How to implement an asynchronous socket in C#

| June 10, 2016

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A socket is defined as the end point of a two way communication between two processes running over a network. Inter-process communication can be achieved using sockets. After a connection between the server and client, i.e., the server process and the client process is established, they can communicate for the purpose of exchanging data using sockets.

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Apposite Technologies is the leader in easy-to-use, enterprise-class network simulation products. Apposite’s Linktropy and Netropy WAN emulation appliances simulate link bandwidth, delay, loss, congestion, and other network impairments to test the performance of applications in the lab under a spectrum of real-world conditions.

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Some Awe-Inspiring Ways in Which Technology Is Changing Business

Article | July 29, 2021

Technology has penetrated businesses through every nook and corner. It would not be wrong to say that businesses that do not implement technology will see a dead end sooner or later. Technology is drastically changing business. The direction in which it has revolutionized businesses is impeccable. The impact of technology on business varies widely. For example, a local grocery store need not know about AI or its implementations. Instead, he needs essential technology tools like online payment, placing online orders, delivery tracking, and inventory list. Thus the technology needs vary from business to business. There is digitalization in every aspect of the business. For example, if you have replaced calculators with excel sheets, that is digitalization. Thus be it big, medium, or large scale businesses, technology has impacted everyone. Let us dive into the depths of how technology is changing business and evolving with it. Ways in Which Technology Is Changing Business Automation Automation plays a significant role in managing businesses. From basic processing to workflow tasks, automation manages everything. This has reduced manual labor and increased error-free processes. Automation software is implemented in almost every sector. It performs the tasks diligently and works round the clock. This software is a proven methodology to save time and money while improving the client experience. As a result, your business works seamlessly even in your absence. And you have an entire report at the tip of your fingertips. Automation has increased productivity and helped humans to reduce unnecessary tasks. This, in turn, helps businesses to utilize their workforce in the right place. Improved Communication Process Communication processes between clients, employees, and departments have been seamless despite the world working remotely in the pandemic. The organizations that were reluctant to remote working have easily made the transition. And all this is made possible through internet communication. The communication technology for video calls, voice calls, text, meetings, etc., keeps global communication ongoing. As a result, businesses can communicate with their employees or other businesses anywhere and anytime. The integrated software for communication has made hybrid meetings possible. Despite being in different geographical locations, technology enables all teammates to be present in one board room during a meeting. Hybrid Working The pandemic is a catalyst in promoting hybrid working. If it had not been for the pandemic, the transition to remote working would have taken many more years. But this transition was smoothened by technology. The innovations and implementations of technology have made hybrid working a success. Employers can give the option to the employees to work in the surroundings of their convenience. This has helped organizations to grow globally. With the right technology and infrastructure, businesses have cut down costs in remote working. These resources are utilized in expanding the company and increasing ROI. In addition, technology has proved that hybrid working helps in making the business more agile and scalable. Digital Transformation Technology is changing business through digital transformations. As a result, this is used to expedite processes, increase productivity, and enrich user experience. In 2019, US$1.3 trillion was spent by companies on digital transformation. And a significant percentage of these organizations were immensely successful. Integrating digital technology in the crucial aspect of the business saves a lot of time, money, and workforce. The ROI is excellent. A business that embraces digital transformation proves that it is open to change and innovations. With the update in technology, the digitally transformed business will have to make minimum changes with time to stay ahead in the race. Incredible Customer service Technology has genuinely proved that ‘customer is the king.’ Most of the focus of innovation and technology is on customer experience. Customer experience is enhanced by targeting their behavior and providing them with the same service that they are looking for. Technology is changing business by providing personalized customer service. The company may provide the same service to many people, but every individual will feel special. Customers can approach the service center 24 hours and have various modes of contact. Incredible customer service ensures an increase in brand value. AI Artificial Intelligence has emerged with a bang. It has changed the business scenario forever. From drones managing traffic and deliveries to robots giving the best user experience, AI has transformed businesses for good. AI uses predictive technology to study a buyer’s journey and then personalizes their experience. They study the user’s behavior through various algorithms to provide a personalized approach. AI has introduced many opportunities and advantages for businesses to explore. Along with AI, VR, MR, and AR are there, which are combined to enhance a buyer’s journey. Robotic technology is playing a significant role in the health industry, wherein error has no place. But, of course, it won’t replace human doctors but will eliminate human errors by scheduling tasks, providing information, and taking care of patients whenever required! Cybersecurity Security is challenged with the evolution in technology. Moreover, hackers are trying to come up with new ideas to break the security systems. Hence it is essential to have robust cybersecurity. Cybersecurity demands have given rise to cybersecurity jobs. Every organization wants the best security to avoid breaches of data. Thus, Big Data, cloud technologies, and blockchain technology are the new names in good storage of data with ultimate security. Mobile Friendly Business More than 70% of users connect to businesses through mobile devices. Hence having a mobile-friendly business is the need of the hour. Moreover, cell phones have become an irreplaceable part of the human body. Thus, it will be best if you have your business functions be mobile-friendly to attract customers. The paradigm shift of desktops to mobile technology was a game-changer for businesses. Customers browse on mobiles anytime and anywhere. This increases the scope of businesses beyond geographies and time zones. In addition, developing apps and target advertising has helped businesses to spend less time analyzing and more time enriching customer experience. Benefits of Implementing Technology in Businesses Technology is changing business by expanding room for improvisations and innovations. As a result, businesses can streamline processes, develop competitive advantage, and plan prospects effectively. Here are some of the benefits of implementing the right technology in businesses. Innovation and growth The alignment of services in a business has made innovation and growth an easy thing. Business, technology, innovations go hand in hand. Technology is changing business and has made managing things an effortless task. Less time Incorporating the right tools ensures that maximum time is spent in innovation rather than doing laborious tasks. Technology is changing business by managing tasks in a zero error way to deliver maximum results. Reduced human effort Technology is changing business has provided valuable tools to reduce human effort. For example, employees can concentrate on the job that they are hired for, rather than updating or managing stuff. In addition, computing and technology ensure goal-oriented activities. For example, when software manages the salaries and attendance, the HR department can concentrate on improvising the ways of the organization and building a better culture. Best productivity at lower costs Technology is changing business by delivering incredible ROI. The investment in technology is much less compared to the results it delivers. Final Words Reading about technology and implementing it in business are two different things. You know your business the best, so implement the technology that suits it. Do not integrate technologies just because they are trending. Ensure that the technologies that you invest in guarantee the best returns. Frequently Asked Questions How does technological change affect business? Technological change opens new doors of business opportunities. It brings in new ideas, services, products and eases out processes. As a result, it helps to reduce costs and increase productivity. What are the negative effects of technology on business? The biggest threat of advanced technology in business is security. The more data is exposed, the more vulnerable it gets. Also, the dependency on machines increases, and downtime disrupts major workflow processes. Glitches, power failures, virus attacks, bugs, etc., prove very expensive to the business. What are the positive impacts of technology on business? Technology has helped businesses to be customer-centric. The predictive technology makes it easy for a business to target an interested audience. This saves a lot of time and money. Also, technology increases productivity, makes regular processes error-free, assists employees in day-to-day activities, etc. Technology also helps businesses expand globally with minimum investments. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does technological change affect business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Technological change opens new doors of business opportunities. It brings in new ideas, services, products and eases out processes. As a result, it helps to reduce costs and increase productivity." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the negative effects of technology on business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The biggest threat of advanced technology in business is security. The more data is exposed, the more vulnerable it gets. Also, the dependency on machines increases, and downtime disrupts major workflow processes. Glitches, power failures, virus attacks, bugs, etc., prove very expensive to the business." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the positive impacts of technology on business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Technology has helped businesses to be customer-centric. The predictive technology makes it easy for a business to target an interested audience. This saves a lot of time and money. Also, technology increases productivity, makes regular processes error-free, assists employees in day-to-day activities, etc. Technology also helps businesses expand globally with minimum investments." } }] }

