Bitcoins – Where to Start?

Someone recently asked me (okay, multiple people did) where to start to learn about getting Bitcoins?
You can start here at my blog, now. A better place to look will be at one of the links below in my 15 minute introduction. Don’t put off learning, it’s the Napster of the financial world, it will change how we do banking, like Napster changed how we get and share music.

You could download the bitcoin.org client first. It’s an easy install, it’s where I began, but stalled out… 2 years ago. What’s easier I think is getting a wallet at blockchain.info instead. Make a secure password 6 words long with punctuation. Write it down, and put the password in a safe place like cash! Maybe with your insurance papers, your will, or your passport. If you croak, your family will need this password to get access to your bitcoins.

Once you have a wallet (your Bitcoin address), share it with someone who has bitcoin so they can send you some in exchange for something.

To learn how to mine bitcoins, start out trying to mine litecoins first, they are basically the same technology, so learn once, and the skill works both they basically use the same programs. minerd, cgminer, cudaminer are example program names you may use. minerd is obsolete, used for CPU mining. CUDAminer is for computers with NVidia graphics processing units (GPUs), and cgminer is specialized for ATI Radeon GPUs. You can start each of them with a .bat (batch) file with the website address of a group or “pool” of other miners like you.

It’s hard to explain any more by typing a short guide, but that should keep you busy for 15 minutes, and give you a starting point.

Also follow @jkozan and @jeffcliff1 for local & Canadian crypto-currency updates on Twitter.


If you liked this beginners guide, Bitcoin tips would be appreciated at this wallet address:
17ypGH6vUrowdyvUthgQ87wzdq9d8egQta

#SKstorm Pounds Regina Quickly

dreadful thunderstorm at sunset

A surprise thunderstorm approached me as I biked north on Rose St., thinking of going under the tracks to check out the remains of Big Sky Cycles after their shop burned up inside. From 12th Ave. I saw that a storm was over the Casino in the distance. By the time I got to Sask Dr. it was apparent I was going to get soaked if I continued. I started shooting photos and took cover in a parking garage with one other wise traveller.


Here’s when it left, with STC in the foreground.

Radar:
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PRISM: NSA Watching the Innocent

Technology and civil liberty experts knew PRISM was a very real possibility. I knew, and wrote about it last August. The National Security Agency (NSA) (star bad guy org. in the Will Smith movie Enemy of the State) has been collecting domestic Americans’ phone and Internet records since at least 2007. This activity is a clear violation of the American Constitution, and was overseen by Bush II, Obama, Al Franken, and other high level leaders who’ve betrayed the trust of Americans and broken the law.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who also serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Bloomberg that the “[the] idea that a 29-year-old individual with so little experience” had access to the material Snowden did is “absolutely shocking.”

What’s shocking is Senator Collins, who is ignorant as sin. Seven years younger, and a year from a computer science degree, I had similar security clearance to Snowden (in Canada). Of course, I never saw the sort of gross violations of law observed by Snowden, and Canada at that time had an effective Commissioner designed to protect Canadians from secretive surveillance programs that ended up collecting intel from out-of-bounds citizens.

So what can you and I do? Give up Facebook and Skype? Don’t use a Verizon phone at either end of a conversation? Vote Republican? Vote Democrat? Vote Liberal? None of those options will protect you or enhance your life, so what can we do? The party system in the US, and Canada, is not protecting citizens from overbearing governments. The US surveillance state convinced supposed good-guys like Obama and Franken that the illegal spy scheme they inherited wasn’t worth exposing or even shutting down.

We first of all have to defend the people who leak evidence of crimes to responsible media like Glenn Greenwald who helped break this story into the international press.

People like Bradley Manning, and Ed Snowden are people who’ve done heroic things to uphold the highest laws of their country, while people more powerful than them try to use lesser laws to punish their actions.
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Ethical Amnesia: Confused As Harper

I’ve been misquoted as Stephen Harper by multiple public forum commenters at the Huffington Post, CTV News forum and on Facebook! The misquote was so plausible, and written originally by Kevin Wood, that I spent some time (like Stephen Lautens) trying to trace its source in newspapers. I couldn’t find it, because it was originally written by Kevin last year, not said by Harper ten years ago.
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DuffyGate Continues #cdnpoli

This whole Mike Duffy scandal isn’t new, but it is big news now, because further details came to light last week. We learned that Duffy was basically bribed by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, so an audit wouldn’t continue or look so bad for the Duffster Fraduster senator.

