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UA researcher develops app to help quit smoking

See Me Smoke-Free, the first multi-behavioral mobile health (mHealth) app designed to help women quit smoking, eat well and get moving, now is available for free on the Google Play Store.

The Android phone app, officially released March 30, uses guided imagery to help women resist the urge to smoke, while encouraging them to make healthful food choices and increase their physical activity. The app can be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=edu.arizona.guidedimagery

See Me Smoke Free was developed by a multi-disciplinary research team, headed by Judith S. Gordon, PhD, associate professor and associate head for research with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The goal of See Me Smoke-Free is to provide an overall sense of well-being and self-efficacy, said Dr. Gordon. “We want women to recognize that they are strong, they are beautiful, they are powerful and they’re in control of their lives,” she said. “And that they can use the app to engage in a healthier lifestyle.”

“And that includes being smoke-free,” she added.

The app is designed specifically for women, with input from women smokers, because studies have shown that women experience particular challenges when they quit smoking, like gaining weight, which may make quitting harder for them than for men, said Dr. Gordon.

The main component of the app is a guided imagery program, which consists of several audio files. Guided imagery is an enhanced visualization technique that encourages users to imagine themselves smoke-free and capable of dealing with cravings.

In addition to sight imagery, the app prompts women to use all their senses for a fully immersive experience. For example, users are guided through a farmers’ market, where they imagine seeing, smelling and tasting their favorite fruit or vegetable.

Users are prompted to use the guided imagery files daily. The app also allows users to access additional information and resources on quitting, eating well and being physically active; record achievement of their daily goals; and display how many days they have gone without smoking, the intensity of their cravings over time and how much money they have saved. Users will receive daily motivational messages and tips for living a healthy lifestyle, and will get virtual awards for meeting their goals and engaging with the app.

“The reason we developed this as an android app is two-fold,” Dr. Gordon said. “First, Android currently has the largest market share of smartphone operating systems. Second, we know that people with lower incomes are more likely to use Androids, and they are more likely to smoke.”

See Me Smoke-Free was developed as part of a two-phase study. Participants are needed for the second phase of the study, which will evaluate the app. Additional information about the app and the research study is available at the website: www.seemesmokefree.org

“A multi-behavioral intervention such as ours requires experts from a variety of fields,” noted Dr. Gordon. The study team includes Melanie Hingle, PhD, MPH, RD, assistant professor with the Department of Nutritional Sciences, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Canyon Ranch Center for Prevention and Health Promotion at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health; Thienne Johnson, PhD, research associate with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UA College of Engineering, and the Department of Computer Science, UA College of Science; and Peter Giacobbi, PhD, associate professor with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and the School of Public Health at West Virginia University in Morgantown. Jim Cunningham, PhD, an epidemiologist with the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine, is the study’s methodologist and statistician.

See Me Smoke-Free is funded by a two-year, $366,400 National Cancer Institute grant, 1R21CA174639.

Courtesy of BRAVO

Locally made tip app, BRAVO, launches for Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, bringing with it a mass of more than one million people enjoying their Sunday at Super Bowl Central in downtown Phoenix. Vendors and activities will span from food to transportation services and most will provide a form of gratuity for their service and hard work.

We live in a mostly plastic world with very few people carrying more than $20 in actual cash at a time. Instead of being caught in the uncomfortable situation where you would like to tip but don’t have any cash or wasting time in the congested streets of downtown Phoenix trying to find an ATM, you can tip straight from your smartphone. This is where a new app Bravo, founded by Hector and Maria Rodriguez-Luna, comes in. Bravo is a simple app used to rate and tip a service professional by locating them with your GPS service. This allows you to safely, discretely and quickly transfer gratuity directly over to service professionals.
The founders of Bravo were born and raised in Puerto Rico, but planted roots in Scottsdale just over a decade ago. The couple traveled the world together, and on a trip to Southern Utah found themselves in an awkwardly frustrating situation of being rendered completely cashless and wanting to tip their housekeepers, bellhops and valets for stellar service. With the nearest ATM being nearly an hour away from their wilderness retreat, the idea for Bravo was born.

