MSA, Minimum Safe Altitude. This is defined as 1000' above the tallest fixed object in the area to which the MSA value applies. Aircraft travelling in Class C (uncontrolled) airspace may not descend below MSA unless specifically under Emergency Obstacle Clearence radar control.

The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA} between the tobacco industry and 46 states settled all lawsuits filed by the states against the tobacco industry in November of 1998.

The parties involved were the five largest tobacco manufacturers and 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas already had settled their lawsuits against the tobacco industry so were not covered by the MSA

According to the Attorney Generals who lead the lawsuit, “the settlement was to be used to reimburse states for previous tobacco-related disease costs and to initiate comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs to reduce smoking and thus reduce future smoking-related diseases and related costs”.

Individual states get to choose how to use their allotment of MSA funds. The federal government also gets a share to help pay for Medicaid expenses related to smoking induced health problems.

Multi-source agreement: A term used in electronics (and possibly elsewhere) to connote an agreed-upon set of physical dimensions and pin-outs. The idea is to make companies' products interchangeable -- in terms of size and shape -- which theoretically will help speed the adoption of new technology.

This is because without an MSA, board designers have to pick their components ahead of time and build the board to those components' specs. This keeps the board maker locked in to that particular component vendor, and it also keeps the vendor's prices high. With an MSA the board maker gets more choices, which can help drive down prices because all vendors are now competing.

Most important is that the board maker doesn't have to worry about the component supplier going out of business or running short of supplies, because comparable parts are available from other MSA adherants.

For vendors, the benefit is that they actually get to sell parts; some customers won't buy unless your parts are replaceable by a second source. You also, theoretically, get to tap into a bigger market, because MSAs make designing easier for board and systems manufacturers, which in turn encourages more companies to get into that particular market. Theoretically.

Negative side-effect: MSAs also create the opportunity for companies to put out big-deal press releases about how their new part conforms to the MSA.

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