Tallan Blog

Tallan’s Experts Share Their Knowledge on Technology, Trends and Solutions to Business Challenges

AI Trends Shaping the Retail Industry

The key to retail success in today’s digital world is for retailers to understand where their most significant opportunity exists. Retailers need to anticipate their customers’ needs and competitors’ capabilities by adopting a digital platform. By using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in customer-facing functions, the online retail world can enhance customer satisfaction, increase time efficiency and reduce customer churn.
There are many examples of AI technologies that can aid in this effort. Visual Search can help by detecting and displaying a more tailored array of products related directly to the consumers’ aesthetic guide. Online Personalized Storefronts can improve customer satisfaction by creating a custom shopping experience for each shopper. Conversational Support can streamline the process promptly with 24/7 available support. The backbone of digital transformation is AI. No matter which journey they chose to follow, AI-powered retail experiences will become essential for…

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Exploring Buffer Overflows in C, Part Two: The Exploit

Welcome to part two of Exploring Buffer Overflows in C! If you have not taken the time to read the previous article I highly recommend doing so before going any further. In this post, I will be walking you through a simplified version of a buffer overflow exploit and will draw heavily on the vocabulary and theory discussed out in the last post. You can find Part One on Tallan’s Blog here. It also would be helpful to be familiar with hexadecimal numbers, which you can read about here. With that out of the way, let’s get to hacking.
Before We Begin
Before we can start we have to pick a target. Several methods exist to detect potential buffer overflows, ranging from manually reading the code to automated testing. Assuming you do have the source code of a program, searching for insecure…

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User Experience…What’s That?

Last Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to mingle with the family members that I rarely get to see which inevitably leads to the predictable small talk question of “so what are you up to?” It was around this time I had just started a position in the User Experience (UX) practice at Tallan and the concept of user experience was still fairly new to me and completely unknown to the person I was talking to.
Commence Small Talk:
“So, user experience huh? Tell me more about it”
“Well…it’s not easily defined”
“Give it a shot.”
You ever have that moment when you are explaining something, and you can tell you have lost the person on the other end of the conversation? This happens to me often, but in this moment, it happened quicker than usual as I attempted to use imagery of Apple, Amazon and…

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YouTube Attempts to Curb Controversial Content

If you’ve ever signed up for a YouTube account, you’re probably more than familiar with YouTube’s head-scratching video recommendations at times. After mounting dissatisfaction over the new recommendation algorithm, which produced too many similar recommendations and videos promoting misinformation, the YouTube team published a January 2019 post indicating that the algorithm is still a work in progress, and announced changes in response to recent feedback.
The new algorithm changes are advertised to be capable of pulling in recommendations from a wider range of topics than before: “on any given day, more than 200 million videos are recommended on the homepage alone.” Contrasting the broadening of topics, YouTube is putting in an effort to reduce videos from being included in the recommendation algorithm which violate the YouTube Community Guidelines, or videos with the potential to misinform users “…such as videos promoting a…


First Look: Microsoft Healthcare Bot

On February 7th, 2019, Microsoft announced the availability of a new SaaS chatbot offering designed for use in the healthcare industry.  They designed it to be a very fast-to-market conversational AI with built-in healthcare language models, terminology, and be compliant with security standards in the industry (HIPAA, ISO 27001, ISO 27018, CSA Gold, GDPR).
Mid-March I began my exploration into this offering and started building my first “Scenario.”  Once you have created a bot, you are delivered to a new portal and are quickly presented with a showing of pre-baked templates for you to modify and make your own. At the time there were three available and four listed as coming soon.

I decided to start with the Provider Lookup scenario.  Once I created the scenario, I was then taken to a well-designed CMS tool for building it.  The tool displays the…


Streamlining ELMAH With A Logging Platform in ASP.NET

Logging and tracing are both critical components of enterprise software development. And yet they are often overlooked or otherwise treated as an afterthought. However, as any programmer worth his or her salt will tell you, proper logging and tracing saves countless hours and headaches when it comes to tracking down bugs in a production environment. To serve these needs, there are numerous logging frameworks to choose from. In this article I am going to explore two popular frameworks and how to best use them together as a comprehensive logging and tracing solution.
Before we begin, let’s define the difference between logging and tracing. Logging is the broad process of recording events that occur in a running software program. The resulting logs include any information about these events that the developer deems necessary. Tracing, on the other hand, is a more specialized…

Selling an IT Vision: How to Make Sure Your Boss Sees the Same Value That You Do

Whatever your job is, I’m sure your overarching goal is to improve your organization.  For some people that means driving revenue by making sales; for others, it’s implementing technology that solves a problem, creates efficiencies, or saves time.
For those of you who fit into this second category, it’s likely that you’ve had a great idea or two in your time.  And, hopefully, you’ve brought these ideas to your boss or leadership.  If you executed everything properly, they saw the same value that you did, and together you charted a path to move forward.
But that’s not always how this scenario plays out.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of amazing ideas that never make it past a proposal.  At Tallan, we recognize the importance of seeing these ideas through to execution and implementation proving that they truly do provide the value you’re proposing. …

Getting Started Processing and Converting the Quill.js Delta Format

There are many WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors out there just waiting for you to drop them into your website, but one reason to choose Quill.js is for its ability to represent its contents as a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) object.  Doing so allows you, the developer, to process those contents easily and convert them to another format. Also, it’s free, which is always a good thing.
For this, we will be focusing on some of the basics of how Quill.js expresses its contents in the Delta format and how you might go about processing those contents to fit your needs.  The examples below begin after the JSON string is converted to a C# object. For the features that are being covered here (bold, underline, italic, font color, and numbered/bulleted lists) the class structure might look something…

Exploring Buffer Overflows In C, Part One: Theory

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest evolving tech fields and the stakes are high. Mistakes can be in the order of millions of dollars. Computers have invaded all aspects of our everyday lives. Although this means I can access millions of cat pictures with the touch of a button, it is dangerous to assume that everyone using a computer is in it for the fuzzy felines. Credit cards, passwords, and social security numbers are moving across the internet just as quickly as cat pictures but with a lucrative black market. There is a lot to gain from a successful hack and hackers will be doing their best to break into the systems we rely on and use daily. Ranging from high-tech exploits such as 2018’s Spectre and Meltdown to low-tech exploits like phishing and social engineering, it is important for…

The Future of Human Resources

The stigma is over! What is often thought of as a distant, uninvolved, and discreet department is evolving and becoming so much more. But how did we get here?
It seems HR positions are habitually filled with individuals simply looking to push policies and procedures while not at all worried about their coworker’s success. Human resource professionals should be helping their colleagues with their professional goals and providing guidance. But that is not always the case. Even with so much potential we still have our blemishes.
Businesses now have become heavily dependent on their human resource departments. We are no longer shut off to the idea of change and pursuing new technologies. We are focused on the development of our employees and being the best coaches and mentors we can be. This starts with being open to understanding the root of the…