Rhodri Marsden

Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.

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Taking the biscuit: Nestlé capitalised on the Facebook shutdown to tweet a Kit-Kat advert

When Facebook broke, users railed or mocked, but most kept refreshing their news feeds

As we mocked Facebook's meaninglessness, we knew deep down that we were mocking ourselves, says Rhodri Marsden

A mind to quit: some therapists treat the end of a patient's sessions like the break-up of an affair

Stopping therapy: We have ways of making you talk

Walking away from therapy is a big step, but what if your analyst tries to stop you? Their methods of persuasion can be intense – and not always ethical, reports Rhodri Marsden

Rhodri Marsden: They may have passed the test, but the robots aren't taking over yet

The news was announced with such fanfare and excitement that you'd have forgiven us for bracing ourselves for psychological subjugation at the hands of an army of sentient robots. "Turing test passed for the first time", screamed the headlines, before going on to explain that a Russian-produced chatbot had managed to convince a panel of humans attending an event at the Royal Society that it, too, was human.

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Prince's symbol

* Today in 1993, on his 35th birthday, Prince changed his name to the symbol pictured above, provoking consternation, derision, amusement and indifference.

Rhodri Marsden: Struggling to express your emotions? There's a sticker for that...

Nothing says "I appear to be veering towards narcissim" like a picture of a chubby cat. <b>Rhodri Marsden</b> extolls the virtues of a well-placed sticker

The world blocks its ears: The unstoppable rise of headphones and especially Beats by Dr Dre

You can’t help wonder how aliens might interpret our relationship with our headphones

Prince Charles compared the proposed extension to the National Gallery to what Webster's describes as

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The monstrous carbuncle

* Thirty years ago this morning, Britain began its relationship with the phrase "monstrous carbuncle". The previous night, Prince Charles had delivered a speech at Hampton Court Palace to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He seized the opportunity to compare the proposed extension to the National Gallery to what Webster's describes as "a very painful acute local inflammation of subcutaneous tissue".

Spanish lawyer Mario Costeja Gonzalez fought for six years for Google to erase a search result for his name that links to an article on property auctions

Google privacy law - analysis: The fact is, information doesn’t want to be controlled

Poor Mario Costeja Gonzalez. He’ll now forever be known as the person who owed social security debts to the Spanish government in the late 1990s. This was never his intention; indeed, he went to court in an attempt to get this detail about a past episode of his life removed from Google’s index. His victory in that case earlier this month has since prompted a huge debate about the “right to be forgotten”, but the associated publicity has provided a perfect illustration of how, as the popular slogan has it, “information wants to be free”. Attempts at suppression, whether noble or nefarious, will almost inevitably prove to be futile.

Enthusiasm curbed: irritable types such as Larry David are apparently not helping themselves

Research suggests that cynics are three times more likely to develop dementia

Committed sceptic Rhodri Marsden decides to get happy
20 Day Stranger anonymously pairs you up with a stranger at random

Rhodri Marsden: Is Twitter making you miserable? Befriending a stranger might help

I've just been reading about a social-media campaign where a marketing team spent two months planning a tweet about a brand of cheese. When finally unleashed, said tweet disappeared up the timeline virtually unnoticed, burning out immediately like a moth in a flame.

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Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable