15 Tech Myths: Busted and Confirmed

15 Tech Myths
Artwork: Chip Taylor

We hate to break it to you, but Bill Gates is not going to give you money just for forwarding an e-mail. Eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda at the same time won't cause your head to explode (though we don't recommend mixing Mentos and Diet Coke). The Harry Potter books are not a secret plot to promote witchcraft and satanism. And that story about Richard Gere and his pets? We don't even want to go there.

These are, of course, urban legends that have been circulating on and off the Internet for ages. For more, see "The Top 25 Web Hoaxes and Pranks." But they're not the only misconceptions out there: Many intelligent, experienced computer users believe things about technology that simply aren't true.

We came up with 15 common myths in the tech world and did some digging to reveal the real story. Some rumors are wholly bogus. Others turned out to have more than a grain of truth in them. To give you a sense of how real these myths are, we've created a little 1 to 5 scale with 5 being totally bogus and 1 signifying that the rumor is true.

We hope this research will make you a little wiser when you encounter future tales of technology--whether they're fact, fiction, or something in between.

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