Bravo, the latest mobile-based cashless tipping application, is the fastest, most convenient way to show gratitude to service professionals from any smartphone device. Designed and cultivated in Phoenix, Bravo offers a smart gratuity solution for a fast-paced, mobile-driven consumer base. The app allows users the opportunity to rate their service experiences on a five-star scale and simply, safely and discretely provide gratuity in whatever dollar amount desired. Bravo also provides security and peace of mind for service industry professionals with the ability to avoid the need to carry large sums of cash, a method to better budget earnings, and the opportunity to build clientele based upon star-ratings and reviews.

How it Works

1.    Set up profile with Facebook or create account with email and password.

2.     You can choose whether you want to set your account up to give tips or receive them.

3.    It will then ask to enable location services.

4.    If nothing is in the area you can reload or scan the service professional’s QR code or enter their Bravo code.

5.    Once located, the service professional’s picture and name will appear. The customer may choose any amount to send to the intended recipient and the gratuity will be instantly transferred into the service professional’s personal bank account.

Bravo will be front and center with several participating area partners. Fifteen locations of Desert Parking and Integrity Valet stands, including those at O.H.S.O., Joyride Taco House, Clever Koi and all three locations of The Vig will be taking advantage of the newly launched app. Additionally, early adopters of the app, including golf cart transporters Old Town Shuttle, Bunny Rides and Quick Silver Transportation will be rolling through the streets of Old Town Scottsdale, ready to accept gratuity from travelers’ smartphone devices. Ladies looking to get their nails done ahead of the big game in Glendale can also visit the Polish Room Nails and Spa, which has already rolled out the app to its customers. In the next few weeks, American Valet stands at Fogo de Chao, Restoration Hardware and Capital Grill will be added to the list of actively participating partners.

For those hesitant to provide bank account or credit card information via smartphone, Bravo users’ phone data is encrypted and the application has a security PIN. Non-sensitive personal information (name, e-mail, phone number) is not stored in the device, but rather scrambled and stored in different encrypted servers. Sensitive data (credit card, debit card, etc.) is not stored at Bravo servers but rather immediately sent to PayPal’s affiliate, Braintree, which generates a one-time-use token per transaction, providing zero chance for hacking or theft of any type.

Users may download the free app from the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android Devices. Service professionals may also register for BRAVO’s free service by downloading the app, or clicking here.

T Mobile IPhone

Valley app creator’s GLTYR helps market skills, products

Ahwatukee resident Subra “Dr. S.”Sudhakar, co-founder of GLTYR, said he developed the app to help people, schools and small businesses more easily market their skills and products.

GLTYR, which is pronounced “glitter”and stands for “Give Life To Your Reality,”is a content-creation app which was originally launched as a way for people to create a multimedia résuméon the fly from a mobile device, Sudhakar said. But soon people began using the app for dating profiles, greeting cards, recipes, job postings, classified ads and more.

“People want to show themselves off as a real person,”Sudhakar said.

Sudhakar, 46, was born in India, where he did his undergraduate studies in metallurgical engineering. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and earned masters degrees in electrical engineering and materials science and a doctorate degree in materials engineering and operations research at the University of Southern California.

In 1996, he met his co-founder, Ram Iyer. They always brainstormed crazy ideas together, Sudhakar said. Iyer is the technologist who built the GLTYR platform, while Sudhakar is responsible for taking it to market, Sudhakar said. They believed that they could build anything in the world, he said.

“Our philosophy is 2-by-2: Give me $2 million or two years, we will build anything you want,”Sudhakar said.

Since moving to Arizona in 1998, Sudhakar worked at Microsoft for nine years before he co-founded his first venture, SchoolCues. SchoolCues is a mobile app intended to create engaging communication between small schools and parents, according to the SchoolCues website.

Sudhakar said he enjoys working with customers and solving everyday problems in people’s lives.

“I love to hear bad news from customers because bad news is good news,”he said. “It gives you an opportunity to solve problems.”

Sudhakar and Iyer came up with the idea for GLTYR last year when they realized that people need to be able to market their skills efficiently and inexpensively, Sudhakar said. GLTYR originally stood for “Give Life To Your Résumé,”but after seeing the many uses for the app they decided to rename it, he said.

The app, which allows the user to add a photo, brief summary and contact details as well as 30 seconds of audio and 30 seconds of video, is meant to be easy to use while establishing trust, Sudhakar said.

