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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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

Rhodri Marsden: When it comes to saucy pictures, trust no one. Least of all yourself

The case of John Schindler is a curious one. A former NSA analyst and, until recently, a professor at the US Naval War College, he resigned on Tuesday following a college investigation into whether a widely circulated picture of his penis was actually his.

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Kool Herc's party flyer

* The flyer is 41 years old, tatty and scrawled in biro on the back of an index card. It's for a "Back To School Jam" in the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, a high-rise block in New York's Bronx district, with admission a very reasonable 25 cents for women and 50 cents for men. At a glance it looks like a pretty nondescript event, but that night is deemed by many to have seen the birth of hip-hop.

Rhodri Marsden: Being anonymous online is cowardly, whether you're saying something unpleasant or not

About 12 years ago I sent an anonymous email. As I typed that devastatingly romantic Valentine message, I felt a strange kind of thrill. After all, this was something I would never have dared to say in person.

Stress less: relaxation techniques can help focus the mind and put problems in context

NOW Live Events is helping festival-goers to channel anxiety into making art

The organisation promotes mindfulness by getting people to participate in art, sculpture, reading, writing and performance exercises

Amateur perfumer Fran Schofield in a dining room masquerading as a makeshift laboratory

Surreal life of the amateur perfumer: Hazmat couriers, guesswork and badger excrement

They grub around in forests for moss; they buy a kilo of tincture to use just 5ml; the authorities hold them in high suspicion; they prise open plastic bags to be hit by the heady scent of badger excrement. And all for what? To be able to create a fragrance whose ultimate ingredient is luck…

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The traffic light

* This week marks the centenary of the installation in Cleveland, Ohio of the world's first electrically-powered traffic light system.

Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you

Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Rhodri Marsden reports on a healthcare revolution
OKCupid confessed to having tested its users for shallowness

Should we accept that we're lab rats if we use social media? OKCupid thinks so

Anyone who has ever dipped their toe into the murky world of internet dating will know that it can be an insufferably shallow environment.

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He's behind you, dude!

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