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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Big headed: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson in the film 'Frank'

Frank Sidebottom: The man behind the papier mâché mask

Working for the comedian and singer Frank Sidebottom was an education and an oddly profound experience, recalls a one-time member of his backing band

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The presenter's telephone

Fifty years ago this weekend, embattled journalist Gerald Priestland put paid to the notion that the presenter's telephone was merely a prop

Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Michael Acton Smith started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm

Rhodri Marsden: Neil Young's quest for purer listening is pure elitist garbage

Young's Pono music player has raised more than $6 million on Kickstarter

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: Comedian Tommy Cooper's trademark fez

Sophisticated men with style used to wear a fez as part of their luxury smoking garb. Cooper transformed it into a comedy prop

NPR's April Fools gag exposed those who skim over the detail

Rhodri Marsden: Skim-reading will cause many to miss the point of this column

Amid last week's glut of flimsy April Fool gags, one stood out slightly from the pack. NPR, the American public radio network, published a short article online entitled: "Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?"

Rhodri Marsden: Why chatting to strangers could be the key to protecting online privacy

Every week I download a bunch of apps for iOS and Android that deliver far less than they promise. Call me a weary cynic – God knows everyone else does – but my expectations of new apps are probably lower than when I tune in to watch England play cricket, and that's saying something.

Appreciation society: Rhodri Marsden (back) with Dream Themes, who play tunes from shows such as Red Dwarf and Hawaii Five-O

The best TV themes become a soundtrack to our lives - but can you name their composers?

Rhodri Marsden has a nagging feeling that TV theme tunes have been getting worse over the past couple of decades

Rhodri Marsden: Whisper it - anonymous social networks sound like a terrifying idea

If there's one recurrent online motif that makes me want to find whoever invented social media and subject them to brutal questioning, it's the indiscriminate use of inspirational quotes.

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?