Archive | Tech

My Favorite VPN Access – On Sale!

Living in Buenos Aires, there is a huge need to have a VPN setup. (VPN stands for virtual private network and protects that data you send to the Internet while also routing your computer traffic through one of their servers to mask your identity and location.)

best vpn service My Favorite VPN Access   On Sale!I’ve tried a ton of different services and finally found the one that I was most happy with – Private Internet Access. Their setup is super simple, they give you tons of locations to route through and the price is great.

Even better, they are currently running a sale with 20% off in support of the Reset the Net Campaign.

New subscribers can now get their monthly plan for $5.45 per month or their one-year plan for $31.95 ($2.66/month). Features include:

  • Secure VPN Account
  • Encrypted WiFi
  • P2P and VoIP Support
  • PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec
  • Multiple VPN Gateways
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • SOCKS5 Proxy Included
  • No traffic logs
  • Instant Setup

So, what have I used a VPN for?

  • Watching US-only content or using Netflix for other countries
  • When Gmail was down for Argentina, I used a VPN connection to access US servers
  • Shopping! I was tired of shopping on US sites and having orders declined because they detected I was in Argentina. (Try going to kohls.com from Argentina – the site just gives an error message.)
  • Streaming from Pandora
  • Testing Google ads for clients from different geographic locations (the ads that appear vary widely as does search placement)
  • Signing up for different promotions/accounts with different usernames and emails in different locations
  • Anywhere I use public WiFi!

The best thing about Private Internet Access is that it’s super simple. Just look at how easy it is to select the location you want to appear from:

countries vpn access My Favorite VPN Access   On Sale!

 

It doesn’t get much simpler (and safer) than this.

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Latin American Bitcoin Conference – Buenos Aires, December 7-8, 2013

latin america bitcoin conference Latin American Bitcoin Conference   Buenos Aires, December 7 8, 2013The first Latin American Bitcoin Conference is being held in Buenos Aires on December 7 – 8, 2013, at the Melía Hotel downtown. (If you’re not yet familiar with Bitcoin, we suggest you check out our post about how to get the dolar blue rate with Bitcoin.)

This two day conference features a variety of international speakers who will be covering topics like:

  • Bitcoin Neutrality
  • Bitcoin as Money
  • Bitcoin as an Investment Opportunity
  • Latin America Land of Opportunities
  • Regulatory & Compliance
  • Business & Merchant Adoption
  • Bitcoin´s Positive Social Impact
  • Content Monetization
  • StartUp and Entrepreneurs
  • Angels and VC Investors
  • Local Chapters “Why, What, How”
  • Bitcoin Roadmap
  • Bitcoin is the Future
  • Obtaining and Safely Storing Bitcoins
  • Trading

You can also view the full program and schedule for complete details.

Registration is now open and early admission packages for local attendees is ARS $650 before November 4, 2013. The conference should be bi-lingual.

It’s a great opportunity to find out more about this new digital currency.

bitcoin south america Latin American Bitcoin Conference   Buenos Aires, December 7 8, 2013

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Spotify Launches In Argentina

Spotify is, without a doubt, my favorite online music service. I have been a premium subscriber ever since it launched in the US two years ago and use it every single day. It’s completely replaced iTunes, which I rarely use anymore.

spotify argentina 300x187 Spotify Launches In ArgentinaIf you’re not familiar with Spotify, it’s an online music streaming service for your desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet with over 20 million songs available – all 100% legal. It’s really a lot more than just streaming though as they also have radio stations and numerous apps that allow you to find and follow your favorite musical genres and artists. You can also follow your favorite artists as well as your friend’s musical tastes through social media and sharing on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and email.

The big news is that, as of today, Spotify is available in Argentina! This means that you can now sign up and listen in Buenos Aires without having to use a US credit card or proxy server.

spotify argentina plans 300x135 Spotify Launches In ArgentinaWhat’s even more exciting is that the Argentine version of Spotify is less than half the price of the US version. Of course, they both have the same free ad-sponsored version, but Spotify Argentina also has a ARS $18/month unlimited version that is ad-free (not available in the US) and an ARS $36/month premium version which gives you access to their mobile app and offline syncing. The premium version is $9.99/month in the US, so this is a substantial savings. I’m planning on switching over to an Argentine account from my US one as soon as my current plan expires.

You can head over to the Spotify website now and download the app for your desktop or laptop for free and start listening right away. If you sign up for premium, you can download their iPhone or Android app as well.

While I absolutely love the service, I only have two minor complaints. The first is that you can only listen to it on one device at a time, so if I’m in my office listening, I can get kicked off by my 3-year old who wants to hear nursery rhymes on the iPad. The second is that they do not have separate profiles, so by sharing the account with my daughter I get recommendations to listen to both the latest Cold War Kids single and Dora the Explorer. It would be great to have a family plan option.

So, are you planning on signing up? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the Share My Playlists site too. It’s a great way to discover new music.

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Apple iPhone 5s / 5c in Argentina

Yep, it’s that time of the year again… The time when Apple releases the newest version of their iPhone and those of us in Argentina with technolust can only drool over the chance of getting one. (Because you know technology is super expensive here and way outdated. Hell, BlackBerry may actually be gaining marketshare in Argentina!)

iphone 5s 5c argentina 300x172 Apple iPhone 5s / 5c in Argentina

Not gonna happen here.

This time Apple is releasing two new iPhones – the low(er) cost iPhone 5c as well as the high-end iPhone 5s. Both go on sale at 12:01 PDT tonight, though the iPhone 5c has been on pre-sale all week. This has lead to much speculation that the 5s will be in short supply when it is first released.

Let me say, the iPhone 5s is a thing of beauty. I’ve even really fallen in lust with the new gold colored one. Plus, it’s got a fingerprint reader, brand new camera, dual-flash, faster processor, and a whole slew of other features. After skipping the iPhone 5, I think it’s time to upgrade my iPhone 4s. Heck, I need the camera to take better pictures of my kids, right? That seems like the perfect reason.

Normally, I’d be out of luck getting one of these beauties into Argentina, but luckily, I have an unwitting mule to bring my iPhone 5s into Argentina. In a fortuitous bit of timing, my mother comes to Buenos Aires at the beginning of October to see her new grandson. Well, at least that’s why she thought she was coming… In actuality, it’s to bring my new iPhone.

So, yes, I’ll be up at 4:01am Argentina time to see about being one of the first to order the latest model. (And with a 5-week old son, being up at 4am is just a normal occurrence.) The unlocked 16GB version of the 5s is U$S 649, but I think that’s a good business expense, right? I mean I am in tech and do “need” it for work… Plus, I’ll resell my iPhone 4s here.

 Apple iPhone 5s / 5c in Argentina

Are you crazy?

Now, if you’re in Argentina and lusting after the iPhone, I just got an email that one of the local deal sites is offering 25% off iPhones! Of course, there are a few gotchas:

  • It’s the iPhone 4s.
  • They only have two in stock.
  • The iPhone 4s is 2 years old (released October 11, 2011) and will not run all the features in IOS 7 (AirDrop, camera filters).
  • It’s $5,899! And YES, that’s with the 25% off. Thought you can get 12 payments…

So, if we take that at the blue rate of ARS $9.10, it’s still a whopping U$S 649 – the same price for 2-year old technology here as the brand new iPhone 5s is in the States.

Can you start to see the problems in this country? Maybe Apple will finally decide to start assembling iPhones in Tierra del Fuego, and then Argentines will be able to get iPhones without a trip to Miami – or having to be a government official.

Now, to see if I can get a nano SIM here or if those are nonexistent too…

UPDATE: So yes, I did wake up at 4:01am to order a gold iPhone 5s. I added it to my shopping cart and saw the “shipping in 1-3 business days” message, which was just right to get it to my mother in time. I then noticed it was the “T-Mobile GSM” unlocked version of the phone and drew a blank on whether or not GSM worked in Argentina. After some quick Googling, I found out that was the correct model and went back to check out. Of course, after paying, I noticed the delivery time had changed to 7-10 business days. That would not be enough time to get it to my mom before she left for Argentina! It also means that it would probably be returned to Apple as no one would be able to sign for delivery either. So, in the end it looks like all my efforts were wasted and there’s going to be no new iPhone for me…

UPDATE 2: I was able to change the delivery address for my gold iPhone 5s, and it’s now supposed to arrive at a friend’s house in Boston on October 10. As I have a November trip back to the US, I’ll be able to pick it up then and bring it back with me. Maybe I’ll have to pick up a second one too as they’re currently selling on MercadoLibre for about $15,000 pesos (U$S 1612 at the blue market rate). Still, seems like a lot of trouble for a phone.

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