> why would a mainstream publication like Popular Mechanics even spend any time debunking it?
Paraphrasing a comment from someone else: "Our company takes a considerate, well-weighted and, above all else, analytical official position that Adobe products are shit and we hate them."
There are people who refuse to debate with clueless people, because it obviously adds nothing new to the discussion. I personally find that problematic, because it's harder to learn things when no one bothers explaining why something is wrong. People who advocate total blocking out this way are wrong.
Yet, it's better that someone takes the time to explain why these people are clueless. If Popular Mechanics takes time to explain why some nutty conspiracy theory can't be true, that's good, because it gives other clueful people some easy-to-digest ammunition: "look, this has been done already; go read this article."