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.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
James Ward is fascinated by the history of some of our most beloved items of stationery

Adventures In Stationery: Author James Ward loves Post-it notes, paper clips and staplers so much he has written a whole book about them

It may be humble but, like all objects, stationery has a story and Ward's first book tells it with an understated flair. Rhodri Marsden gets down to brass tacks with him

Stilted chats with DHL delivery men aside, Rhodri feels the absence of real interaction

Is a decline in face-to-face contact leading to a decline in our well-being?

Rhodri Marsden feels that email, text and social media keep him sufficiently connected but still treasures his chats with the DHL guy

Cloud surfing: many of us put our faith in storage systems like iCloud

iCloud: How to stay safe in the cloud

After hackers leaked hundreds of intimate photos of celebrities, Rhodri Marsden suggests a few ways to make sure that private data stays that way (nude selfies or otherwise)
The beard token featured a picture of a large beard below the words 'The money has been taken', with 'The beard is a superfluous burden' on the flipside

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Peter the Great's beard token

* It doesn't seem like 316 years ago this week, does it, since Peter the Great returned to Moscow from a trip to Western Europe with a burning desire to modernise the country of his birth. Widespread political, military and social reforms were to follow over the next few years, but Peter knew exactly where to start. Beards.

80 per cent of us keep our phones on overnight, with 50 per cent using them as an alarm clock

Sleeping with the enemy? Why smartphones might not make the best bedfellows...

A couple of months ago I discovered a sleeping aid that seemed to work. A 30-minute audio recording on YouTube of someone reenacting a mundane spa treatment turned out to have unique tranquillising properties – I still haven't got even halfway through without falling asleep.

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Dorothy's ruby slippers

* "Give me back my slippers!" shrieked the Wicked Witch of the West, as they disappeared from her colleague's feet and magically appeared on Dorothy's feet. The premiere of The Wizard of Oz took place 75 years ago this week; those ruby slippers would become the most famous shoes in Hollywood history.

The beginner's guide to plugging in a USB cable

Rhodri Marsden makes many more failed attempts to plug in a standard, type-A USB cable than he does successful ones. So is there an easy solution?

Mortality maths – like the realisation that the last of those name-checked in Madonna's 'Vogue' died last week – make us feel our own lives are racing by

Numbers game: Lauren Bacall (pictured) was the last star name-checked in Madonna's 1990 hit song 'Vogue'

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The Voyager golden record

* This week in 1977, the spacecraft Voyager 2 was launched. Attached to it was a copy of the Voyager Golden Record, a gold-plated LP with an aluminium cover. It contained a selection of music and images chosen by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan.

Short circuit: websites such as eBay stopped working this week due to the number of people online

eBay suffered its tenth major outage this year - but is the internet really full up?

Breathless headlines informed us that the internet had burst its digital zip. Rhodri Marsden explains why that's only partly true
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum