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The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has approved a proposal, submitted by Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, to begin work on the DFP interface. The immediate aim of the project is to make DFP proposal and P&D standard fully compatible standards, and in the long term, to shift the industry to the P&D standard. The DFP proposal is therefore a way to help digital displays develop into desktop products, say Compaq and HP. IBM said that although it was going straight to the P&D implementations of digital flat panel monitors, it would work with all other companies through VESA to ensure interoperability between the two standards. Compaq and HP said that until at least 2000, they are committed to DFP products. The VESA display committee said that it welcomed the proposal and the opportunity to address the state of confusion that has existed in the industry for the past few months. The submission was targeted to take advantage of the PlugTest that VESA is sponsoring September 9 - 11 in San Francisco. Although not yet a draft standard, Compaq has indicated it will have its DFP products there to test with P&D systems. A federal judge has thrown out a suit brought against the US National Science Foundation (NSF) seeking to prevent it from spending domain name registration fees on improving the Internet. In a case brought by a consortium of nine Internet users earlier this year, Judge Thomas F Hogan ruled that such fees amounted to an illegal tax and therefore must no longer be collected. The so-called tax covered $15 out of the $50 registration fee. That $15 was passed on to the NSF and added to a fund ring-fenced for the improvement of the Internet infrastructure in the US. The fee itself was collected by Network Solutions, appointed in 1995 by the NSF to handle all US registrations. However, the US Congress recently approved a retroactive tax on domain name registration, ensuring Judge Hogan's original ruling no longer applied. Last week he finally dismissed the case. The plaintiff's lawyer will be appealing against the judgement, and will continue to seek a refund of the $60 million the NSF has so collected so far. Projects awaiting the release of those funds when the case officially ends include Internet 2, the high-speed network planned to link the US' colleges and universities, said an NSF spokeswoman.®

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