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: the embodiment of irresistible masculinity, obviously

Rhodri Marsden: It won't be long until impulse purchases will be a case of 'think it, buy it'

A new app from Amazon lets users take pictures of objects in order to buy them - impulse shopping is becoming even easier

Valentine's Day gift massacre: What those carefully chosen presents really say about you

Chocolate or jewellery? Frilly or practical? Rhodri Marsden wants you to think very carefully before making the year’s most fraught gift-buying

The 'Durr' watch's only function is to vibrate gently every five minutes

Rhodri Marsden: Smartwatches? Some of them don't even tell the time!

They said that 2013 was going to be the year of the smartwatch, but it wasn't. I still don't know anyone who wears one, and while I'd hesitate to extrapolate this anecdotal evidence into anything meaningful, it's fair to say that the gadget-buying public have failed to be persuaded that they need one. Samsung had a go with the Galaxy Gear, but failed to set our wrists alight, and while the Kickstarter-funded Pebble watch looks more promising, we remain largely indifferent.

Interesting object: The creation of the first part of the Oxford English Dictionary was particularly arduous

'One of its most notable contributors was in Broadmoor'

Rhodri Marsden: the embodiment of irresistible masculinity, obviously

Rhodri Marsden: The conflicted reality of the 'digital dashboard' is driving me crazy

While I was on holiday in Sydney last September, I got into a taxi with a dashboard festooned with five mobile devices, hanging off a variety of mounts, and all presumably providing critical information to the driver.

Perfect pitch: Steve Jobs, left, and Apple's president John Sculley with the new Macintosh personal computer in New York in 1984

Apple Mac at 30: How Steve Jobs launched a revolution in home computing - and founded an army of passionate devotees

"I don't know a single person who watches the Super Bowl," said a worried Steve Jobs, then just 28 years old. The event he was referring to commanded a television audience of more than 80 million at the time, but Jobs' nervousness at the prospect of Apple spending $1.6m (£1m) to secure two 60-second TV ad slots during the game was understandable. After all, the kind of computers that Apple manufactured just didn't belong in the home of the average football fan; its pioneering Lisa machine was priced at an eye-watering $10,000, the equivalent to more than $23,000 (£14,000) today.

Rhodri Marsden: We have no choice but to ride out the upgrade cycle of life

A friend of mine is, in computing terms at least, stuck in 2005, a time when Tony Blair was still Prime Minister, Sven-Goran Eriksson was still the England manager and people were buying records by Crazy Frog.

Rhodri Marsden: Home is where the heart of absurd technology is but is the automation revolution just pointless frippery?

It probably contravenes some unwritten rule to begin a light-hearted examination of the week in technology with a reference to Jimmy Savile, but a few days ago I remembered an episode of Jim'll Fix It in the 1980s where some lucky youngster had his room kitted out with all the latest gadgets from the Ideal Home Show, including some automated curtains. These curtains elicited gasps of wonder from my teenage self as I entertained the notion that, in the future, we'd be relieved of the endless, life-sapping drudgery of having to drag light pieces of material along a rail, sometimes as frequently as twice a day.

Samsung showed off an 85in television that can be either flat or curved

CES: is gadgets flaunting their curves innovation?

Geek mythology

Rhodri Marsden buys his 'milibit' online

Get a piece of the Bitcoin action: How easy is it to lay your hands on the virtual currency?

'The process was like wagering cash on a dull greyhound race and then having to jump through hoops to claim the winnings'

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Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home