11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Top French chefs want to make it legal to eat a small protected songbird one week a year. (Learn more at New York Times) 2. Those bumps on your tongue aren’t taste buds. (Learn more at Huffington Post) 3. The least expensive home for sale in the nation’s most expensive ZIP code (Atherton, Calif., 94027) is a two-bedroom bungalow with a $1.499 million asking price. (Learn more from Yahoo! Finance) >> Health Threats: Not …

The Long Goodbye: Your Kid’s Cellphone Bill

Cheering their new grads at college commencements this month, parents will likely give another hurrah: No more tuition! But there’s another cost that might well linger on for parents of high school and college grads: the cellphone bill. A Wall Street Journal survey last year found that about 40 percent of parents of 18- to 35-year-old children still pay for their cellphone service, and 29 percent continue to do so even after their kids have moved out and pay their …

Can You Design a Better Cell Phone?

They’re small. The keys are tiny. The text is barely big enough to read.  Their ringtones are jarring, and only your 15-year-old grandson knows how to work it.  Cell phones are a must-have these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re any more fun to use than they were 10 years ago. Over in Germany, they held a contest a little while ago to reinvent the phone. (Here are some of the ideas, although they’re in German. Your browser may be …

Watch Those Cell Phone Fees-Or Pay Nothing at All

I always swore I’d never buy a cell phone. It’s not so much a financial issue. I understand that cell phones are becoming increasingly economical, and many folks are abandoning their land lines and using a cell exclusively. However, a study by the Utility Consumers’ Action Network found that actual costs incurred by 700 cell users surveyed averaged more than $3 per minute when factoring in unused minutes, service contracts and other fees. Ouch! More on that in a bit. My decision …