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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News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns

Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The ice-cream cone celebrates its 110th birthday

* 110 years ago this week, Charles E Menches was sitting idly at the St Louis World's Fair when he saw some girls walking past who'd hollowed out small cakes and put ice-cream inside. It was a Eureka moment. A December 1931 obituary describes how he walked to a nearby confectionery stall and immediately invented the ice-cream cone. Way to go, Charlie.

Change of art: Google’s new Roboto font placed over the old one (hint: red new, blue old)

Google has spent 18 months changing its typeface - but can you tell the difference?

Roboto - the system font that's been used on Google's mobile operating system, Android, since 2011 - needed tweaking

Google+ becomes more privacy-friendly with launch of pseudonyms

There's an accepted piece of wisdom which says that if people know who we are on the internet, we'll behave ourselves. It makes sense. After all, who'd want to be identified publicly as an abusive ranter who responds to even the mildest provocation with a stream of expletives?

End of the rainbow: the best thing about E17 is no longer ‘that you can leave it quickly’

Why is everybody moving to Waltham Forest?

It has the fastest-rising house prices in the UK, but it isn't easy to love Waltham Forest. Rhodri Marsden ponders the approaching cupcake revolution on his doorstep

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The saucy postcard

* Sixty years ago this week, a 79-year-old man stood trial at Lincoln Crown Court for a breach of the 1857 Obscene Publications Act (OPA). That man was Donald McGill, Britain's pre-eminent saucy postcard artist, who by the time of his death had drawn some 12,000 nudge-wink pictures. One of the offending postcards featured a young man holding a gigantic stick of rock protruding from his groin. McGill claimed that its phallic nature had never occurred to him.

Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside

Rhodri Marsden: Filming everything is a dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity

A badly-framed, woozy digital keepsake, an aide-memoire at best, a pointless act of narcissism in pursuit of social media thumbs-up at worst

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The sliced loaf

* Eighty-six years ago this weekend, an advertisement appeared in The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune for Kleen Maid Sliced Bread. "The housewife can well experience the thrill of pleasure," it read, "with each slice the exact counterpart of its fellows." The next morning, Missouri's Chillicothe Baking Company put the first pre-sliced loaves on sale to the public.

The Blackphone promises not to compromise your privacy

Rhodri Marsden: The Blackphone comes with the promise of 'peace of mind'

A pleasure that I indulge in which other people might conceivably describe as "guilty" is to sit up late watching the QVC shopping channel. Not to buy anything, you understand – merely to watch people doing free-form verbal improvisation around, say, a diamonique bracelet.

A love of mystery: Googling your date is a fool’s errand

Romantic CRB checks: Searching for love

Checking out a date's online profile before a meeting can be hazardous, as Rhodri Marsden found out
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Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album