Five tech myths busted

These tech myths are often employed by salespeople to convince you to splash out some extra cash. Find out whether there is any truth to these tech myths. 

Expensive HDMI cables

If you’ve recently bought a new TV, home theatre system or Bluray player, the salesperson has also probably tried to bundle in a $200 gold-plated HDMI cable which will supposedly give you a better quality picture. They might have even been generous enough to knock off $20 because they like the cut of your jib. Unfortunately, their jib is a bit less likeable, as there is absolutely no truth to this tech myth.

Unlike analogue cables you might use for sound systems, HDMI cables use digital signals, so you’ll either get the picture or you won’t; there’s no way a better quality cable will produce a better quality image. However, HDMI cables have trouble with long distances (over around 20 metres), and there are certain cables you can buy that include technology that allows the cables to run up to 60 metres. So unless your Bluray player and TV are on opposite ends of your house, buy the cheapest HDMI cable you can find.

Macs can’t get viruses

While this statement is false, Macs are much less likely to get viruses. This is because Macs are nowhere near as common as Windows computers, so it is not as profitable to target Mac computers with viruses. However, as Macs become more popular, they will also become a more popular target for malware attacks.

More megapixels means better pictures

When buying a camera or a smartphone you’ll probably hear about how many megapixels the camera has. It’s one of the biggest selling points, but what does it actually mean? Having more megapixels simply means is that the photos you take will have a larger resolution, it does not necessarily mean they will look better.

A bad quality camera with lots of megapixels is like an awful painter with a giant canvas and litres of paint to work with; whereas a good quality camera is like a talented painter who can still produce a beautiful painting on a small canvas (after all the Mona Lisa is only about 50cm across).

While having more megapixels can be good, you should look for some examples of photos taken by the camera online to see if it lives up to the hype.

Leaving your smartphone plugged in overnight will ruin the battery

Modern smartphones are smart enough to stop charging when they are full – to stop the battery from overcharging. So you can rest easy if you leave your phone plugged in while you sleep. However, if your smartphone has a case, leaving it charging overnight can cause it to overheat and damage the battery, so you might want to take your case off before plugging it in.

Mobile phone at petrol station

Despite widespread belief, there is absolutely no evidence to support the myth that using your mobile phone whilst fuelling your car at a petrol station can cause fires. However, it is true that a simple static shock from your finger can. Mythbusters put this to the test over a decade ago. This condensed ‘MiniMyth’ below shows the highlights of the episode.

Can you think of any other tech myths you want to see busted? Has a salesperson tried to dupe you with any of these fallacious pitches?

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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