Over at The Consumerist, our poor mother needs a cheap American pay-as-you-go cell phone plan. John Brownlee explains how these type of phones work in Europe:

The way these phones work is this: you buy a phone for maybe €60-€100. It comes with a certain amount of credit, which you can use to make phone calls. When you run out of credit, you go to the local convenient store and buy a card that gives you more. You only pay for outgoing calls: all incoming calls are free for twelve months since your last top-up. Credit lasts indefinitely, as long as it takes you to use it.

We're fairly sure nothing like this useful exists in an American version—it wouldn't be an American phone company if the service were cheap and given to generous terms of use—but you'd do an old woman proud if you could use your Gawker comments logon to help her find the best value possible.

Consumerist Advice Needed: American Cell Phone Plans [Consumerist]