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Why Humans Need Chatbots And Chatbots Need Humans

Article | July 1, 2020

Chatbots have come a long way in the past few years. The improvements in technology have enabled developers to expand on bot capabilities far beyond just functioning as a FAQ. Today, the automation of chatbots can process orders, perform financial transactions, make bookings, and much more. (Check out other intelligent functions here.) However, as intelligent as bots can be, no chatbot can handle and resolve all your customer queries. It simply cannot answer the infinite number of questions a human may throw at it. The technology is simply not there yet, and it may never truly get there. But perhaps more importantly, brands shouldn’t want a bot to manage every customer query. A bot working independently of human involvement won’t always deliver the best results for customer or agent. It’s the combination of chatbots and human agents that takes customer service to new heights. What you need is a smart and efficient way of translating your organization’s unique customer service philosophy into appropriate action so that every question is met with an answer in the best way possible – whether that be by bot, human agent, or a blend of both. To deliver this, you have to pay attention to the who, what, when, and where of customer engagement. You need to know who your highest-value customers are so you can always route them to a human agent, for example. You need to know what they need help with so a simple question can be managed by a bot. And the list goes on. Here’s why humans need chatbots, and chatbots need humans – and how you can achieve this perfect balance to deliver support that will exceed customer expectations and generate substantial ROI. Why humans need chatbots There’s no doubt that supplementing customer-facing roles with automation can yield fantastic results. The launch of McDonald’s self-serve kiosks is a great example of this. By giving customers the option of ordering their meal through a kiosk, or through a cashier, McDonald’s demonstrates the success you can achieve by combining automation with human. Here are just some of the benefits it brought to the customer and employee experience: 1. Automating large portions of simple queries so workers have more time to focus on other, more complex tasks 2. Reducing monotonous, repetitive queries to improve employee experience 3. Catering to customer preferences – choose quick automated service or deeper human engagement 4. Reducing queue times, in turn improving customer experience 5. Lessening the opportunity for human error 6. Generating ROI by reducing staff numbers These results almost identically mirror the benefits that intelligent chatbots can provide customer service teams. By implementing a bot, a large portion of frontline support can be automatically managed by the bot which: 1. Gives agents more time to handle complex questions 2. Reduces the monotony of answering repetitive questions 3. Allows customer to choose between chatting to a bot or an agent 4. Reduces wait time and queue length (through bot’s ability to handle infinite simultaneous conversations), in turn improving customer satisfaction through quicker resolution 5. Eliminates human error in data entry 6. Generates substantial ROI through lower service costs See how closely those benefits match? Recommended reading: Chatbot ROI Calculator Why chatbots need humans The relationship between bots and humans isn’t a one-way street. While agents need bots to provide more effective and efficient support, bots need agents to provide the personal, ‘human’ touch that many situations call for. In our latest 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report, we found that chatbots handle 68.9% of their chats from start to finish – although an impressive stat, it still shows that many queries require an agent’s touch. Recommended reading – 2020 Live Chat Benchmark Report There are always going to be situations that call for human assistance: canceling a subscription, reporting a lost or stolen credit card, or registering a serious complaint. Or maybe the topic is sensitive, and your customer would feel more comfortable explaining their situation to an agent. Similarly, some (though increasingly less: stat?) people are still wary or reluctant to communicate with bots and prefer to only speak with a live agent. To cater to these customer preferences, it’s vital that these customers can be routed past or transferred from your chatbot to human agent without effort and without having to repeat themselves. It’s important to note however, that transferring from bot to agent isn’t always just in the interest of the customer – it can often benefit the customer service team too. This is because not all queries are equal. For example, if a customer reaches out asking about a bank’s opening times, this can be easily managed by a bot. However, when the same customer asks about a loan, this high-value interaction may dictate that – according to your unique customer service view – a human agent takes over immediately to ensure the customer receives the best experience and you close the deal as quickly and effortlessly as possible. If your chatbot can’t do this, turn it off and find a chatbot that can (we can help with that). How to create the perfect chatbot – human (agent) balance To begin creating the right balance between chatbot and human, you need a bot that’s widely accessible to today’s digital-first consumers; your bot needs to be where they are, wherever they are. Comm100’s AI Chatbot can serve customers on web, in-app, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp for Business, and SMS. You also don’t need to build separate chatbots for each channel. Simply select the channels you want your bot to be available on (hint: all of them!) and you’re off. Although your customers will know they are speaking to a bot (and you should make this clear to them to set expectations), you need a bot that understands natural human language. Comm100’s AI Chatbot harnesses the world’s most advanced NLP engine so that it can understand your customers’ goals and provide the answers they’re looking for. Better still, add a large range of off-the-shelf integrations to this, and the Comm100 bot can begin performing actions on behalf of your customers – from tracking an order and paying a bill, to booking a flight. By resolving a large portion of your frontline customer service questions, your agents will have more time to focus on higher-value queries and customers that matter most to your bottom line. Recommending reading: Comm100 Chatbot Resolves 91% of Assigned Live Chats for Tangerine As we’ve discussed earlier, there will be times when you or a customer would rather connect with an agent than a bot. It’s crucial that your bot offers this flexibility. Firstly, your bot should be able to give the customer the option to speak to an agent at any time. Eighty-six percent of consumers believe they should always have the option to transfer to a live agent when dealing with a chatbot. You can easily set this option up within the Comm100 AI Chatbot. Next, you need a bot that can automatically identify the conversations that you want an agent to manage. This requires training your bot on the topics – ‘intents’, in bot lingo – that your customers will bring up. If there are specific intents that are of high value to you, you can tag them so when a customer mentions it, the bot recognizes it and automatically transfers the chat to the appropriate agent or department. The bot can also be trained to notify an agent or escalate the conversation when asked a question it can’t answer or if a visitor is clearly frustrated. As a failsafe, your agents should also be able to monitor bot conversations and take them over in these situations. Wrap-up Chatbots will never replace whole customer service teams, and nor should they. The ‘human touch’ is still essential to customer support, and we are a long way off until this changes. However, if implemented intelligently, bots can resolve a great portion of customer queries without any human involvement, allowing team sizes to reduce, or remain the same in the face of increased support volume. Take Tangerine, an Australian telecom company, for example. They experienced rapid growth, which in turn produced a surge in chat requests. By implementing Comm100’s AI Chatbot, up to 91% of assigned live chats were resolved by the bot without any agent involvement. As a result, Tangerine could manage the increase in chat volume without hiring and training more agents. And when high-value customers reached out, their agents were free to provide them with the best experience.

