Bitcoin UK

So....everyone's probably heard of bitcoin, the digital currency that's supposedly changing the world.

While it's far from certain that bitcoin will survive, it is true that digital currency in a similar form is here to stay.

I've been playing around buying a small amount of bitcoin (and spending it on takeaway when it's value goes up) to understand how it works. In the UK it's not hugely easy to get hold of or spend. That fact that, like any new product/service, there are dodgy people trying to take advantage of people's lack of knowledge doesn't help matters.

Here's some lists of a few current trustworthy UK bitcoin sellers and businesses who accept it:

A good place to get an overview: (you'd don't need to do the sign in with facebook or sign up to coinbase bits)

try Bitcoin

Set up an online wallet:

NOTE: This is a good starting point. However, like a real wallet, only keep small amounts or spending money in here long term. You are trusting the wallet host not to suddenly disappear or be hacked.
Also, make sure you make a backup of the wallet (easy to do through the main interface).
If you have any significant money in bitcoin, you should move it to an offline/paper wallet.

Android - Standalone wallet:
Bitcoin Wallet

Android - Monitor the balance of your multiple wallets in one app
Bitcoin Wallet Balance

Buy bitcoin: - Buy bitcoins safely from individuals using an escrow system. (I personally used this without problems.) - Buy bitcoins with cash from 28,000 outlets in the UK

Spend bitcoin:

Scan - electronics hardware - 8000 takeaways throughout the UK
8ballbikes - online bike shop
The chocolate tree - Edinburgh chocolate shop - Exchange bitcoin for uk gift cards and more

Finally: - shows a zoomable world map of places which accept bitcoin.

Encrypt your web browser - android

The Electronic Frontier Foundation have just released 'HTTPS Everywhere' extension for Firefox on Android. This forces your browser to use a secure, encrypted https connection when you are visiting enabled sites thus securing your traffic against monitoring/capture of your traffic (including passwords etc) by your ISP, government agencies, or anyone listening on that untrusted coffee shop wifi.

Click Here for more

Ai Pioppi - Fairground in a forest

"Hidden among the trees of an Italian forest, Bruno has been building swings, slides, seesaws, gyroscopes and roller-coasters for the last forty years. They are his passion and a way to attract clients to Ai Pioppi, the restaurant he runs with his family. Throughout this short documentary, his hand-powered toys move alongside his thoughts about existence and death; and why he spent more than half of his life creating rides."

AI PIOPPI from Fabrica on Vimeo.

Stafford Beer & Chile - Project Cybersyn

In the early 70s, and way ahead of it's time, cybernetics expert Stafford Beer created an information network in Chile which fed into a mainframe to detect and predict problems in the economy.

Known as Project Cybersyn, the network was quickly adapted during the US attempts to undermine the current democratically elected president. It then enabled Chile to function during lorry driver strikes by managing the routes and positions of available trucks.

Just as the network was expanding and becoming fully formed it was doomed by the coup carried out by Pinochet. The network and control room being destroyed soon after he took power.

Today these ideas are being realised as big data and smart cities.

Click here (

MI6 - Licolnshire Poacher

Listen to the recording of a reported (by MI6 telephone system for spies to receive encrypted messages.

In the past this was done in part by sending the information via a radio signal from Cyprus allegedly run by the British Secret Intelligence Service. It was known as the "Licolnshire Poacher" and ran from the 70s until a few years ago.

The service is apparently now run on a telephone number.

Click here for original article

Russian radio signal UVB-76

A mysterious Russian radio signal at 4625kHz has been broadcasting since the 70s. Mostly it consists of a intermittent buzzing noise, but a 2-3 times a decade it stops and a voice can be heard. These interruptions have included '"Command 135 initiated", a playing of Swan Lake, and some overheard background conversations.

Possible explanations are that it's a simple emergency transmission frequency, or it could be part of Russia's "dead man switch", which automatically fires off nukes if Russia is otherwise crippled. It's also been postulated that it could be part of a system for measuring changes in the ionsphere:

Click here

Living like 1986

A Canadian family have decided to live like it's 1986 for a year. Disturbed by his son's constant playing on a tablet and unwillingness to go outside, Blair McMillan decided to revert back to 1986, moving to an 80s house, disallowing the use of modern technology and growing a mullet and moustache.

Click here