Let’s talk about alien probes

Plus, more batteries.
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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.

Civilization Trivia:

What happened to A and B batteries?

Hint: Yes, they used to be a thing.


(Scroll to the bottom for the answer!)

Alien probes may have already visited Earth, scientist says | The Byte

“With official government inquiries into so-called "unidentified anomalous phenomena" (UAPs), the concept of extraterrestrial contact has never seemed closer — but alas, there are still major logistical hurdles for any aliens looking to swing by. … On the one hand, life on Earth has been detectable from afar for a very long time. On the other, there are all kinds of pesky physics realities that would make it extraordinarily difficult to actually send a probe here.”

StackSocial - Binge-watching can actually be good for you (depending on what you’re streaming) [Partner]

“What show should I watch today?” It’s the age-old question you ask yourself after a long week of work or on a boring rainy day, and there’s never been a single good answer to it — until now. MagellanTV is your one-stop shop for insightful documentaries and enlightening movies and series from the world’s best filmmakers. Because, sure, you could rewatch the same old shows you’ve seen 100 times, or you could feed your brain content that can actually help you learn while you watch. Plus, with a one-time payment for lifetime access, the choice seems like a pretty obvious one. Get it for $170 for life with our Presidents’ Day sale now through 2/19. [Ad]

Online romance scams grow more sophisticated with high tech | PYMNTS

“In this era of connectivity, where virtual encounters often precede physical ones, online relationships have become a breeding ground for exploitation, with fraudsters capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of hopeful hearts for financial gain. … And while the simplicity of these cases made it much easier to detect suspicious activities in the past, these schemes have evolved into far more sophisticated and convincing scams with new advancements in technology.”

ChatGPT will now remember — and forget — things you tell it to | TechCrunch

“You’ll soon be able to tell ChatGPT to forget things — or remember specific things in future conversations. Today, as part of a test, OpenAI began rolling out new ‘memory’ controls for a small portion of ChatGPT free and paid users, with a broader rollout to follow at some unspecified future point. The controls let you tell ChatGPT explicitly to remember something, see what it remembers or turn off its memory altogether.”

Artsy Course Experts - Stop struggling with technology, and get back to your business [Partner]

Let's get real: Tech can be a total buzzkill for your creative vibes. But don’t let IT issues set you back: the Artsy Course Experts provide top-notch tech help for your online courses, communities, and coaching websites. The team works with you to build, maintain, and keep your site running smoothly. Say goodbye to tech struggles and hello to more time for creating content that grows your business. [Ad]

We've found it folks: McMansion heaven | McMansion Hell

“Hello everyone. It is my pleasure to bring you the greatest house I have ever seen. The house of a true visionary. A real ad-hocist. A genuine pioneer of fenestration. This house is in Alabama. It was built in 1980 and costs around $5 million. It is worth every penny. Perhaps more.”

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The answer: They became obsolete, but are still available

The answer: They became obsolete, but are still available

According to Mentalfloss: “Around the time of World War I, American battery manufacturers, the War Industries Board, and a few government agencies got together to develop some nationally uniform specifications for the size of battery cells, their arrangement in batteries, their minimum performance criteria, and other standards. In 1924, industry and government representatives met again to figure out a naming system for all those cells and batteries they had just standardized. They decided to base it around the alphabet, dubbing the smallest cells and single-cell batteries ‘A’ and went from there to B, C and D. As battery technology changed and improved and new sizes of batteries were made, they were added to the naming system. When smaller batteries came along, they were designated AA and AAA. These newer batteries were the right size for the growing consumer electronics industry, so they caught on. C and D batteries also found a niche in medium- and high-drain applications. The mid-size A and B batteries simply didn’t have a market and more or less disappeared in the U.S.”