‘Google Keep’ keeps your phone and web notes synced

Watch out Evernote, OneNote and all you other to-do lists apps out there, Google’s coming after you with its new Google Keep service, ABC News reports. The app, announced by Google this afternoon, allows you to sync your notes and to-do lists across your computer, phone and tablet using your Google account.

“With Keep you can quickly jot ideas down when you think of them and even include checklists and photos to keep track of what’s important to you,” Google’s Katharine Kuan detailed on Google’s blog today. Google then uses its Google Drive service and servers to sync your content so you can get those important thoughts or notes anywhere.

The app works very similarly to the other note apps, like Evernote and OneNote. You download the app, which is avilable for only Android 4.0 phones right now, take your notes and then you can access them via the app on the web, which is located in your Google Drive or at https://drive.google.com/keep. You are able to upload voice notes, which can be transcribed, and even photos. You can also color code notes and turn some notes into checklists by adding check boxes……Read More

For students, banking 2.0 involves social media

Let’s say you’re in college. You’re taking a full load of courses, balancing classes with a work-study job that pays minimum wage, and whether you eat or not depends entirely on the credit still left on your weekly meal plan, ABC News reports. Money’s tight and you’re caught in between independence and still having to rely on your parents’ generosity. Financially speaking, college students are in a unique position . . . and it’s not an attractive one to banks. A basic checking account is essential for everyday purchases, but banks stand to make little if any profit off a typical student’s minor transactions. Additionally, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 makes it illegal for creditors to issue credit to anyone under 21, a previously lucrative practice that targeted inexperienced, underage consumers, setting them up for a potentially lifelong burden of debt. With such a low net worth, students’ banking needs are often overlooked…

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USC program helps low-income students prepare for college

She stands just 5 foot 2, with a slight frame and soft voice, but to her family, Alfa Lopez is a giant. The Los Angeles teen lives in a low-income area where teenagers are tempted by drugs and the high school drop-out rate is 50 percent, ABC News reports. As she matter-of-factly puts it, “It’s not the best neighborhood.” Lopez, though, has big plans and big dreams. This 16-year-old has her sights set on becoming the first member of her family to go to college. “I try to get straight A’s to make my family proud,” she told ABC News, “and to show myself that I can do this and that I can work hard.” She is succeeding with the help of an innovative program run by the University of Southern California. Called the Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI), the program offers intensive classes and tutoring to hundreds of low-income children who live in the shadow of the university…

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Senators reach agreement on immigration reform

A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws, ABC News reports. The deal, which was to be announced at a news conference Monday afternoon, covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country. Although thorny details remain to be negotiated and success is far from certain, the development heralds the start of what could be the most significant effort in years toward overhauling the nation’s inefficient patchwork of immigration laws….According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, the senators will call for accomplishing four goals: Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas; reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university…

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No-book library? BiblioTech is coming

A book-less library. It sounds like an oxymoron, but come the fall of 2013, San Antonio’s Bexar County is going to be home to the BiblioTech, the country’s first book-less public library, ABC News reports. Of course, there will be books — just eBooks, not physical books. The 4,989 square-foot space will look like a modern library, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who was inspired to pursue the project after reading Walter Issacson’s Steve Jobs biography, told ABC News. (A glance at the photo shows that its inspired by Apple in more ways than one.) Instead of aisles and aisles of books there will be aisles and aisles of computers and gadgets. At the start, it will have 100 e-readers available for circulation and to take out, and then 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on site…

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Watch: Cell phone runs on one AA battery

Sure, CES 2013 is full of groundbreaking smartphone technology – the newest screens, processors and connectivity for our powerful phones – but sometimes all those fancy features can fail you, especially if they drain your batteries, ABC News reports. That’s why SpareOne decided it was time to make a really low-powered cellphone that runs on a single AA cell. Just put one in the back of the dumbphone and you can make calls for up to 10 hours. You can also pop your SIM card in to use your regular phone’s number. It’s really that simple. SpareOne says the idea really isn’t to replace your more complicated and powerful smartphone. “This is meant to be an emergency and secondary phone for outdoor use or travel use,” Christian Scheder, the president of SpareOne, told ABC News. “The battery life of phones s getting worse and worse. We know there are a lot of times and people who cannot charge their phone.” Scheder cited Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters as proof that it’s good to have a spare phone around to make emergency calls…

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Gov’t awards $228M in grants to black colleges

The Education Department is awarding $228 million in grants to historically black colleges and universities, ABC News reports. The five-year grants will go to schools in 19 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Schools can use the money to expand their campuses, acquire science equipment, develop counseling programs and train faculty. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the grants will enable historically black colleges to help students who grapple with financial challenges as they pursue post-secondary education…

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Obama credits education with boosting ‘mixed kid’ and ‘little black girl’ to White House

President Obama today credited an affordable college education with helping a “mixed kid from Hawaii” and a “little black girl from the South Side of Chicago” make history in the White House, ABC News reports.

“Education was a gateway of opportunity for me,” Obama told the crowd here. “Let’s face it. You know, a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single mom is not likely to become president of the United States. But in America, it can happen because of education, because somebody gave me opportunity.

“You know, a little black girl from South Side of Chicago whose mom’s a secretary and dad’s a blue-collar worker, you know, not likely to become first lady of the United States,” he said, referring to his wife, Michelle. “But it happened because she got a great education even though her folks didn’t have a lot of money.”…Read More

Obama ad tells Romney to ‘get real’ on college aid

The Obama campaign opened a new line of attack on Mitt Romney in its latest swing state TV ad, seizing on the Republican’s approach to financing higher education, ABC News reports. The 30-second spot says Romney wants to cut federal college aid for millions of students and encourage them to go into debt, replaying several times this line from a March speech at Otterbein University: “Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business,” Romney said. In response, says the Obama ad’s narrator: “Get real, Mitt.” Obama is portrayed positively for doubling funding for Pell grants and capping repayment rates for some federal student loans in his first term. You can watch the ad HERE. In response to the ad, the Romney campaign pointed to the rapidly rising college costs and levels of student debt over the past three and a half years.

“Under President Obama, the costs of college have skyrocketed – making it more difficult for students to attend college – and his economic policies have made it harder for graduates to get jobs,” said Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg…

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Presidents approve college football playoff

Playoffs and tournaments long have determined champions of every college sport from baseball to bowling. The exception was major college football. That ended Tuesday. Come 2014, the BCS is dead, ABC News reports.

A committee of university presidents approved a plan for a four-team playoff put forward by commissioners of the top football conferences.

For years, the decision-makers had balked at any type of playoff because they said it would diminish the importance of the regular season. If only two teams had a chance to win a championship in the postseason, even one loss could be too many. That made for some very high stakes regular-season games. As recently as 2008, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive proposed the type of plan adopted Tuesday, and it was quickly shot down.…Read More