I am aware that when the hash of the block header (block hash) is below the difficulty target, a block is considered validated.
But since I've never run a bitcoin node before (I'll do it soon), I had some questions regarding the mining process.
1) When the miners are running the BTC software, are they confirming by default the transactions in the memory group based on the higher tariffs, or are they authorized to choose which transactions they can validate?
2) If you have a higher hash rate, does this mean that you can also validate transactions faster?
3) When a block is validated on average every 10 minutes, as established by the BTC protocol, are the miners also trying to validate the transactions?
4) How are transactions validated?