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Check out some of the most popular tech myths people still believe

By midian182 · 29 replies
Jan 25, 2019
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  1. HighSpeedInternet.com interviewed hundreds of people in the US to find out how many believed some of the most popular technology myths. At the top of the list, believed by 86 percent of interviewees, is something that certain phone and camera companies want people to think: that more megapixels mean a better picture. In reality, the resolution will be higher, but the sensor size is more important when it comes to image quality.

    The next most-believed myth is one that used to be true: charging a phone overnight can ruin the battery. Years ago, doing this could reduce a battery's lifespan, but tech advancements mean it's no longer the case.

    The equal-second most-believed myth is a controversial one, and some will argue it’s not even a myth. Fifty-two percent of participants believe in planned obsolescence—specifically, companies deliberately slowing down handsets to force customers to upgrade. Late last year, an Italian watchdog fined Samsung and Apple for allegedly engaging in the practice, though the companies deny it. There was also Apple’s battery-related performance throttling controversy.

    Other popular debunked myths include airport x-ray machines wiping digital data, computers needing to be shut down every night to run properly, and Macs never getting viruses.

    HighSpeedInternet also put together a list of the most Googled tech questions by state (above). California’s “charge phone in microwave” is a bit worrying, and a few queries also appear in the tech myths list.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Badvok

    Badvok TS Maniac Posts: 282   +137

    Can it really be called a myth if it was once true? Every one of these supposed myths are believed because they were once true. That some people just need to catch up with modern tech is hardly a revelation.
  3. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 512   +128

    And people believe this article.... lol
  4. Hexic

    Hexic TS Evangelist Posts: 479   +307

    Of course California searches "Charge phone in microwave" -- that is probably the funniest thing I've read in awhile.

    I always knew they were special, but damn.
    JamesSWD, Right side bob and btfsttg like this.
  5. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    I'm taking a course in mythology. Technically, a myth is considered true, however, it is based on an ancient event. Technically, if any of these were true at one point and since it is recent history, it is legend. If any of these are not true, then it is folklore. :)
    ShagnWagn and btfsttg like this.
  6. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TechSpot Staff Posts: 185   +169

    People seem to think, for some reason, that you need a cellular or internet connection in order to use GPS.
    They also seem to think that the GPS satellites know where they are.
  7. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 511   +389

    Florida IT Crowd FTW!
  8. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,149

    Oh they say they don't, we might as well believe them... I can tell you for a fact, I've put side by side old iPhones next to old Android flagship phones and boy I sure as heck don't know what Apple is putting in their updates but it sure as heck slowing down what should be a perfectly usable and good -old- flagship phone.
    btfsttg likes this.
  9. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 511   +389

    It's almost like when we'd get an old computer which worked well in Windows 95, OK in Win 98 but sucked in XP. The Apple phone gets OS updates for 5 years or so but do those 5 year old Android phones run the current Android Pie?

    Newer OSes have more capabilities and more background and standby services, each of which takes it's toll on a formerly powerful computer.
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,149

    Take an old Android flagship and flash it with a new OS, I can assure you it won't feel like a budget phone (I've done that too).
    btfsttg likes this.
  11. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 511   +389

    I need to try that with my wife's aged iPhone 5s when she finally gets a new phone. It's never been wiped and while it works OK now, it's definitely not fast.
  12. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 371   +399

  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    Too many CEOs live in California! ;)
    Hexic likes this.
  14. Mithan

    Mithan TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +44


    1. It USED to be mostly true that more mega-pixels usually meant a better picture, at least for the first 10 years of digital cameras. Obviously this is no longer true since you can have bigger pixels or more sensitive pixels or whatever. (Lots of variables these days).

    2. XRay machines do NOT cause damage, however METAL DETECTING machines CAN cause damage as the magnetic interference in them can be enough to hurt disk types that rely on magnets (floppy drives, traditional hard drives).

    3. No idea where 0% charging ever came from, probably from the old NiCad maybe that recomended you run them down before charging to last longer? NiMetal were a little different as optimum charging was not to burn them out. (Used to race RC cars 10 years ago and think that is what we did)

    4. Night Time over charge could of been based on truth because some battery types COULD be over charged, so maybe this just bled into cell phones. Hard to say. I do not recall my old Motorolla 650 or StarTac to ever worry about this... but I recall this being a common belief.

    5. Turning a PC off at night was partly true actually. Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98, ME and Xp were prone to memory leaks in the early years, so shutting them off at night so you could reboot them fresh in the morning was a common practice and actually useful for certain builds and configurations.

    6. In the 90's and early 2000's, Mac's were so infrequently used that most virus's being discussed or created were on Windows machines, which couldn't target a Mac PC obviously. This just rose from general ignorance I think, but overall in those years, few virus's ever targeted Mac's. Nobody used them ;)
    Eldritch likes this.
  15. Philip Pyne

    Philip Pyne TS Rookie

    Most of these were never completely true.
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    I know. Who wants to be academically correct? :laughing:
    seeprime likes this.
  17. Palladium1987

    Palladium1987 TS Member Posts: 29   +21

    Arguably only because most lack the intellectual capacity and the will to even engage in basic critical thinking and factfinding.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,686   +3,846

    It's almost off topic, but an allegorical analog, so here goes.

    I had an ancient (2005) P-4 (519 SC 3.06 Ghz) eMachines which ran pretty well with XP SP-2. Then I installed the latest at the time (2015 /16 something like that) version of Ubuntu. It wouldn't run reliably, and kept crashing the 915GAG board's graphics.

    I though it ironic that the legendary low hardware requirements of Linux, appeared to have exceeded the hardware required to run XP.

    Arguably, the Linux video driver could have been at fault, but a quick check of Cannonical's site shows them now recommending a dual core CPU as minimum.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  19. I see 7 States that have "Phone in Rice", what does that even mean?
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,686   +3,846

    The rice is supposedly a way to dry out a phone which has been submerged in water. You know, it's the kind of thing the tech specialist on shows like "N.C.I.S" does when they absolutely, positively, have to get into the criminal's phone, after he or she threw it into the fountain at the town plaza while escaping.

    It's likely not a myth, as dried rice will easily soak up water. However, if the phone was on when it hit the drink, all bets are off... (<pun almost intended).
    jtveg likes this.
  21. jpuroila

    jpuroila TS Member Posts: 37   +20

    To be fair, Ubuntu is probably the last linux distribution you should use if you want low system requirements.
    jtveg likes this.
  22. havok585

    havok585 TS Addict Posts: 200   +57

    "The equal-second most-believed myth is a controversial one, and some will argue it’s not even a myth. Fifty-two percent of participants believe in planned obsolescence—specifically, companies deliberately slowing down handsets to force customers to upgrade. "

    @OP, are you an insider from most of these companies and know their dark little secret, that they dont engage in this fraudulent practice?

    That's not a myth, but if you say so, we must believe it.
    jtveg likes this.
  23. jtveg

    jtveg TS Booster Posts: 53   +16

    You can give a pass to "more megapixels equals a better photo" because that's the way advertisers promote it, more expensive cameras have more megapixels, they no longer make cameras with only 2.0 megapixels and it seems obvious and intuitive. ;)
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,686   +3,846

    Well, there limits to how much better simply adding more megapixels to the same size sensor contributes. I'm pretty sure the average DSLR has a larger sensor than an iPhone. The smaller the pixel size, the more prone it is to noise.

    Apple tried a bunch of garbage comparison pictures with those from a DSLR. It was completely aimed at the weak minded and sentimental. Apple compared a warm, inviting, interior scene, (taken with an iPhone), to a bleak mid winter overcast scene in a factory district taken with a DSLR. Then you were supposed to decide, "which was the better picture". I guess they can get over on the average iSheep with that gross deception. but it merely outraged me.

    Personally, I use nothing but either fisheye, ultrawide angle lenses, or telephotos lenses. Phones generally supply none of these capabilities. Even stock kit DSLR zooms offer 5 or 6 to 1 zoom ratios. None of these are available on a phone.

    I will give the phone makers credit for incorporating fast, wide aperture lenses in the newest crop of cameras.

    'Cause hell, an F1.2 DSLR lens, is almost, or possibly more costly, than the best iPhone. Of course, it's likely a whole lot sharper than a phone lens of the same aperture.
  25. jtveg

    jtveg TS Booster Posts: 53   +16

    I absolutely agree, just compare the lens size on a DSLR camera to an iPhone.

    What I'm saying is it's quite rational for the average person to believe that a camera with more megapixels takes better photos, especially since this is how advertising is promoted.

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