#2
How are you fastening your strings at the bridge? Here's an article on various ways to do this; normally, if you use the normal wound-back-on-itself knot, the string end should point down towards the top of the guitar.
Some folks tie a knot in the end of the string, and then cut off the little protruding end.

http://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/frary/changing_strings.htm