I was often checking the price of bitcoin because it would move up and down quite quickly. I was going to Coinbase to check but as a developer I prefer to do something nerdy to get the value. I've taken a few moments to get the value of bitcoin in a few programmatic ways.
Get Bitcoin Value via Shell + curl
If I want to be low-level "nerd alert" mode, I'll use this command:
curl -s http://api.coindesk.com/v1/bpi/currentprice.json | python -c "import json, sys; print(json.load(sys.stdin)['bpi']['USD']['rate'])"