Five tech myths busted

These tech myths are often employed by salespeople to convince you to spend more money.

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?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    16th Dec 2015
    If you want to take a half decent photo, don't use a phone. Apart from the reasons given in the article, another obvious issue is the size of the lens. Quality depends on the amount of light passing through the lens, and clearly phones do not have big lenses. Ever wonder why a Hasselblad takes such tremendous photos? - it has a huge lens. Take a photo with your phone at dusk and enlarge the result, and you will see what I mean.
    16th Dec 2015
    Agree with Saalbach, phone"s cameras a rubbish. But not the article, nor the " comment" mention the most important feature in a camera. THE SIZE OF THE SENSOR. Not the number of pixels. That is why the lenses of the Hasselblad cameras (over $ 10.000) are so big, to cover the huge size of the sensor. Ask most sales people about that and probably they won't know what are you taking about.
    16th Dec 2015
    Having been a tech junkie since the Moon Landing in the 60's, I have concluded that what works best for you is all that you need. Anyone trying to sell you the latest system or the latest whatever, is ripping you off. Call me a Luddite, but I still use a couple of DOS programs, my laptop uses Windows XP, and I will not move past Windows 7 unless it is worth it.

    If it ain't bust, don't fix it. Of course if it blows a tamping wopple, upgrade.

    Mind you, some modern stuff beats the heck out of the older stuff, but always heed the 90/10 rule - 90% of the features you may never use. As for Windows 10, been there done that, and no thanks.
    16th Dec 2015
    100% agree. Funny most people spend $1000 in a camera to have it stuck in AUTOMATIC for ever.
    17th Dec 2015
    I upgraded to Windows 10 for free, when it popped up on my computer. Big mistake! It crashed. The chap at the computer store, said he had a shop full of computers that had done exactly the same. Seems they send this out as a test. Cost me $160. Probably would not have paid that when it hits the shops in it's final stage. Should just have left it as it was and not bothered at all.
    17th Dec 2015
    Thank you for that warning. I have been receiving those Windows 10 upgrade offers and did not want to be bothered to adjusting to the changes. Looks like procrastination is not always bad.
    17th Dec 2015
    My recommendations to people about Windows 10 is that if you have Windows 7 and are happy with it, then stay with it until the last day to upgrade to Windows 10. Hopefully in that free update period lots of bugs and security fixes will be released as updates.

    If you have Windows 8.0 or 8.1 then you may as well go for it now.

    Personally I have not had any problems other than a virus remnant from Win 7 may have affected my desktop computer that I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. This, plus other events mentioned below, meant I had to reinstall Windows 10 as a new install.

    One problem I did discover (unfortunately) is that for some people the OneDrive app it may turn all of your files to read only and may prevent Edge from working.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles