs that people are not watching."

Since a mention on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" in 2004, Altman has sold 84,000 TV-B-Gones in the U.S. and globally, and he's currently in talks with large retailers. "The TV-B-Gone enables people to have more choice in their life," Altman says. "There is nothing more annoying than going out and seeing people watching TV rather than talking to one another."

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