You've no doubt heard the horror stories from people who've brought their smartphones with them to another country and were surprised with a roaming bill for thousands of dollars.
I have recurring dreams of it happening to me. When I travel overseas, I bring along a paperclip to remove my SIM card from my iPhone when I'm on the plane so that when I land in another country I don't get charged AT&T's exorbitant international roaming fees. Call me paranoid, but I have read reports that people get hit with roaming charges even after they turn the roaming setting "off" on their phones. By removing the SIM card (which is easy) I'm ensured that I won't get an unexpected fee.
On my last few trips abroad, I've purchased data SIM cards ahead of time. I've had great experiences with B-Mobile for Japan and HolidayPhone for Italy. I had a terribly frustrating experience with RebelFone (Here's my post about b-mobile and RebelFone).
So I read with interest about a new company called KnowRoaming, which sells a little sticker that you can apply to your phone's existing SIM card. The company says you can save up to 85% off of your voice and data in 220 countries. It sounds cool -- I would never have to buy another third-party Sim card again. But then I got to the bottom of the page and checked out the fees.
Read the rest
This series is brought to you by TurboTax Federal Free Edition
Here at Boing Boing, we're fond of all things handmade, and of clever ways to stretch one's household budget. As the cost of staple foods and happy indulgences like coffee continue to rise, now is a good time to explore ways to save money on food with DIY smarts. Here's a list of 10 proven ways I've managed to cut my household budget—feel free to share more of your own in the comments. Also, apropos of nothing? Cats.
1) Drink water instead of soda. And drink tap water, not bottled water. Soft drinks don't contribute much to your body beyond chemicals and empty calories, and there is growing evidence that both the sugary-sweet and sugar-free varieties are associated with a variety of elevated health risks. Water is essential to human life. Your body needs it. And why waste money on bottled water that sits around in questionable plastics, possibly transported from the other side of the world with a ginormous carbon footprint, when the stuff that comes out of your tap is safe and healthy? (People who live near fracking sites in the US, or in developing countries without potable tap water, I'm not talking to you.) Sink-mounted water filters or filtering pitchers are an economical option if you prefer filtered water, but come on, quit wasting your money on bottled water. It's dumb.
Read the rest