Will the Conservatives survive the month intact? Sixth Estate assumes so, but I’m hoping this straw might finally break a little “Nasty Party” back. The Liberals eventually came down after people assumed they were so corrupt due to Adscam that anything would be better. Well, the Conservatives were anything back then, but now they are the party with the corrupt Senators stealing money from taxpayers because they fudge where they are living on government documents to get cushy, powerful jobs, and hundreds of thousands in expensed perks.
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High School Isn’t What It Used To Be

Imagine the embarrassment of being a teenager again, except now your source of torment is not limited to forced school interaction with ruthless bullies, but now occurs at home and around the WWW too.

Sexual attitudes need to quickly change, and treatment of bullies needs to radically evolve if we’re to save kids like Amanda Todd from social torture and early deaths.

ADDED:

CBC Porn? #CBCporn

Sun News has a reputation for not being very accurate, in an attempt to excite their right wing base. They also employ professional liars. One story told by SUN involves CBC broadcasting porn, which isn’t what they do, obviously. This exaggeration was repeated by a CPC candidate in #YYCcentre on Saturday night, and prompted her mockery on Twitter, nation wide. It remains a Top Trend on Twitter, hours later as I write this.
(www.torontosun.com/2012/02/01/is-the-cbc-paying-for-porn) No, they are not. Anyone taking Sun News at face value deserves the figurative egg that ends up on their face.

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What’s Old is Two Faced Again

Made In Canada hypocrisy. There’s nothing more Canadian than the Conservative Party serving up the opposite of what it said it would do earlier. You can set your watch to the opposite of whatever time they tell you it is, so long as you wait a few weeks or a few years. Dependable.

Tides Canada, public enemy number one, according to our esteemed POS Ministers of the Crown. Well, that was after Baird said this about their money:

When a deal to protect B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest was brokered in January 2007, one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s most trusted lieutenants singled out the environmental and social justice organization Tides Canada as being crucial in Ottawa’s decision to contribute $30 million to the plan.

John Baird, then Harper’s new environment minister and now head of foreign affairs, said the Harper government acted due to fear that the unprecedented $60-million contribution raised by Vancouver-based Tides – the vast majority from U.S. foundations – was in jeopardy of being lost to the total $120-million fund.

I was tremendously concerned . . . that we could lose that, particularly the money coming from abroad, so we didn’t want to have that happen,” Baird said at a Vancouver event where he shared the stage with first nations leaders, and Tides chief executive Ross McMillan.

Baird spoke emphatically in Vancouver about the importance of habitat to 355 species in the 6.4 million-hectare rainforest. He also stressed his commitment to keep working with environmentalists and first nations.

“I hope that this is a beginning, not an end.”

Flash-forward to late 2011 and the world has turned upside-down.

Harper warned last November that “significant American interests” are funnelling [sic] money through “environmental groups and others” – presumably first nations – to stop Enbridge Inc.’s $5.5 billion Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast, where huge tankers will cruise the waters near the Great Bear Rainforest.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver followed a few weeks later with an open letter denouncing environmental groups as foreign-funded “radical” organizations determined to “hijack” Canada’s need to develop natural resources.

Tides was the only organization Oliver named in interviews.

Oliver, and his POS sidekick Kent, are the Minister of Threatening Canadians, and Minister of Turd Piles, respectively. Damn Internet! If only there was a way to control what people do there so they can’t use it to learn about blatant hypocrisy. That thought takes us to the next segment of this blog post…

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Stephen Taylor and random Blogging Tories are questioning why snark master Adam Carroll is apparently working for the Liberals again after being dismissed for his particularly awesome (but badly executed) stunt earlier this year just prior to the Robocalls scandal hitting the news. Carroll assumed the identity of Vikileaks30 to protest the ridiculous Vic Toews C-30 bill which was widely panned and promptly shelved.

If it’s such a big deal for a fired Liberal to end up working for them again, what do Conservatives think about rejected MP candidates winding up in the Senate, or working as shadow MPs on the public dime? Oops. At least the Liberals are paying for their previously rejected employee, who perhaps broke protocol for work computers, but did nothing illegal in exposing Toews’ sordid divorce details to bluntly make a valid point about the effect his bill will have on people.

If Sona is still not a CPC worker drone accused of working the phone, and rejected CPC MPs give up their Senate seats on the government teats, then the Cons can throw stones from their porcelain thrones.

Eye of Scheer over Peace Tower of Sauron #LordOfTheBills

What’s going on inside the House of Commons today is no laughing matter. In fact, Minister Tony Clement told me that if I don’t like his joking about the step back from democratic debate in Canada, I shouldn’t read his tweets. Seriously.

Photobucket
-Artists are hitting back.
Here’s a good one I found on a facebook page. It inspired the following adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Stephen Harper is now Lord Of The Bills.

In the Land of Ottawa where the Shadows lie.

See Stephen Harper rise against an Omnibus budget with arguments Elizabeth May put again to the Speaker?
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