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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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

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Remington No 1

* Christopher Sholes and Carlos Glidden didn't actually invent the typewriter. John Pratt's 'Pterotype' provided much of the inspiration for the two men, a Wisconsin printer and inventor respectively. But the Remington No 1, also known as the Sholes & Glidden, was the first typewriter to achieve any kind of commercial viability. It went on sale this week in 1874.

Rhodri Marsden: This new app Yo is a funny idea but $1.2m of funding is no joke

The internet has made us an excitable bunch. We jump on speeding bandwagons, keen to be in on something early and eager to get people to join us. Our behaviour can be measured down to the last unit, our rapidly changing interests charted across the web on hit-counters and graphs, soaring as we embrace something, and then levelling off or plummeting as we get bored. Last week, that almost violent capriciousness was demonstrated perfectly by a little app called Yo.

Rhodri Marsden: Am I the only person in the world who hates the ukulele?

The ukulele has become irritatingly ubiquitous - and the instrument of choice for people who list tea and cupcakes as their interests. Rhodri Marsden struggles to pinpoint its appeal

The six-colour flag has since become standard, but Baker has expressed a desire to 'bring the eight colours back'

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The rainbow flag

* A rainbow flag was first flown as a symbol of LGBT pride 36 years ago this week, when two such flags were hoisted at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. "From that first moment," said the flag's designer, Gilbert Baker, "I knew that this was the most important thing that I would ever do."

It took 30 minutes to prove that Facebook equals the internet

An 'issue' on the social networking site yesterday had millions of users peering into a dark abyss

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.

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