When I was a little kid, I believe everything people said. Like CPU is the computer’s cabinet, cell phones cause brain cancer, Mac doesn’t get the virus and what not.
But as I grew up and connected more to the tech world, I realized how many of them were a myth.
Recently I posted a video – Top 10 myth in technology. While doing my research, I came across some popular myth and some not so popular one.
So let’s bust some myth, shall we?
1. WWW and the internet are the same
This is a common misconception that has been around decades. The Internet is more than 50-year-old while www or the web for short came into existence in the early ’90s.
When we use the word ‘internet’, we talk about everything on the ‘network of networks’. For instance, when you send an email, make video calls with Skype or watch a YouTube video, you are using the internet. Whereas you use the web when you browse the website on your browser.
Without the internet, there is no web but without the web, there will be still the internet.
Truth: www is a subset of the Internet.
2. Expensive HDMI cables are better than regular HDMI cable
If you have ever shop for HDMI cables, you would know they come to all prices. You can buy them for 2$ to up to 50$. This page on Amazon sells a 5 foot HDMI cable for 1000$. But the truth is all HDMI cable, are same.
In the world of HDMI cable there are no shades of grey, you either get everything, or you get nothing. Paying extra for gold-plated HDMI cable won’t have any special effect on your picture quality.
Truth: All HDMI cables are the same
3. Deleted files can not be recovered
Many ‘not so tech savvy’ people believe that ‘if they delete a file from recycle bin, it’s gone forever.’ But again this is not true.
When we empty our trash or delete files from recycle bin, they are not deleted immediately. The pointer to these files is deleted. This makes our OS believe that file is deleted. But your data is still there on your hard drive, waiting for another file to take its place.
Truth: If you act immediately you can still recover deleted files, using data recovery software.
Source: Wikipedia- Data recovery
4. 1 Mb/s and 1 MB/s are the same
MB/s stands for Megabyte/sec, and Mb/s means Megabits/sec. But since both in their short form sounds similar i.e. ‘mbps’. People often get confused.
When you copy a movie file from pen drive to your computer, you see the speed in MB/s. But when your ISP talks about 4 Mb/s internet connection, they mean bits and not bytes. However, the average user doesn’t know the difference.
1 MB/s = 8 Mb/s or
1Mb/s = 125KB/s
This means if you copy a 700 MB movie from pen drive to your computer, it will take you 700 sec assuming 1MB/s speed. But when you download the same movie from the internet then it will take 8x more time.
Truth: MB/s units for file transfer while Mb/s is for download speed.
5. Refresh speed up PC
Growing up as the child in India, I have often seen people, refreshing their Windows computer. And this made me wonder if this makes the computer run smoother. And in reality, it doesn’t.
So what is the use of refresh? Let say you rename an icon on your desktop, but the effect is not showing up, In such cases, refreshing Windows is useful.
Truth: Refresh doesn’t improve your computer performance or make it run smoother.
Source: Stack overflow (Link Dead)
6. Open Source means Free Software
Most Open Source software is – available for free, and you may even modify and redistribute them.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean all open source software is Free. Usually, open source is free, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There are few tools (like Zimbra) and games ( like Battle for Wesnoth) that are open source but not a free.
Truth: Open source doesn’t necessarily mean free.
7. A magnet can erase hard drive
A bar magnet can erase data from Hard disk is a myth. Most magnet lying around found in the household cannot harm our storage. SSD are immune from any magnetic field, big or small. Smart covers also use the small magnet.
But this doesn’t necessarily mean our computers and smartphones are totally safe from magnets? If you place your computer inside a giant magnet like an MRI scan, then it may corrupt your device. But for little ones you don’t have to worry about anything.
Truth: Only a strong magnet can corrupt hard drives.
8. Overcharging destroys battery
When it comes to battery life, people often come up with their explanations. So if you heard the rumors like ‘ Leaving your phone, plugged in for a night, may kill the battery, then don’t believe it.
Modern smartphones, run on lithium-ion batteries, which are smart enough to stop charging when they’ve reached their full capacity
So overcharging won’t damage your battery, but heat can. If you have a habit to overcharge your phone, then make sure you remove its cover. The Best practice for the lithium-ion battery is to charge them between 40 to 80%.
Truth: Overcharging do not destroy the battery
9. Cell Phones cause brain cancer
Everyone knows “Cell phone emits radiation. But can it cause brain cancer? Well, As of now there have been many research and scientific studies, to find out the impact of cell phone radiation on the human brain. And the result is conflicting. It’s still not clear whether mobile phones can cause brain cancer or not.
The only thing we know is, even though the cell phone use, has increased over the past two decades, rates of brain cancer patient did not rise. I suggest you watch this video by veritasium for in-depth analysis.
Truth: It is extremely less likely that cell phone can cause brain cancer, but if they do, then it might take decades to show its effect.
10. The computer doesn’t Multi-task
The computer doesn’t multitask like the way we think they do.
In simple words, Computer can switch the task very fast, which create an illusion that they are multitasking. And the technical term for that is context switch.
This page on wiki says ‘’In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is running at any point.’
Truth: Computers switch task very quickly.
Source: Wikipedia-Computer multitasking
[Myth that is still not clear]
1. The laptop can make you sterile
Some people think it’s a myth, and some don’t. Well, the truth is, no one knows for sure. Some scientific studies have shown, that the heat generated from your laptop can decrease sperm count or even alter the DNA. But many disagree with the experiment.
On the other hand, nobody uses the laptop on their lap for a long time. But if you do, then stop doing it. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
2. The cell phone doesn’t cause a plane crash
Many airlines do not allow phone calls while you are airborne. In fact, every phone has a dedicated profile for it called Flight mode.
On the other hand, there is no incident reported, when a single cell phone has taken down the entire plane. Some airlines even allow phone usage during the flight
But pilots have often reported, cell phone causing interference with the aircraft navigation system. So a cell phone might not cause a plane down, but it can cause some serious trouble.
Truth: Cell phone doesn’t cause place crash but may cause some other problem.
3. Rooting is legal
No clear law says rooting your Android or jailbreak your iPhone are legal or not. No universal law works for everyone. Countries decided whether you should root your phone or not.
To make it more complicated, I have seen these rules change as new laws are passed. A while back it was legal to root your Android, but you can’t root your android tablet.
Truth: It depends on your country’s law
Source: Wikipedia- Rooting
[ Edit 1: Some Other Myths ]
1. WiFi Radiations are harmful
No, they are not. People use WiFi everywhere, in their office, in their home and even in hospitals. WiFi radiations are non-ionizing i.e. it causes no harms to human cells and unlike a microwave, it creates little heat energy.
So don’t worry and use WiFi all day long. Read more here.
Truth: Radiation of WiFi is safe
2. More Megapixels means a better camera
This is the biggest myth in tech, but fortunately, people now know that it’s not true. More megapixel means more no. of a pixel in the photo.
Just like fast processor doesn’t necessarily mean a faster computer.
Megapixels are not the only factor responsible. Things like sensor size, zoom, aperture, shutter, processor are equally important.
Truth: Megapixel is not the only criteria to determine a better camera.
3. Streaming YouTube video
Streaming is when you watch something on the server directly. Files are not downloaded to the local computer. A good example would be watching movies on Netflix.
But unlike popular belief, you don’t stream YouTube videos. You download them on your computer first and then watch them. Depending on your OS, you can even find the video in your system cache.
Truth: You download YouTube video and then watch it.
4. When a program is free, you are the product
This is true for a few online services like Google, Facebook, etc. when they collect data from you and sell it to the advertiser. But now it has become a trend to apply this everywhere.
There are still many programs and service that free and don’t sell you. A good example is Wikipedia and Linux OS.
Truth: Not every freeware, is stealing your data
5. 100% security
There is no 100% security in the world of computers. When we talk about security, we speak of time and resources need to crack the system.
For instance, to break a standard AES 256 bit encryption, you will need thousands of giant supercomputer operating 24/7 for thousands of years. Now, this a lot of time. But in the future, if we can come up with better technology than you crack the system.
Truth: With enough time and resources any security system can be compromised.
The biggest myth in the world is Everything You Read on the Internet is True. Anyone having access to the web can publish their thoughts. But that doesn’t mean it’s always true. So the rule of thumb, use your head. Don’t believe what you read. Always do your research from multiple sources.