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DIY: Hunting Azure Shadow Admins Like Never Before

Article | July 29, 2020

Cloud technologies are ubiquitous and most organizations rely on cloud vendors to provide them with critical services and computing workloads. This ecosystem makes organizations deeply dependent on their cloud infrastructure with the most popular cloud providers being AWS and Azure. In correlation to the increased importance of cloud environments, the opportunities for security threats in these environments have increased dramatically. For this reason, cloud security has become a crucial part of any organization’s security strategy.

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COVID19: A crisis that necessitates Open Data

Article | August 13, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak in China has grown to a pandemic and is affecting the global health & social and economic dynamics. An ever increasing velocity and scale of analysis — in terms of both processing and access is required to succeed in the face of unimaginable shifts of market; health and social paradigms. The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by an Infodemic. With the global Novel Coronavirus pandemic filling headlines, TV news space and social media it can seem as if we are drowning in information and data about the virus. With so much data being pushed at us and shared it can be hard for the general public to know what is correct, what is useful and (unfortunately) what is dangerous. In general, levels of trust in scientists are quite high albeit with differences across countries and regions. A 2019 survey conducted across 140 countries showed that, globally, 72% of the respondents trusted scientists at “high” or “medium” levels. However, the proportion expressing “high” or “medium” levels of trust in science ranged from about 90% in Northern and Western Europe to 68% in South America and 48% in Central Africa (Rabesandratana, 2020). In times of crisis, like the ongoing spread of COVID-19, both scientific & non-scientific data should be a trusted source for information, analysis and decision making. While global sharing and collaboration of research data has reached unprecedented levels, challenges remain. Trust in at least some of the data is relatively low, and outstanding issues include the lack of specific standards, co-ordination and interoperability, as well as data quality and interpretation. To strengthen the contribution of open science to the COVID-19 response, policy makers need to ensure adequate data governance models, interoperable standards, sustainable data sharing agreements involving public sector, private sector and civil society, incentives for researchers, sustainable infrastructures, human and institutional capabilities and mechanisms for access to data across borders. The COVID19 data is cited critical for vaccine discovery; planning and forecasting for healthcare set up; emergency systems set up and expected to contribute to policy objectives like higher transparency and accountability, more informed policy debates, better public services, greater citizen engagement, and new business development. This is precisely why the need to have “open data” access to COVID-19 information is critical for humanity to succeed. In global emergencies like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, open science policies can remove obstacles to the free flow of research data and ideas, and thus accelerate the pace of research critical to combating the disease. UNESCO have set up open access to few data is leading a major role in this direction. Thankfully though, scientists around the world working on COVID-19 are able to work together, share data and findings and hopefully make a difference to the containment, treatment and eventually vaccines for COVID-19. Science and technology are essential to humanity’s collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the extent to which policymaking is shaped by scientific evidence and by technological possibilities varies across governments and societies, and can often be limited. At the same time, collaborations across science and technology communities have grown in response to the current crisis, holding promise for enhanced cooperation in the future as well. A prominent example of this is the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), launched in 2017 as a partnership between public, private, philanthropic and civil society organizations to accelerate the development of epidemic vaccines. Its ongoing work has cut the expected development time for a COVID-19 vaccine to 12–18 months, and its grants are providing quick funding for some promising early candidates. It is estimated that an investment of USD 2 billion will be needed, with resources being made available from a variety of sources (Yamey, et al., 2020). The Open COVID Pledge was launched in April 2020 by an international coalition of scientists, lawyers, and technology companies, and calls on authors to make all intellectual property (IP) under their control available, free of charge, and without encumbrances to help end the COVID-19 pandemic, and reduce the impact of the disease. Some notable signatories include Intel, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, Sandia National Laboratories, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Uber, Open Knowledge Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and AT&T. The signatories will offer a specific non-exclusive royalty-free Open COVID license to use IP for the purpose of diagnosing, preventing and treating COVID-19. Also illustrating the power of open science, online platforms are increasingly facilitating collaborative work of COVID-19 researchers around the world. A few examples include: 1. Research on treatments and vaccines is supported by Elixir, REACTing, CEPI and others. 