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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Having to talk someone through operating the universal remote feels a bit embarrassing
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.

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Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor