Debunked: 9 Common Myths About Technology

Macs don’t get viruses.

The more megapixels your camera has, the better it is.

Shelling out more money for expensive cables is worth it.

These (and more!) are some of the most common myths revolving around the technology we use every day. From battery draining to deleting files off your computer, we’ve explained and debunked some of these popular beliefs.

You should let your phone's battery drain before recharging.

A common myth surrounding phone and laptop batteries is that it's always best for the life of the battery to let it drain fully before charging it again.

This is true in some cases. When a device uses a Nickel-Cadmium battery, for example, you'd want to let your phone fully drain before charging it again. Why? Nickel-Cadmium batteries, unlike Lithium-Ion batteries, suffer from what's known as 'memory effect.' When they are charged and discharged hundreds of times, they start to lose the ability to charge up to 100%, draining your battery life significantly over time.

There was a time when most electronics ran on Nickel-Cadmium batteries. Cordless telephones and answering machines all ran on Nickel-Cadmium. In 2006, most NiCd batteries were replaced with technology that used Lithium-ion batteries. These can be found in all Apple devices and do not suffer from 'memory effect' the way NiCd batteries do.

'Lithium-ion polymer batteries have a high power density,' Apple says on its website, 'and you can recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle.'

Apple does advise, however, that you should let the device go through at least one charge cycle each month to help keep the electrons moving (as opposed to a NiCd battery which needs to go through a full charge cycle every few days). Letting the device drain from 100% to fully shutting off at 0% helps to maintain the life of the battery.

More bars means more service.

Bars on your smartphone actually indicate your signal strength to the cell phone tower closest to you. Your service depends on how many devices those towers are serving at a given time.

Metropolitan areas are equipped to handle the dense population of people trying to use their phones in one confined space. In unexpected situations (say, a music festival where there are a lot of people in a small area), your phone can be showing lots of bars, but service will be impossible to find; everyone's trying to tap into that one cell tower.

Private browsing keeps you anonymous.

Setting your browser to incognito tells your browser not to save any information about where you've visited or what you've typed while you were there, but it does not keep you anonymous. Your visits can still be recorded, and files you download while incognito will still live in your computer, phone, or tablet.

Improperly removing a USB drive will delete all your data.

Better to be safe than sorry.

If you're working with a USB Drive and have removed it after all of the files have transferred, you should be fine. You might also be ok if you accidentally remove the USB while it's in the middle of transferring, but you run the risk of losing your data or experience software clashes.

It's best to go through the short steps to remove the USB safely, taking all of the precautions to protect your work and workstation.

Expensive cables are better than cheap ones.

Last year, MythBusters Jamie and Adam determined there was no difference between a cheap cable and an expensive cable.

As should be abundantly clear, expensive HDMI cables are simply not worth purchasing for normal use. In the case that you are running cable in a permanent fashion through walls or ceilings, it may be prudent to spend a little extra for heavier-duty cables for the sake of longevity, but if you're spending extra on gold-plated connectors and the like, you are doing little more than embedding hard-earned cash in the walls of your home.

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