Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let's Play Telephone

Hope that Verizon eventually gets the iPhone or stick with Sprint and get the HTC Sprint Evo?
This is my current dilemma.

My phone is two years old and getting finnicky, so it's time to get a new one. I have a blackberry now but am planning on switching to the newer smartphone technology and have narrowed down my choices to the iPhone and the Evo.

I'm a long standing and happy Sprint customer, so I figured the only reason I would switch providers would be to get the iPhone. The main positives that I see with the Evo are that it's on the new 4G network, so things like web surfing and email are "wicked fast," and I don't have to change cell phone providers. On the other hand, the Evo is big ( 4.8" x 2.6" x 0.5") and heavy (6 oz.), and especially when it's operating on the 4G network, the battery can drain quickly. Size and battery power are both important features to me.

My other option is to wait for Verizon to offer the iPhone, assuming my phone lasts that long (I won't switch to AT&T for it). The positive features of the iPhone are that it's smaller (4.5 x 2.31 x .37) and lighter (4.8 oz), has better battery power and well, hey, it's an iPhone. The downside of the iPhone is it means switching to another provider (who doesn't offer as good of a plan as Sprint) and waiting for Verizon to actually start selling the iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal announced that Verizon would begin selling the iPhone in "early 2011." New reports today however, indicate that Verizon isn't going to announce the iPhone at the industry-wide CES conference next week. Instead, it's going to announce it's first 4G smartphone - one that's basically a replica of the Evo. It's anybody's guess now when Verizon will announce that it's going to start selling the iPhone.

Here's the Evo (thanks to CNET for the pictures):

And, here's the iPhone:

Which would you recommend?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Don't Cry for Me Argentina (or Chile)

I thought I would share some photos and highlights from our fantastic two week trip to Chile and Argentina, from which we just returned.

We started off our trip hiking in Chile's national park, Torres del Paine, along the famous ¨W¨" trail.

What makes TDP so unique is that it's situated at a low altitude but the scenery is reminiscent of higher altitude regions, where the hiking is much more difficult. Given it's location in the Patagonia region on the southern tip of the South American continent, vicious winds up to 80 km/hour and unpredictable weather (the weather changed from cold, cloudy and gray, to pleasant sun to driving rain all within a matter of minutes of each other) are part of the awe inspiring experience of hiking through the park.

This is a glacier pictured here

After trekking through TDP, we took a day trip to visit some penguins in even windier conditions than in the park!

Our trip in Patagonia also featured my attempt at growing a mustache, since many handsome Latin American men have substantial and impressive facial hair. Alas, my chief fashion consultant who happens to be my wife pointed out that those "handsome" Latin American men are usually about 30 years older than me, and so she nixed the idea before I could even get any crumbs in my mustachio.

From Patagonia, we hopped on a plane to Mendoza, the Napa Valley of Argentina. Mendoza is surrounded by the Andes Mountains and is famous for producing Malbec, a red wine that uses purple grapes originally imported from France in the 1800s. The spectacular weather and the beautiful setting of the wineries we visited made the wine taste even better.

The bustling metropolis of Buenos Aires was the last leg of our trip. Buenos Aires does have some pretty incredible city sights, but no doubt the highlight for us was all the meat we got to eat there, after spending the previous ten days munching our way through different permutations of cheese and tomato concoctions.

Other highlights included walking through the city center:

Seeing the famous Recoleta cemetery where Evita is buried:

Visiting the memorial at the site of the Israeli embassy bombing in 1992:

and spending an afternoon walking through the San Telmo craft and antiques fair:

(notice the impressive mustache)

Finally, we spent our second to last day celebrating our first anniversary in the former Portugese and Spanish colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento, located right across from Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata. It was the perfect end to an amazing trip!!