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Gleb Kalinin
2,080 followers -
I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram!
I'm not even a bus, I'm a tram!

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As someone who doesn't live in the woods, I've heard about Bitcoin a lot, but never found time to get into the subject properly. Well, turns out it's not that easy to get your head around the subject — it's hard. But this podcast guest-starring Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoint enthusiast and enterpreneur has changed a lot in how I see crypto currencies and Bitcoin in particular. Actually, this two and half podcast is the most enlightening piece of information I've encountered so far (though I've just started my research).

Andreas is so enthusiastic about the technology that he has quit his day job, lived through his savings for a year or something until this hobby became to pay for itself. He's now consulting several Bitcoin startups and works as a security consultant. What really struck me is his comparison of what Bitcoin is nowadays to what Internet was in early 90-th. It was a technology mostly no one understood because it was hard: email, FTP, browsers, protocols yada yada. But inevitably more and more people start using it over the time because of how convenient the technology is. The same applies for Bitcoin: very few people understand it, even fewer people use, but the technology in itself is so powerful it has a very good chance of becoming ubiquitous. (Unless it's completely oppressed and banned by governments. Which is a possibility, no illusions here, presumably it'll become illegal in Russia pretty soon.)

Well, anyway, I was so excited (just like I was excited about Internet and even BBCs in 1997) I decided I'd give it another try. Last time I downloaded the default client (Bitcoin-Qt) which appeared to be pretty slow, required dozens of gigabytes on my disk and it took it ages to sync with the network. This time I went with Multibit which was way more lightweight. Unfortunately, I'm joining the club right after Apple has decided to ban the last Bitcoin app from Appstore, so no mobile payments for me.

Anyway, I've spent several hours trying to buy some Bitcoin. Services like Bitstamp and Coinbase are slow and mainly for US citizens (they require US bank account/ billing address authorisation or charge extra fees for using credit cards). So I was looking for other options. Man, this is difficult if you are in Russia. I didn't have to dive into deep web to do it, but the sites I had to go to were weird and didn't look trustworthy. I ended up landing on BTC-E.com which seem legit enough (at least to Russian standards) and after transferring funds from one account to another and then another I bought my $50 worth BTC 0.0857282. Alas, although I don't have to go through any humiliation authentication procedure, I have to wait for another 3 days to transfer my precious crypto currency to my private wallet. (Until then I might simply loose the money, but I assume the risk rather little.)

Although I still can't use my virtual money, I feel content just like after my first email respond. We'll see how it goes.

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I still remember living in “no Google times”. I was probably six or seven. I would see an unknown word written on a wall. An itch to find out what it means becomes intolerable. The word starts to possess me. I feel there is a mystery, and magic, and depth, and promise to it. I’ve never seen a real person writing anything on the wall. Why would they do it? They should have a good reason for doing it. And I should know the meaning.

The first way to clarify it was to look it up in a huge dark blue English-Russian dictionary. It was rather comprehensive (fifty thousand words, ten A4 pages for a 3 letter word), but failed at explaining street cryptography way too often. (I quickly lost my faith in an ability of all sorts of indices to illuminate life, although I still enjoy flipping through their pages in search of random knowledge.)

Then I could ask. As a timid kid I could only approach closest relatives, so chances of discovering the truth were low. So I had to live with an undisclosed secret until one day an answer manifested itself out of the blue. The truth wasn’t very inspiring most of the times: sophisticated cursing and musical groups.

But there was an outstanding case which found its resolution just recently. There was a huge inscription at the very top of a blind firewall of a building on the corner of Mokhovaya and Belinsky streets. It read “Jean Tatlian — Love bridge”. I used to see the graffiti twice a week on my way to art school. No one could tell me what it was. I could only imagine: a novelist. A romantic poet. A great lover maybe? A singer whose songs are so deep they make people climb the walls to express their delight and admiration.

A trivial answer struck me in a music recommendation service. Yes, a singer. No, nothing special, second-tier soviet-greek entertainer. So in a way it still holds a secret: was it a joke? A drunk stunt? Fortunate use of a scaffold by a fangirl? This I will probably never know.

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Meet our latest project, a blog/online publication titled „On the internet“. We aim to publish articles by top thinkers, philosophers and visionaries translated into Russian. Our first post is a translation of an amazing article by Douglas Adams. Adams died well before Facebook saw it's billions user, but what he saw during the onset of Internet era still applies today.  

Sinse I promised to blog in English, here's a link to the original article:
http://www.douglasadams.com/dna/19990901-00-a.html

And here's my translation into Russian:
http://ontheinternet.ru/how-to-stop-worrying-and-learn-to-love-the-internet/

Hope you enjoy it whatever language you choose.

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I'm using Buffer app for a week now, it's a dead simple but cool tool that allows you to distribute your Twitter and Facebook posts more evenly. You post are scheduled to be posted at the most effective time, plus they provide some analytics if you use their link shortener. Sometimes I become a veryobsessive blogger, this allows to decrease a number of posts a shoot at a time.

Here's my refferal link, you get extra time slots by signing up using it: http://bufferapp.com/r/88ebb8

Ok, I'm giving Google Plus another shot. Last time I had to remove my  profile because I was getting way too much requests from people I do not know and have totally nothing in common (not that I am xenophobic, I like to meet new people with wide variety of interests, but this was not the case).

Plus seems to be widely used by MIT online courses and some folks who participate seem to be around already, so this is kind of the main reason I'm getting back.
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