Hi, welcome aboard! This site is a good place to get started. At the top of the page there is a tab called "View Videos". There are a lot of good free videos there that you can learn from, and two of the major ways to knit are shown so you can try both and see which fits you best.
There are a lot of good books and it seems just about every book about knitting or even magazine teaches the basics. Try going to the library for books to look at.
Needle preference is a very personal thing. A lot of people end up prefering to use circular knitting needles for most of their knitting. I like 10 inch straight needles to start folks on, the circulars do the same thing if you just treat each end of the circular needle as a separate needle, but they confuse some people right at first. They make 14 inch straight needles and some folks love them, I don't ever use them, but they may be all you can find in some places. Needles are made from different materials and you'll probably find uses for many of them. The metal ones you find at Wal-Mart and other generic stores will do and some people like them, many people like starting with wood or bamboo because they have more grip on the yarn.
I recommend you begin with a worsted weight yarn (or even a bulky if you like) that is smooth, no fuzzy stuff or weird yarn. And begin with a medium or light color, don't start with black, it is hard to see what you are doing with it. When you get the yarn it usually gives a needle size to use listed on the skein. You may not get the exact gauge (number of stitches per inch or 4 inches) that someone (the person who made the skein lable, for instance) else would get with that size needle but it would probably give you an idea of what size you might like to start with.
Some people like to jump right into a project. I kind of like just messing around for a couple of days until you have the basic stitches in hand and then pick something fairly simple that has instructions that don't scare you and delve in. Some folks like to start daringly others like simpler fare, it is up to you. Let your skills build and pick projects that teach you something new and you will soon be able to tackle a lot of different types of satisfying knitting projects. This forum is a great place to get help and encouragement.
There are a lot of free knititng patterns available on the internet. Yarn companies offer some, knittingpatterncentral is a big source and I think even this site has some. Have fun.