Sunday, July 24, 2011
For those unfamiliar with the Forever 27 Club:
Between 1969 and 1971, four famous artists died at the age of 27, Brian Jones of the rolling stones (3 July 1969), Jimi Hendrix (18 September 1970), Janis Joplin (4 October 1970), and Jim Morrison of The Doors (3 July, 1971). The coincidence of their deaths lead to the creation of the Forever 27 Club. Years later, Kurt Cobain killed himself and joined the club also (5 April, 1994). One thing all these member have in common is rock & roll and drugs. With the exception of Morrison, all the members were known heavy drug users. Some speculate that even Morrison was under the influence of drugs during his death - no autopsy was preformed in his case but some conflicting reports suggest he was using at the time of death.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Service provided by the electric street car was most often replaced by buses which were seen as more flexible and requiring less infrastructure than the electric rail counterpart. This shift from electric trolley to bus has led many to believe that a union of automobile, oil, and tire companies was responsible for the dismantling of what otherwise appeared to be a productive public utility.
The possibility of a conspiracy against the electric streetcar is at least likely given the circumstances publicly known. In 1949, General Motors together with Standard Oil (now Cheveron) and Firestone were convicted of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transit authorities. The goals of this group were to promote the use and sale of buses, tires and gasoline: three things not needed in cites with electric streetcars. Therefore the use of such a transit system often came at the cost of reduced or complete dismantling of electric street car routes.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Fortunately, there is a rising star in the Bitcoin trade industry, TradeHill. The volume of trades is low compared to MtGox but growing and the price is usually close to MtGox. I have yet to try out TradeHill myself (transferring from MtGox is down). Most people who have tried it like the interface and the lower trading fees on TradeHill. Speaking of which: using the referral code TH-R12942 will get you an additional life-time 10% discount on trading fees.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
With not much effort you can easily find that the mainstream (if anything related to Bitcoins can be called mainstream) way to convert your USD into BTC is this place called MtGox. Here you quickly create an account and upload funds (either in USD or BTC). The process of trading will cost you .65% for both buying and selling.
The trouble comes when you try to add funds: because Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, people giving up bitcoins want to make sure they will not have their USD taken back after the transaction. For now at least, there is no instant method of payment that guards against possible charge-backs. So before you can trade on MtGox you must wait a number of days before your USD "clear" and you can begin buying BTC and all along the way you'll rack up fees from various thrid parties you dealt with.
The solution? Trade directly with others in the Bitcoin IRC channel. (If you don't know what IRC is you should just give up now; even if you do you may still want to give up.)
Before you logon to either #bitcoin-otc or #bitcoin-pit you'll need to learn a little about the etiquette, how trades are done in bitcoin-otc, and most of all, how to avoid scam-artists. If this doesn't scare you away you might be ready to read the wiki guide to otc.
The first thing I learned by trying to trade with people is that you can buy or sell anything as an anonymous user: everyone doing business in otc has something called GPG. GNU Privacy Guard is a package encryption software that the people running the Bitcoin channels use to keep track of trusted traders. My first time in the channel I just asked how to go about getting GPG set up and someone pointed me to a lengthy but straight-forward guide.
After getting my GPG configured you won't be ready to trade just yet because you have to build up your reputation. It may sound like a catch-22 but there is no way to avoid it. People wont trade without unless they know you are honest. Fortunately for me, I know someone personally that has a good reputation in the pit that got me my first trade. For your first trade you should be prepared to pay in some form that cant be charged back after the fact. Most reputable people will not trade if you are using PayPal because with PayPal you can file a claim and reverse the charge. The best option for someone breaking into the scene is with MoneyPak, a prepaid card you can buy in local stores and that can be transferred to the PayPal account of the seller.
So assuming you've found someone who will trust you, you have to make sure you can trust them. If you use a form of payment that is irreversible you could end up with just another sob story for Bitcoin court (yes there is a Bitcoin court). The best way around this is to find the most reputable and willing person to hold the BTC before sending payment.
After you successfully make a trade you can then begin using your Bitcoins.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
1882 was the birth of the first electric street car in America in South Bend Indiana. In little more than a decade the electric street car had transformed the urban and suburban landscape of almost 900 U.S. cities. Scranton Pennsylvania was an early adopter of the Electric street car and earned the nickname “The Electric City”. Electricity provided a major advancement in transportation but the use of rail was becoming obsolete; city streets were no longer dirt and the investment of track meant routes could not change to accommodate an evolving city.