Taking control of the noise

San Francisco’s Castro District, walk through a side-street doorway with a small sign on the glass that reads "Cornfield Electronics," head up a steep flight of stairs into an old apartment-turned-office, and you’ll find a purple-haired man who is turning engineering on its ear. Mitch Altman, a product of the Midwest and the roiling days of Silicon Valley startups, has turned on his innovative skills to invent a $14.95 device that turns off any television set, anywhere, anytime. And TV-B-Gone is just the start.