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iPhone, the Missing Manual, 10th edition by David Pogue, book report

by Gary Miller, AAUG Member

I love my new iPhone, but don’t love not getting a complete manual, so I get the most from it, so when I saw David Pogue authored a new edition of his book that covers the latest in iOS 10, and iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+, I wanted it, has 673 pages and was published January 2017.  Good decision on my part, it’s full of humor, tips, tricks, in short all you want and need to get you to the head of the class!  David Pogue’s group always crafts the books for O’Reilly Media in a way, that it’s succinct, and can be read in paper or on an iPhone or iPad or on your computer as a pdf.  I used all formats in this review, and all are excellent.

You can buy it directly from the Publisher O’Reilly Media and get free updates to it.  Prices are: $19.99 for eBook, $24.99 for print or $27.99 for both versions..  IF you’re an AAUG Member, you get a substantial discount, refer to your eNews you receive in your email box).

OS 10 for the iPhone includes a host of exciting new features—including an all-new Messages app, updates to Maps, Search, 3D Touch, and widgets. And the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have new, more advanced cameras, and you can do more with Siri and third-party apps than ever before.

It’s a great resource, I refer to it, when I’m stumped, or a friend asks me a question I don’t know.  I recommend it!

About the Author
David Pogue is the founder of Yahoo Tech, having been groomed for the position by 13 years as the personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. He’s also a monthly columnist for Scientific American and host of science shows on PBS’s “NOVA.” He’s been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” since 2002.

With over 3 million books in print, David is one of the world’s bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the “for Dummies” series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes 120 titles.

David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in Music, and he spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. He’s won two Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music.

Mac OS Sierra, The Missing Manual by David Pogue book review

David Pogue’s Missing Manual’s series from O’Reilly Media, truly saves having to hire a consultant or call Apple every time I have a question about Apple’s latest Operating System.  It’s 879 pages of information, organized into 6 parts – #1 covers the desktop and it’s environs, #2 covers programs on the Mac, # 3 the components of the Mac OS, #4 the more advanced ares of technologies it has, #5 internet features, #6 are the appendixes include guidance on installing this operating system; a troubleshooting handbook; a Windows-to-Mac dictionary (to help Windows refugees find the new locations of familiar features in macOS); and a master list of all the keyboard shortcuts and trackpad/mouse gestures on your Mac., so I found it a good reference for the future, and I also have the eBook version on my iPad and iPhone, both recommended for those times when you have no idea of how to do something.  Cost is fair, $22.84 for print ( Amazon).

As the reader considers it’s worth, I found that it spoke to us, no matter our skill level,  from beginner to power user, with shaded boxes of tips, or Power Users Clinic.  Some of the chapters come with free downloadable appendixes—PDF documents, available on this book’s ‘Missing CD’ webpage —that go into further detail on some of the tweakiest features. (You’ll see references to them sprinkled throughout the book.)

What’s New in Sierra:

Optimized Storage
Desktop and Documents Folders on iCloud.
Copy/Paste Between Devices
Auto-Unlock with the Apple Watch
Apple Pay on the Web
Window tabs
Messages upgrade
Touch Bar and Touch ID

I like the book, it’s layout, and ease of finding what you want quickly.  Well written by David Pogue’s team.


Siri, Am I About to Have a Heart Attack?

Siri, Am I About to Have a Heart Attack?

Big data could provide early warning of disease—if medical records can learn to talk to one other.

By Andy Kessler Jan. 9, 2017 7:16 p.m. ET. Wall Street Journal

ObamaCare was always about paying for health care—costs have outpaced inflation for decades—but seldom about keeping people healthy. As Republicans repeal and replace, they need a vision for the path to better care. Technology now exists to provide cheaper and higher-quality health care, but giant roadblocks stand in the way.

That technology is artificial intelligence and machine learning. The algorithms behind AI are painfully complex, but the final product is simple—think Google Translate or Amazon’s Alexa. Saying a phrase and immediately having it translated is cool. Being told that your week of bad sleep and slight stomach pains could be cancer is life-altering.

Machine learning is already invading health care. Experts at Kaggle, an artificial-intelligence research firm, shared a few real-world applications of the technology with me: Predicting heart failure by looking at massive amounts of MRI scans, diagnosing diabetic retinopathy from eye imaging, and successfully predicting seizures with a machine analyzing electroencephalogram data.

