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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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?

There’s now a commonly-held supposition, verging on assumption, that gadgets are listening to us. And worse, that they have nefarious motives

Could our gadgets be listening in on us? It's not as crazy as it sounds...

"I have a crazy conspiracy theory," began a recent post on Reddit, "and I'm pretty sure I proved myself correct." Earlier that day, he or she had been chatting with friends in their living room about a particular club. Two hours later, an advert for that club appeared alongside their Facebook timeline. This, they thought, was spooky. They tested how spooky it was by reciting a list of words into their smartphone's microphone, including "Maserati" and "African safari". "Sure enough," they wrote, "two hours later I was getting ads for Gold Coast Maserati and African vacations… Do you think I'm nuts?"

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: The Sphairistiké set

The game was patented in 1874 by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield and was inspired by the athleticism of the ancient Athenians

Broadband now reaches around the world, just not into your back bedroom

We can summon rich, streaming media to a powerful handheld device from all four corners of the globe, just as long as we're not sitting in the back bedroom while the neighbours are using iTunes, says Rhodri Marsden

He can handle it: Javier Castaño’s Twitter names include ‘@japan’

Does registering snappy Twitter handles pay off?

Like the dotcom-name buyers of yore, a Spaniard who snapped up covetable Twitter handles in 2007 must have hit paydirt by now… mustn’t he?

Rhodri Marsden's Interesting Objects: Oscar Wilde's cabbage

So the story goes, a malodorous cabbage landed at Oscar Wilde's feet as he addressed his audience. "Thank you, my friend," said the celebrated wit, raconteur and playwright as he picked it up. "Every time I smell it, I shall be reminded of you." It's probably an apocryphal tale, but it's based on a vegetable-related incident that took place 120 years ago today at St James's Theatre, London, at the premiere of Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest.

Umoove Experience uses eye tracking to control flight simulation

Motion tracking at eyeball level looks set to be a big game-changer in 2015

A forthcoming version of Assassin's Creed will come with an eye-tracking add-on, while Umoove Experience uses eye tracking to control flight simulation

Rhodri Marsden's interesting objects: Brer Fox an' Brer Rabbit board game

Patented in 1904, The Newbie Game Company's game was designed to demonstrate the evils of exploitative landowners

Just one of many bad reviews that can be found on TripAdvisor

Uber drivers fight back: the companies writing online reviews of customers - and why we kind of deserve it

Just as we're prompted to rate companies, they are now rating us, too. And if we get ourselves a bad reputation the service can be withheld, says Rhodri Marsden
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