2. WHO funded research and data organization. 3. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine releases a dataset about the environments that have led to significant clusters of COVID-19 cases,containing more than 250 records with date, location, if the event was indoors or outdoors, and how many individuals became infected. (7/24/20) 4. The European Union Science Hub publishes a report on the concept of data-driven Mobility Functional Areas (MFAs). They demonstrate how mobile data calculated at a European regional scale can be useful for informing policies related to COVID-19 and future outbreaks. (7/16/20) While clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data about COVID-19 is widely available, including genomic sequencing of the pathogen, a number of challenges remain: 1. All data is not sufficiently findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), or not yet FAIR data. 2. Sources of data tend to be dispersed, even though many pooling initiatives are under way, curation needs to be operated “on the fly”. 3. In addition, many issues arise around the interpretation of data – this can be illustrated by the widely followed epidemiological statistics. Typically, the statistics concern “confirmed cases”, “deaths” and “recoveries”. Each of these items seem to be treated differently in different countries, and are sometimes subject to methodological changes within the same country. 4. Specific standards for COVID-19 data therefore need to be established, and this is one of the priorities of the UK COVID-19 Strategy. A working group within Research Data Alliance has been set up to propose such standards at an international level. Given the achievements and challenges of open science in the current crisis, lessons from prior experience & from SARS and MARS outbreaks globally can be drawn to assist the design of open science initiatives to address the COVID-19 crisis. The following actions can help to further strengthen open science in support of responses to the COVID-19 crisis: 1. Providing regulatory frameworks that would enable interoperability within the networks of large electronic health records providers, patient mediated exchanges, and peer-to-peer direct exchanges. Data standards need to ensure that data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, including general data standards, as well as specific standards for the pandemic. 2. Working together by public actors, private actors, and civil society to develop and/or clarify a governance framework for the trusted reuse of privately-held research data toward the public interest. This framework should include governance principles, open data policies, trusted data reuse agreements, transparency requirements and safeguards, and accountability mechanisms, including ethical councils, that clearly define duties of care for data accessed in emergency contexts. 3. Securing adequate infrastructure (including data and software repositories, computational infrastructure, and digital collaboration platforms) to allow for recurrent occurrences of emergency situations. This includes a global network of certified trustworthy and interlinked repositories with compatible standards to guarantee the long-term preservation of FAIR COVID-19 data, as well as the preparedness for any future emergencies. 4. Ensuring that adequate human capital and institutional capabilities are in place to manage, create, curate and reuse research data – both in individual institutions and in institutions that act as data aggregators, whose role is real-time curation of data from different sources. In increasingly knowledge-based societies and economies, data are a key resource. Enhanced access to publicly funded data enables research and innovation, and has far-reaching effects on resource efficiency, productivity and competitiveness, creating benefits for society at large. Yet these benefits must also be balanced against associated risks to privacy, intellectual property, national security and the public interest. Entities such as UNESCO are helping the open science movement to progress towards establishing norms and standards that will facilitate greater, and more timely, access to scientific research across the world. Independent scientific assessments that inform the work of many United Nations bodies are indicating areas needing urgent action, and international cooperation can help with national capacities to implement them. At the same time, actively engaging with different stakeholders in countries around the dissemination of the findings of such assessments can help in building public trust in science.

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Apposite Technologies

Apposite Technologies is the leader in easy-to-use, enterprise-class network simulation products. Apposite’s Linktropy and Netropy WAN emulation appliances simulate link bandwidth, delay, loss, congestion, and other network impairments to test the performance of applications in the lab under a spectrum of real-world conditions.

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