As we edge closer to the winter months, this is the perfect time for boat owners to start thinking about how to properly safeguard their vessel from cold weather. Winter can cause damage to marine property if the right precautions aren’t taken. So, get ready to winterize even if you are in an area that experiences milder winters. The process will protect the engine, electronics and all the other components of the craft.
There are mainly three ways to store boats. Out of the following methods, the best option is indoors as it is climate-controlled, but if that isn’t an option for you, other methods can be equally safe if done right. Mariner Exchange offers some great tips on storing a boat:
Regardless of the storing method, a boat cover should be a good fit, well supported and installed to avoid damage to the boat. Such damages can include rubbing, shredding, tearing and collapsing. Stay away from homemade tarps. Consider the boat design when selecting a boat cover – plastic tarp, generic/custom synthetic or canvas cover or shrink wrapping. Refer to Mariner Exchange’s article on things to keep in mind while using a cover.
Engines are particularly at risk of freezing, leading to a cracked engine block or a cracked oil cooler. Change the oil and filter, fill the fuel tanks to 95%, add fuel stabilizer, fill water strainers and antifreeze, and replace batteries on the marine charger.
Boat ownership is a big investment, and we don’t want you to have any unpleasant surprises come springtime!
What is Synthetic Content?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines synthetic content as a broad spectrum of generated or manipulated digital content that includes images, video, audio, and text. In other words, it is content that has been automatically created.
Advances in AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) have led to the creation of programmed content that seems to be real or manually created. For instance, each time the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist is refreshed, a very realistic image of a person who does not exist is generated by AI!
Generally, this content is considered as protected speech under the First Amendment. The FBI recently issued a notification that it anticipates malicious synthetic content attributed to foreign actors or cybercriminals which may result in an investigation.
Deepfakes are videos or audio recordings that are digitally altered by AI. Deepfakes are becoming more difficult to detect. It is expected that high quality videos will soon be inexpensively created using downloaded software and apps by individuals with minimal technical knowledge. Combined with the virality of the internet, believable fake videos have the potential to compromise privacy, harm corporations, spread societal and political discord, and propagate disinformation. (Disinformation is false information that is meant to mislead; whereas misinformation is false information provided without malice.)
Deepfake video and audio can be used maliciously in emails, texts, and phone calls to convince recipients that the information is real. Reportedly in 2020, a Hong Kong bank manager authorized $35 million in transfers based on a call he believed to be from the director of a company with whom he’d previously spoken. It was a fraudster using AI to spoof the director’s voice.
Deepfake technology also has a positive side. It is used as a tool to enhance communications during training, marketing, news reporting, and video chat bots. Some additional constructive uses include:
Reuters has collaborated with Synthesia, a UK-based startup, to create automated personalized news reports for viewers. EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young, is exploring Synthesia’s technology for AI-created avatars to send videos instead of emails to clients. Refer this article to learn 15 ways to spot deepfake videos.
Avatars will become more lifelike with technology advances. Incidentally, Swedish pop group ABBA is building a special venue where members will be performing digitally via avatars with a live band in 2022.
Potentially Dangerous Repercussions
Deepfake technology will transform audio and video productions, but the ethical and legal considerations are immense. Recently, the documentary “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” is based on remembering chef Anthony Bourdain and includes his synthetic audio, which was not initially disclosed and has triggered questions about ethical boundaries.
Deepfakes can be a threat to anyone depicted in such videos or audio content. Conversely, authentic content can be labelled as deepfakes to propagate distrust, create confusion and lead people to question reality. Some examples of potential risks include:
Companies continue to develop technologies to identify deepfakes. In June 2010 the best algorithm in Facebook’s Deepfake Detection Challenge accurately determined if a video was real or fake with 65% accuracy. In September 2021 M12, Microsoft’s venture capital fund, invested in deepfake verification startup Truepic.
In August 2021 the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental affairs voted unanimously to advance the bi-partisan Deepfake Task Force Act, which would establish a team with representatives from the Federal Government, higher education, and private or nonprofit organizations to investigate policy and technology strategies for limiting the damage of deepfake technology. The DEEPFAKES Accountability Act was introduced in June 2019.
Incidents continue to be reported to banks and their insurers involving data compromises that occur at the bank customer’s location. Banks are saddled with a dual duty when it comes to wire transfers – securing against wire fraud through your own policies and procedures, and helping customers secure themselves against data compromise.
In our latest News from the Vault article, Craig Collins of Intact Financial Services shares some of the most common and evolving methods of data compromise. Read the complete article on our website.
Today we pause to honor and give thanks to all who have served our country. As you know, Veteran’s Day is celebrated on November 11 in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” that marked the end of World War I. Originally known as Armistice Day, this day of commemoration was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954 by President Eisenhower.
To those of you who are veterans or whose family members served, we appreciate your generous spirit and commitment.
Happy Veteran’s Day 2021!