Famous tech myths that just won't die

Here's the scoop on widespread fables about Bill Gates, the iPhone kill switch, Internet2, Al Gore and more

Apple is working on a MacTablet

Ah, yes. The elusive MacTablet. In many ways, the iPod Touch and the iPhone itself are better tablet computers than tablet PCs. They are small enough to carry around all day, can be used to browse the Internet and play music, and respond to finger input.

Microsoft has never gained any traction with its Tablet PC. If you buy one today, it comes with the same software that shipped with units from two or three years ago. It doesn't make sense for Apple to release its own tablet when it knows the market is so minimal and that notebooks are getting smaller and smaller. And as everyone in the tech industry knows, Apple never announces forthcoming products anyway.

Forwarding an e-mail has rewards of some kind

I get forwarded e-mails almost every day. "Pass this on to save the whales," says one. "Send this to 100 people you know and win $100," says another.

Despite the rather obvious fact that no ISP could ever track e-mail forwarding from one user to another (partly for privacy reasons, partly for the sheer magnitude of collecting the data) and the fact that e-mail does not, in a technical sense, send forwarding data to any separate company -- even Microsoft -- this myth lives on. There's a mystical nature to chain mail, but one that is not founded on any legitimate dogmas.

Al Gore said he invented the Internet

Here's the most famous rumor of them all.

In truth, Al Gore never said he invented the Internet.

What he did say was something to the effect that he encouraged legislation that helped build the foundation of the Internet, as did many other politicians back in the day.

If you have your own favorite tech myth that we missed, send a note to David Ramel and we may include it in a future compilation of reader favorites.

John Brandon is a freelance writer and book author who worked as an IT manager for 10 years.

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John Brandon

Computerworld

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