Did we find life “out there?” — nope

Plus, a really, really old lightbulb.
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

Cosmic Trivia:

The longest-lighted light bulb has been burning since when?

Hint: The answer is truly illuminating.


(Scroll to the bottom for the answer!)

Scientists train AI to be evil, find they can't reverse it | The Byte

“How hard would it be to train an AI model to be secretly evil? As it turns out, according to AI researchers, not very — and attempting to reroute a bad apple AI's more sinister proclivities might backfire in the long run. … Humans often engage in ‘strategically deceptive behavior,’ meaning ‘behaving helpfully in most situations, but then behaving very differently to pursue alternative objectives when given the opportunity.’ If an AI system were trained to do the same, the scientists wondered, could they ‘detect it and remove it using current state-of-the-art safety training techniques?’”

Noom - Lead a healthier life through behavior change [Partner]

How we diet isn’t just based on what we eat; it’s how we eat. That is, our relationship with food is just as important, if not more important, than calorie counting or food tracking. Noom works because its products are developed using evidence-based approaches and scientific principles, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), to help people build sustainable habits that last a lifetime. Try the wellness app trusted by millions and start losing weight, managing personal health conditions like anxiety and diabetes, and building an overall healthier lifestyle. [Ad]

No, the James Webb Space Telescope hasn’t found life out there — at least not yet | Ars Technica

“The rumors have been out there for a while now, percolating through respectable corners of the astronomy and astrobiological community, that the James Webb Space Telescope has found a planet with strong evidence of life. Some of this sentiment recently bubbled into the public view when the British news magazine The Spectator published an item titled ‘Have we just discovered aliens?’ In accordance with Betteridge's law of headlines, the answer to the question posed in this headline is no.”

Google clarifies Chrome’s ‘Incognito Mode’ isn’t as private as you might think | Popular Science

“Google Chrome’s Incognito mode isn’t necessarily as private as it might sound, but for years, users could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Ahead of a pending $5 billion class action lawsuit settlement, Google is beginning to clarify its data usage policies to highlight the ways it and others may still monitor your internet activity — even while in Incognito. According to both versions of the start page explainer, websites are still capable of tracking your activity, and your data may remain accessible to your employers, schools, internet service providers, and other third parties.”

StackSocial - ¿Hablas Español? No? Keep reading. [Partner]

How are those New Year’s resolutions holding up? Yeah, remember when you said you were going to learn Spanish and then you, ya know, didn’t…? It’s okay. Something as big as fluency can seem pretty intimidating, but an app like Rosetta Stone makes it easy. The app’s bite-sized lessons aren’t only digestible, they’re effective. And with TruAccent, a speech recognition engine, you’ll be able to perfect your accent (start practicing those rolling rrrs now) to avoid awkward mess-ups and choppy mispronunciations. Use code SAVENOW to get lifetime access for 30% off and start your language-learning journey hoy! [Ad]

‘Dirt-powered fuel cell’ draws near-limitless energy from soil | New Atlas

“A Northwestern University team has demonstrated a remarkable new way to generate electricity, with a paperback-sized device that nestles in soil and harvests power created as microbes break down dirt — for as long as there's carbon in the soil. Microbial fuel cells, as they're called, have been around for more than 100 years. They work a little like a battery, with an anode, cathode and electrolyte — but rather than drawing electricity from chemical sources, they work with bacteria that naturally donate electrons to nearby conductors as they chow down on soil.”

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The answer: Since 1901 at Firestation #6, Livermore, California, USA

The answer: Since 1901 at Firestation #6, Livermore, California, USA

According to the Guiness World Records webpage: “The Livermore Centennial Light Bulb, at Firestation #6, Livermore, California, USA, has been burning since it was installed in 1901. As of 2010, the hand-blown bulb has operated at about 4 watts, and has been left on 24 hours a day in order to provide night illumination of the fire engines. There has only been one break in its operation when it was removed from one fire station and fitted in another.”