Ashok Argent-Katwala

I am Ashok Argent-Katwala. I lived, studied and worked in London for 12 In 2009, I moved to Toronto – another great, global city. I enjoy building things which work, so I am slightly more engineer than scientist. I believe in a lot of things, especially that there's usually a right thing to do. More about me.

Since I get most of my best thinking done in decent cafés & pubs, I publish my recommendations on The List.

Discover Canada - MP3 playlist

Mary and I recently applied for our Canadian citizenship. (Whoop!)

In preparation for our upcoming written tests, there's a booklet we must study – Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship.

Tagged: Web, Social, Upbeat

Posted at 11:04 EDT, 12th April 2015.

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Proto-Canadian

I'm very happy today that Mary & I have applied for Canadian citizenship.

This is the most exciting letter I've sent in a long time:

Exciting post

I'm proud that we've joined the queue to become new Canadians.

(I really like the common use of 'new Canadian' here. I find it much more upbeat and welcoming than 'immigrant', and the general tone with which that's used, particularly in UK politics and media.)

Tagged: Rants, Social, Upbeat

Posted at 12:27 EDT, 20th March 2015.

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Simple/complicated passwords

XKCD this week had a wonderful piece of commentary about the way we choose passwords.

Four randomly chosen common English words make for a remarkably good password. Randall Monroe's example uses a word-list about 2,000 words long (11 bits per word). The beauty of this suggestion is that you can choose any 2,000 different words you like and even assume that the attacker knows your word list and it will still have about 44 bits of randomness in. And 2 to the 44 is a pretty damn big number.

This is very similar suggestion to one made by Thomas Baekdal a few years ago that:

"this is fun" is 10 times more secure than "J4fS!2"

I'm pretty sure that's wrong, but in a slightly subtle way.

Tagged: Technology, Security, Social

Posted at 07:46 EDT, 12th August 2011.

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Ashok Katwala
My name before marriage. I've also been Ash Katwala or Ash Argent-Katwala at times – when both syllables of Ashok have been too much.
ArsDigita London
I was employee #3 in London for aD.
Department of Computing, Imperial College London
Where I did my undergraduate degree, followed by a PhD in performance modelling, after which I did some teaching and research on software engineering and performance analysis.
Westcliff High School for Boys (WHSB) in Essex
My high school, where I was a pupil 1988–95.