“Your email or your paper communication does not build that, but if you add a picture to that message, a picture is worth a thousand words,”Sudhakar said. “To that picture if you add audio or voice it’s the next higher degree of trust. And to that voice or audio you add a video, it’s the highest form.”

Social media and other websites do not allow one to establish trust the same way, he said, and many small businesses do not have the money to market products. With GLTYR, a small business owner can share their product with as many people as they want at little to no cost, Sudhakar said.

“That’s my vision,”he said. “That’s why we created GLTYR.”

GLTYR already has a diverse customer base, despite the fact that Sudhakar has yet to begin officially marketing the product beyond word-of-mouth advertising, he said.

Sadha Parasuraman, who teaches scripture and art from his home, uses the app to connect with students and share lesson plans. He said he likes that it creates a Web page that he can update at any time and that his students can access from any platform.

“It’s a very concise Web page that gives you just the right amount of words, just the right amount of things that you need to let them know without being verbose,”Parasuraman said.

It’s a “landing place”for students to see homework assignments, class notes and announcements, he said. All he has to do is send a link to his students, he said.

“I can update that Web page dynamically whenever I find time, from my smartphone, wherever I want to,”Parasuraman said.

He said the app also has personal uses, such as sending invites to birthdays and social events.

Barbara Danielson, who teaches voice and piano lessons, said she uses GLTYR to advertise her abilities to potential students. She said the app has already brought her two new students just from posting her GLTYR link on Facebook.

“What I liked was the fact that you could actually have them go and hear my voice so that they know that I have had the background I’ve had, because I’ve done opera, etc.,”Danielson said.

GLTYR is currently a minimum viable product, which is the most basic product a consumer can use, Sudhakar said. In order for the product to progress, people must find value in it, be willing to use it, and be willing to pay for it, he said.

“It’s yes to all three, so now we go to the next version,”he said. “We are frantically and feverishly working toward the next version.”

Sudhakar said that they plan to have an enhanced version of the app done by Thanksgiving in order to be ready for the holiday season. There will also be a payment engine added, with a subscription price of $99 per year, he said. Sudhakar said he thinks the price is justifiable for small businesses and schools on a tight budget because every GLTYR link is a multimedia Web page and setting up a website can be very expensive.

“My whole goal is, I like to build products which have a purpose in life that people can use and find value and repeatedly use it,”Sudhakar said. “That is my metric for success.”

Future plans for the app include creating more extensive platforms for classified advertisements, greeting cards and multimedia profiles for executives of mid-sized companies, Sudhakar said.

“We have a lot of plans, and it’s exciting to say the least,” he said.


App lets you dig up dirt on date

Want to know who the guy you went on a date with last night really is? Phoenix-based dirtsearch.org is the go-to site for uncovering hidden truths about potential lovers, employees, babysitters, and more. Erik Knight, founder of DirtSearch, has created a free database of information that allows you to search anyone, anywhere; DirtSearch is essentially a search engine of people. Pulling from all corners of the vast World Wide Web, the site gathers public records about a person and puts them in one, easily accessible place. And all this happens in a matter of minutes. Results will provide information ranging from a person’s latest Instagram picture to the speeding ticket he got five years ago.

The greatest number of visits to the DirtSearch site comes from young females, looking to learn more about their date, Knight said. Wouldn’t you want to know if your possible Prince Charming was arrested for armed robbery last summer? Searching information about significant others was the catalyst for Knight’s inception of DirtSearch back in 2008 and its popularity in that area (among many others) has exponentially increased ever since then.

Knight recognizes that keeping up with technological advances in our mobile-centric world is required to ensure the continued popularity of his site. In January of this year, he developed an app for iOS and Android platforms to provide nearly instantaneous information, on the go. “Mobile people are much more impatient,” Knight said. Now, you can research your new guy while waiting in line at the grocery store.

At this point, the DirtSearch app is limited with its information. Because the app was created out of a necessity for speed, searching on your phone won’t give you the “deep search” that is available on dirtsearch.org. However, Knight is in the process of developing an updated version of the app, which will allow people to do more in-depth searches on people and business. These improvements to the DirtSearch app are set to go mobile in a few weeks.

Curious what DirtSearch will dig up on you? “The first thing everyone does is search themselves,” said Knight. So, go ahead. Search yourself. Before you kick last night’s date to the curb, make sure your slate is clean.


AZIMA’s TIM Awards set for March 20

The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) will host its 2nd Annual TIM Awards from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thurs., March 20 at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Ave., in Phoenix. Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, acknowledged father of the World Wide Web, the TIM Awards showcase Arizona talent and work in the interactive realm for calendar year 2013.

Twelve TIM awards will be given for “Best”: Website, Social Media Campaign, Integrated Interactive Campaign, Email Marketing Campaign, Display Ad (single or campaign), Rich Media Execution, Mobile Marketing Campaign, App, Blog, Online Video, Brand of the Year and Interactive Person of the Year.

Roger Hurni, of Off Madison Ave, received AZIMA’s coveted 2013 Interactive Marketing Person of the Year TIM award last year. “It was quite an honor to have won this award. To me, the AZIMA TIM Awards are a demonstration of the amazing, cutting edge work being done in Arizona by companies from all kinds of industries,” said Hurni.

Guests to the TIM awards ceremony will have a chance to network with top digital marketing professionals and view Phoenix Art Museum’s current exhibits before enjoying a delicious sit-down dinner and awards presentation. The official program will kick off with keynote speaker Marcus Sheridan, president and founder of The Sales Lion. Sheridan is best known for skillfully using content and inbound marketing efforts to increase traffic to his website and becoming one of the largest pool installers in the U.S. during the Great Recession. In 2009, he started his sales, marketing and personal development blog, The Sales Lion, to teach others about content and inbound marketing.

AZIMA offers four options for event registration: $75 for a single seat; $50 for a single seat if an AZIMA Corporate/VIP member; $700 for a Table of 10; and $475 for a Table of 10 for Corporate/VIP members.

To learn more, visit www.azimaawards.com or www.joinazima.org.


Delta Dental launches new mobile app

Delta Dental is proud to announce its new mobile application available for mobile devices using iOS (Apple) or Android. Launched two weeks ago, the app has over 1,000 downloads to date.

With this new, free mobile app, subscribers can search for a dentist, view claims and coverage details and access their ID cards right from their phone. Through a secure login process, subscribers will always have access to their oral care history, benefits coverage and can even email their mobile ID card to their dentist before an appointment.

A fun feature of the app is a toothbrush timer set to music for the recommended two minutes of brushing.

“We are excited to offer our subscribers easy access to their dental coverage through the app,” said Jay Kolker, vice president of operations and information technology for Delta Dental of Arizona. “Even those that aren’t Delta Dental subscribers can access the toothbrush timer and dentist search, so it really is an app for everyone.”

To download the app, visit the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

Florence Copper receives final APP permit

Florence Copper announced that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) has completed the required public consultation and review process relating to the Aquifer Protection Permit (“APP”) for Phase 1 operations at the Florence Copper Project (“Florence Copper”) site.

The ADEQ permit outlines the safety standards and regulatory oversight required by the State of Arizona for the protection of water quality at the project site.  The APP requires Florence Copper to meet the most stringent health and safety requirements during its operation, ensuring the protection of the environment at all times.

Florence Copper would like to thank the members of the public who provided their comments on the initial APP issued in September 2012 and the hard work and leadership shown by ADEQ staff in preparing this final approval.

“Receiving the final APP for the Phase 1 operations after a thorough public consultation process is good news for Florence Copper and for the Town of Florence,” said Florence Copper Vice President and General Manager Dan Johnson.  “ADEQ is the agency responsible for protecting Arizona’s water quality and they have done just that with this permit.”

The APP is one of two major operating permits Florence Copper requires to move to the first phase of operations at the site.  Phase 1 operations will consist of a Production Test Facility (“PTF”) that includes a 24-well in-situ recovery well field, a state of the art solvent extraction/electrowinning facility that will produce pure copper cathode, and associated infrastructure.  The PTF will demonstrate the science and safety of in-situ technology.

Additional information regarding Florence Copper can be found at www.florencecopper.com.


New App for HR Professionals

Fisher & Phillips LLP announced that it has developed a Smartphone and Tablet app that allows employers to calculate certain FMLA leaves of absence. The Beta FMLA Leave Calculator app will allow human resource professionals and other managers to calculate basic leave requests and determine how much FMLA leave an employee has available. This Beta version of the iPhone and Android app was introduced during the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago June 16-19.

Fisher & Phillips Chairman and Managing Partner Roger Quillen said: “The FMLA is a complicated law and FMLA leave calculations can be challenging for employers. Our attorneys frequently field questions about calculating FMLA leave. This new app is a free tool we’re providing to anyone to help them with basic FMLA leave requests. The Beta version covers requests for leave for employees working a standard 40-hour work week. The next version will cover more complicated situations such as employees working reduced work weeks. We’re very excited about introducing the app for the first time to the SHRM members attending the national conference in Chicago.”

Quillen added that the firm is eager to receive feedback from the SHRM members who test the new app. The app will provide an easy way for users to call or email the firm with comments and suggestions.

How the app works

The app offers a user-friendly interface and works very simply utilizing the rolling 12-month method measured backwards from the date of any FMLA leave.

• Enter the number of FMLA leave days the employee is requesting
• Enter the number of days of FMLA leave the employee has already used
• Enter the start date of the requested leave
• Indicate the days of the week the employee works
• Click “Calculate Now!”

The app then reports:

• Number of days of FMLA leave available
• When the employee should return to work based on the new leave request
• How much leave the employee has remaining after the current leave request is completed; if leave has been exhausted at the time of this request, it will indicate such

The HR professional or other manager using the app can then email the information directly to the employee who requested the leave. Of course, further documentation to the employee should be provided as required by the FMLA.

How to get the app

The Fisher & Phillips FMLA Leave app can be downloaded at the Apple App Store or Google Play. On the Apple App Store or Google Play search for “Fisher & Phillips.” You can also visit www.laborlawyers.com/FMLALeaveApp to get the app.

Fisher & Phillips attorneys and marketing professionals worked with developers at Saturno Design to create the new app.

Cox introduces NCAA March Madness Live App

The NCAA March Madness Live® app now offers Cox Communications’ customers free streaming, live coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship when and where they want it at no additional charge across all tablets, smartphones and desktop computers using a broadband connection. NCAA March Madness Live® features social and interactive components to provide portable access to the tournament and is available via download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

“We know our customers look forward to exciting basketball in March – whether they watch on their TV, online, mobile or tablet, they won’t miss a minute of coverage! Cox customers who subscribe to the Essential package or higher can experience all of the action wherever they are and at no additional charge,” said Susan Anable, vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications.

The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will be televised by CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV now through the Men’s Final Four® and National Championship Game from Atlanta on April 6 and April 8.

Cox communications will offer a wide array of viewing options so that its customers can enjoy the entire NCAA Championship tournament through their:

· Television: For the third consecutive year, all 67 games will be televised in their entirety across four television networks — TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV.

· Computer: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS and truTV on their TV will also be able to watch the games live online by going to www.ncaa.com/march-madness and using their Cox User ID and Password to sign in.  All games broadcast on CBS are available with no registration.

· Tablet/Smart phone: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS,CBS and truTV on their TV will be able to watch the games live via the March Madness Live ® app.  The app is available on Android or Apple smart phones and tablets.


BBVA Compass unveils bilingual iPhone app

BBVA Compass further expanded the reach of its mobile banking apps with the introduction of its bilingual iPhone app.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve our mobile banking solutions, adding features and services to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Alex Carriles, executive vice president and director of Mobile Strategy and Retail Innovation at BBVA Compass. “We currently serve a number of markets with a growing Spanish-speaking population, so we wanted to give those customers access in the language that is most comfortable to them.”

The bank remains committed to providing native applications for the most popular mobile platforms, allowing users to enjoy a mobile banking experience that is consistent with their chosen devices. In addition to the iPhone, BBVA Compass provides mobile banking apps for iPhone and iPad mobile digital devices, BlackBerry devices and the Android mobile digital platform, and soon will be updating those to add bilingual capabilities.

“We already operate as a fully bilingual bank in the U.S., and these additions will support that commitment,” Carriles said.

The latest iPhone app offers access to such mobile banking features as bill pay, account transfers, balance review, an enhanced branch locator and improved views of paid checks with zoom capabilities. This new version also introduces a full feature Bill Pay service by allowing customers not only to issue payments, but also to add payees, manage payment source accounts, display past payments, and display or cancel pending payments.

To download the free BBVA Compass app, visit the iPhone app store and search for BBVA Compass.

For more information on additional BBVA Compass mobile banking applications, visit www.bbvacompass.com/go/mobile.