The key is data. With more of it, accuracy gets better over time. At least on the surface, the Obama administration did something right—the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health, or Hitech, Act. Part of the 2009 stimulus largess, it set aside some $20 billion worth of incentives for hospitals and doctors to show “meaningful use” of electronic health records, or EHRs.
Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tons of data come with medical records. Then there are digital scales, Fitbit steps, WellnessFX blood tests, Apple iWatch data and 23andMe genetic test results. Eventually there will be daily commode sensors measuring blood sugar and prostate-specific antigen levels, among other things. Now imagine all that data being crunched, in real time, by machines looking for patterns—which then put out a simple text message. “Your Hemoglobin A1c has spiked again. I thought we agreed to cut back on the linguine.”

Describe this to anyone in health care and you’ll get two words back: Dream on. Instead of advancing electronic health record “interoperability”—a fancy word for being able to share and access electronic health records—the Hitech Act ended up as a funding mechanism for electronic health-record firms like Epic Systems, Cerner and Allscripts. By 2016, the government scheduled $23.8 billion in payments for firms that could achieve full electronic access and true interoperability for the full calendar year. It was later changed to a much easier 90-day reporting period for a subset of patients. Call it meaningless use, but the money kept flowing.

If you try to transfer your records from one hospital to another or to a doctor, you’ll probably end up “walking with paper,” as they say in the industry. The average doctor still deals with reams of faxes every day. A friend tried to send records from a Boston hospital to Miami; both places use Epic Systems’ electronic files. The records were faxed.

Epic Systems, a private company based in Verona, Wis., is the industry leader, controlling close to half of all American medical records. Still led by 73-year-old founder Judy Faulkner, Epic also appear to be the leading obfuscator when it comes to transferring records and interoperability.

In 2015, competitors Cerner, Allscripts, Athenahealth and others have set up a group known as CommonWell Health Alliance to ensure health IT interoperability. Epic, with annual revenues easily north of $1 billion, refused to join, citing the $1.4 million upfront fee and $900,000 annual payments. Oh, and Epic didn’t want to sign the nondisclosure agreement.

My industry sources tell me Epic won’t sign nondisclosure agreements with anyone but makes outsiders agree to them. The company doesn’t co-develop applications with outside companies. Third parties don’t have access to application programming interfaces, APIs, which are the gateway for record data. Hospitals and doctors can have access, if they beg hard enough, but then they must hire inside developers to customize their system.

The company avoids titles, but good luck contacting any of its 9,000 employees, who are forbidden to give out their cellphone numbers. Epic has one phone number to the main switchboard. It’s still the 1970s in many ways.

I called it. Eric Helsher, vice president of client success at Epic, responded: “Today 100% of health systems using Epic are sharing patient information to better care for patients. They exchange over 1.3 million patient records a day and interoperate with all major EHR vendors and government agencies.”

Epic is talking up something it calls the App Orchard, a portal for vendors to sell apps that dig into Epic’s electronic records. Except the proposed pricing comes to four cents per message sent. Machine learning would drive millions or billions of messages. The company might cap fees at 30% of the vendor’s revenue: Even Apple isn’t that greedy.

I’m trying to get my medical records from a hospital with Epic systems. The best I have been able to do is a PDF file, a modern way of walking with paper.

How do we fix this? Dr. Eric Topol at Scripps in San Diego proposes health records be patient-owned and controlled, perhaps on a flash drive or iPhone or in the cloud. Maybe next to health savings account info. It’s a start.

But forget government mandates. The real incentive is insurers paying for this data, and they are figuring out that early detection is worth it. It’s a lot cheaper to find a disease before it turns into expensive chronic care for heart disease or cancer. The machine learning output might be: “You may have pre-Stage 1 cancer in your pancreas, but no worries—we can zap it out for you.”

That’s how you bend the cost curve in medicine. Make firms like Epic look at interoperability as an incremental profit center rather than an opening for competitors. The dream of smart machines crunching health info is real. Don’t let the dream walk with paper.

Mr. Kessler, a former hedge-fund manager, is the author of “Eat People” (Portfolio, 2011).