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A group of Oxford University scientists have accidentally created a new display technology -- one that could enable a new era of smart glasses, bendable displays and even artificial retinas. The team refers to its discovery as 'nano-pixels;' it's a tiny sandwich of phase change material and transparent electrodes that change color when given a tiny jolt of current. These stacks can be used to draw tiny images, like the examples above, each one smaller than the width of a human hair. "We didn't set out to invent a new kind of display," explained research lead Harish Bhaskaran, his team was just exploring the relationship between the electrical and optical properties of phase change materials. Creating nano-pixels just sort of happened along the way.

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Cloud storage service Dropbox has announced a feature called Streaming Sync, which promises to improve the way its platform handles the syncing of large files. Thanks to Streaming Sync, which is part of a revamped desktop client, users will get a major speed boost when syncing any file over 16MB -- up to twice as fast as any regular sync, according to the company. Dropbox notes that it was able to accomplish this by overlapping the upload and download phase of the file synchronization, meaning it can use its servers to push the data to your device, rather than letting your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop do all the work. Along with Streaming Sync, Dropbox also brought support for four additional languages to the app, as well as the ability to view your most recent account activity via a new notifications menu.

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The FCC's controversial plans for a new version of net neutrality are still open for public comment for a few more days, and Chairman Tom Wheeler -- continuing to fight charges that he may be a dingo -- says it's already received over 647,000 comments so far. The 60 day period for public comment runs out on the 15th though, so if you want your voice to be heard then about fast lanes, Title II or anything else, then now is the time. The internet may not have crashed the FCC's website -- hackers did that -- but it can still have an effect on the way we connect in the future. Read the FCC's proposal here, and send your comments in via openinternet@fcc.gov.

[Image credit: Karen Bleier via Getty Images]

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Let's try something really quickly: pull your phone out, flip it over, and maybe squint at it a bit. Chances are you'll see a series of FCC-mandated pictograms emblazoned there, little images you've probably never paid attention to before. If US senators Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Virginia) get their way though, those curious icons may soon become a thing of past. Instead, the pair wants to replace those etchings with more informative digital equivalents that users can peek at if they so chose. Alas, your gadgets might not be completely clean if the bill passes -- there are still those pesky CE labels to gaze upon.

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What should an astronaut do when he gets dirty? Take a meteor shower [groan]. But, what does an astronaut do when their space suit gets mucky in training? They get it laundered, just like anything else. Pictured above, a staff member from the Russian Space Training Center hangs out the freshly washed space suits of Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's U.S. flight engineer Kathleen Rubins, and Japanese space agency's flight engineer Takuya Onishi. The trio picked up a few stains after landing on water in training for a mission on the ISS. So, the suits can handle the high radiation of space, but not a spin in a dryer?

[Image: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP]

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Slowly but surely, the iOS version of Google Maps is gaining parity with its Android equivalent. With the latest update, those who use Google's mapping application on Apple's mobile platform will be able to see search results along with their descriptions visually laid out on the map, as seen in the image above. You can toggle between the map view and just a regular list view as well. Additionally, Gmail users will find that appointments and reservations will show up on the map too, which is handy if you want to know how to get to that dinner meeting on time. Last but not least, there's also an improved Explore view that you can use to figure out what's nearby, just in case you'd like to follow up the meal with after-dinner drinks. So if you're an iOS user who prefers Google's own email and maps offerings over Apple's own, then you should download this update right about now.

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Rear view of students with hands raised with a teacher in the classroom

The FCC is ready to start dolling out up to $2 billion dollars in grants to American schools to pay for WiFi networks, but it doesn't seem that anyone -- especially the schools -- are happy about it. The new rules under the aging E-Rate program, which is part of the Universal Service Fund, would set aside $1 billion dollars this year and another billion next year to set up WiFi networks in schools and public libraries. Chairman Tom Wheeler says the agency should be proud because, "10 million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn't." But Republicans are concerned the program will favor urban areas, while failing to deliver much needed connectivity to rural schools. Of course, GOP lawmakers also steadfastly opposed increasing funding to the E-Rate, which had its budget capped at $2.25 billion 16 years ago and hasn't been adjusted since.

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Leah Katz-Hernandez, right, , deaf Gallaudet students, shows

Over the last few years closed captions have become increasingly prevalent in online video, but now the FCC is pushing for providers to go even further. It's already a requirement for full-length video that originally aired on TV to come with captions when it's streamed online, but new rules approved today will extend that to clips from the videos as well. In a unanimous vote, commissioners put deadlines for compliance that vary on the type of clip being used. By January 1, 2016, "straight lift" clips that just pull one segment of a show will need captions, then in 2017 montages of compiled clips will need them and finally, by July 2017, clips of live and near-live programming will need captions (with a short grace period.) This won't apply to your garden variety YouTube channel however, these rules are for online streams from the broadcasters and cable/satellite providers that originally aired the video.

[Image credit: Washington Post/Getty Images]

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Microsoft MapPoint has been around a long time. How long? So long that a stock-image search pulled up this gem from 2005 -- a photo of "Streets & Trips" running on a Pocket PC. In fact, the mapping platform is even older than that: It was first created by a company called NextBase in 1988, which MIcrosoft later acquired in 1994. Incredibly, it's lived on, even long after people stopped storing maps on CD-ROMs. Finally, though, the software is going the way of the floppy disk: The company has discontinued MapPoint, Streets & Trips, and AutoRoute, with users encouraged to use Bing Maps instead. And, ya know, that kind of makes sense, considering CEO Satya Nadella only yesterday posted an open letter describing Microsoft as a mobile- and cloud first company. Somehow, knowing Engadget readers, we suspect this won't affect you much, but in the event that you do still use Streets & Trips, you'll continue to have support through at least July 2015. After that, you may need to get with the times.

Image credit: Associated Press

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