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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The UN has pulled together a 'happiness playlist' featuring Pharrell Williams along with other artists

International Day Of Happiness: Our happiness is one of the most complex issues we'll ever wrestle with

27 per cent of UK adults rate their life satisfaction as "very high" – but what does that mean?
The Woolet - a bluetooth-powered, self-charging wallet

Woolet wallet: Leaving valuables behind could be a thing of the past if tech firms have their way

Woolet is a Bluetooth-powered, self-charging wallet that sends an alert to your phone to advise you that you've moved out of a specified catchment area

Sylvanian Families has had its share of ups and downs over the past 30 years

Sylvanian Families: How folksy ways and wholesome values captured a global audience

Dreamt up in Japan as an antidote to high-rise living, Sylvanian Families have sold over 40 million figures in the UK alone. Rhodri Marsden discovers some creature comforts in a pastoral, low-tech world.

Interesting Objects: The first pair of earmuffs

Ear muffs were invented by 18-year-old Chester Greenwood, whose own ears were, according to later testimony from his grandson, "big and cold"

'Point, shoot and hope': the WhiteAlbum app

WhiteAlbum app harks back to an era of terrible holiday photos

The app gives you 24 chances to take pictures, which you can't see after you've taken them. You then pay $20 (£13) to have the prints delivered to your door

State of the art: a visualisation of data collected about ‘taste groups’ and their connections by Curalytics

Invasion of the algorithms: The modern-day equations which can rule our lives

These are equations which, by processing huge amounts of micro-data, can predict our behaviour - but are they for better or worse?

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: The fake Beach Boys mixer

The band's engineer Chuck Britz had a solution to Murry Wilson's incessant studio meddling; he constructed a fake control panel for him to fiddle with

Customer service in the social media age: How companies deal with the daily Twitter storm

When it comes to full-blooded vitriol, no one on social media attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service, as Rhodri Marsden reports

Can Google's The Knowledge Vault automate the process of determining the 'truth'?

The Knowledge Vault uses advanced natural language processing (NLP) techniques to gather material from the web and from Google's existing database of knowledge. It then generates a "knowledge-based trust score" for each source

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: Page 771 of Webster's New International Dictionary

The word 'dord' had sneakily crept into the English language. But how?

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

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The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
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The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
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