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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

FatLittleMonkey Re:Why bother? (263 comments)

But the stuff that is needed one day is worth all the pain of keeping the rest. The problem is not knowing.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

FatLittleMonkey Re:Nobody ever watches that shit anyway (263 comments)

The videos are so you have something to cut together for their funeral video.

The newspapers are so the great grandkids have something for their 3rd grade social studies project.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

FatLittleMonkey Re:Final Cut Pro library (263 comments)

No. Digital content needs to be worked. Digital archives are a certain path to unreadable formats, corrupted files, failed electronics, etc. It's different with archiving paper/film/etc, where constant handling reduces lifespan and data decays in a "human friendly" way. USBs, harddrives, DVDs, all shitty archive material unless they are being constantly used (and thus checked) and copied and themselves backed up.

Even with a archive folder(s) on an active drive, every few years you need to check that the formats are still readable, and that the player/editor software still works on your current system and/or that newer player/editors play the older files. And periodically convert the data to newer formats (by all means keep the old to avoid lossy conversion to short lifespan formats.) And it all gets backed up with your normal backup regime, which itself is a system that gets periodically updated because it's in regular use.

2 days ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

FatLittleMonkey Re:An EMP from a super solar flare... (151 comments)

What exactly is that first component?

Ionisation of the upper atmosphere creates a cloud of relativistically accelerated electrons which the Earth's magnetic field causes to flow (or rather, to slam) back into the ground. That creates a RF pulse so sharp that it creates a voltage potential across any electronics or electrical devices, no matter how well protected against surges. It is sharp enough to create a voltage potential across a Faraday cage, removing the cage's protective effect. (And if you've seen Faraday cages resist lightning, you'll get an idea how fast this pulse is. It makes lightning look slow.)

The second component is slower, and apparently more like lightning. So at distance, a simple surge protector is enough. Closer, a Faraday cage will do the job. The third component is more like a geomagnetic storm, long wave RF that overloads long antennas (such as power lines). Pulling the plug is enough to protect you. Hell, your normal breakers or fuses should also suffice. The risk there is the destruction of the power grid over a large area.

Is there any way an average Joe can protect his electronics from it? Or is the only defense, "pray that a nuke won't detonate above your region"?

Rad-hardened electronics will shorten the distance that you are vulnerable. But mostly it's just about putting bulk mass between you and the EMP. And your basement isn't enough, due to the metal lines running from above (power/plumbing/strapping/etc). So basically that means the answer is bunkers.

It's always bunkers.

5 days ago
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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

FatLittleMonkey Re:An EMP from a super solar flare... (151 comments)

There are three components to a nuclear EMP. One affects electronics and can punch though a Faraday cage, one affects electronics but can be stopped by a Faraday cage, and one which affects power lines and a Faraday cage for individual devices is overkill. The range of each component is an order of magnitude greater than the previous.

A geomagnetic storm (from a Carrington Event scale CME) only produces the third component. It won't affect your harddrive unless it's plugged into a wall-socket and you're really, really unlucky.

5 days ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

I'm not saying "It should be", or "I expect", I'm saying it's already been decided: unless the law gets changed, the FAA will be the regulator of private manned spaceflight.

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Can someone explain to me (123 comments)

NASA hasn't incrementally developed spacecraft for decades. Their obsession with one-off throw-away designs is a major annoyance of mine.

So the topic was human vs robotic. And it's clear that removing the human element has done nothing to reduce the cost of programs like JWST. On the contrary, it's blown the cost out by over 300%.

Step-wise, incremental development would lower costs no matter what program you are talking about, manned or unmanned.

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Continuous competition = best (123 comments)

neither the government nor either company could afford that. NASA has to pick one and fund it.

Can you explain the logic behind that?

If the launches are fixed price, it costs NASA a fixed price per-launch whether they have one vendor or ten. If one vendor (say, Boeing) can't compete, they'll drop out and their launches will go to other vendors who can.

Dropping back to a single vendor on a cost-plus contract is the most expensive option.

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Can someone explain to me (123 comments)

OTOH, the cost of JWST has blown out even further than Hubble (approx $9b, from an initial budget below $2b) precisely because there's no human servicing, which means everything in the overly-complex design must deploy perfectly or the entire mission is a bust. Eliminating the added cost of making the spacecraft serviceable is more than made up for by making the need to ensure the spacecraft can't fail.

So "the science guys" aren't a guarantee of savings, once a robotic mission becomes the flagship program and everyone tries to latch on to the teat to fund their idiotic ideas.

The problem with HSF at NASA is the legacy of Apollo, the hundred thousand employees and contractors, the scattered NASA centres and even more scattered contractor networks, which all make HSF unaffordable. (For example, the annual cost of the Shuttle program was the same regardless of how many missions they flew that year, 6, 4, 2 or none. The annual budget for operating the completed ISS is, by amazing coincidence, exactly the same as the annual budget during the construction, which was by yet another amazing coincidence, exactly the same as the annual budget during the last four years of development.)

By developing private human space-flight, we can reduce the cost of doing on-orbit repairs until it's cheaper to send humans to fix something than to write off the spacecraft and send up a new one.

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

How would SpaceX man-rate Dragon if they aren't selected by NASA given that man-rating space vehicles has always been done by NASA?

It's been done by NASA because NASA was the only body in the US flying humans into space.

Private spaceflight will be regulated by the FAA.

[Looking at FAA's rules for sub-orbital flights, it looks like they are going hands-off initially. Once there are enough commercial HSF accidents to find patterns, they'll start to add rules to eliminate some of the worst cowboy practices. (Same as happened for commercial air travel.)]

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

Also, SpaceX is trying to commercialise their systems. Boeing has no interest in anything except the NASA contract. That means that, if Bigelow achieves their goal, SpaceX will not only be flying to ISS, but also to private Bigelow stations. That's a secondary career for astronauts, and an alternative career path for NASA's astronaut-candidates who didn't make the cut.

And for that reason, there's nothing "safe" about choosing Boeing's capsule. That's just spin from Boeing's own PR pukes lobbying for funding. Boeing is the furthest behind of the three main participants. It is the most expensive. It will have the least flight time. It will have no upgrade path, and every development will need to be funded entirely by NASA, at increasing costs as it mutates back into a cost-plus program. Boeing has put it none of its own funding into the project, unlike every other participant, and has been lobbying behind the scenes to remove the current Commercial Crew NASA team and replace them with a traditional NASA cost-plus management structure.

Boeing is poison for Commercial Crew, a cuckoo in the nest. The sooner they are excluded from the program, the better.

about a week ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

FatLittleMonkey Re:Prime and sub contractor (123 comments)

Astronauts, while edible, are not pies.

about a week ago
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GM To Introduce Hands-Free Driving In Cadillac Model

FatLittleMonkey Super Cruise (185 comments)

"The 2017 Cadillac model will feature Super Cruise technology."

O_o

about two weeks ago
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GM To Introduce Hands-Free Driving In Cadillac Model

FatLittleMonkey Re:will it make an ethical choice? (185 comments)

The car will react about half a second faster than you. Which, at 65mph, allows it to stop a full 50 feet earlier than you. It will also brake with full ABS, whereas you will tend to brake timidly at first for another half second before panic braking, which probably saves the car another 30-50 feet.

So it will generally avoid the entire situation that would require moral judgements over orphans versus self. Situations where it must swerve to avoid a collision are ones that occur too close to the car for you, human, to have even reacted to.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

FatLittleMonkey Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

You misunderstand. I'm not saying you won't get "economy plus" if you pay for "economy plus", or "business" if you pay for "business". I'm saying that there's no guarantee what that means. Show me on your ticket where it says "minimum 34 inch seat-pitch guaranteed".

I'm saying if you look at the price of two airline tickets for the same class on the same route, one is $500, one is $550, which one has the most legroom? The $550? Not necessarily. There's no information given by the airlines on what sized seat you are buying which allows you to compare. Your original comment said, paraphrasing, blamed the consumers for buying the cheapest option, but the airlines don't give the information I need to chose between them. How do consumers influence the quality of a product if they can't differentiate between products before buying?

In reality, most casual fliers actually over-pay for their tickets because it's so difficult to untangle pricing information, even without getting into differences in seats sizes between different airlines, different aircraft within an airline, different seats within an aircraft. I'm a book-keeper and finding the best value ticket for a given trip is harder than filing my employer's monthly payroll taxes and employee superannuation. Airlines have made an art of obfuscation.

[It is possible to work it out using third party sites, but trying to use them to compare, say, three airlines on a particular route based on price-versus-seat-pitch is extremely difficult. There's no easy comparison system to say "I want to go from A to B, over this approx period, what is the price/seat-size comparison across all airlines?"

There are local airlines where the pitch of "Premium economy" (economy plus) seating is the same as another airline's more expensive "Business" class seats, if they fly the right model aircraft on that route, on that day. If they fly a slightly different model, their "Premium economy" seats are shorter than the "Basic economy" seats on the first airline. Four inch variation between aircraft.]]

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

FatLittleMonkey Re:The whole industry needs to rethink pricing. (813 comments)

It shouldn't be too hard to make aircraft seating configurable for passengers of different weights/heights.

I had that thought too. It shouldn't be hard to put entire columns of seats on rails (adjustable for each flight according to the seat-pitches ordered by customers), without adding significant mass.

However, the seats would then be out of alignment laterally across the aisle, making evacuation much more difficult. That wouldn't be allowed. [Hell, even getting up to piss would be harder, it the seats next to you are out of line with yours.]

I still think bunks are the solution. But evacuation is still an issue. During an emergency evac, everyone is falling over each other as they get out of the top bunks. Plus getting in and out of bunks, particularly for fatties and infirm, would be difficult. But there could be solutions with clever design. And bunks would be a lot more comfortable, IMO.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

FatLittleMonkey Re:Enough with the reclining already. (813 comments)

Fully upright seats are designed with evacuation in mind, not comfort. That's why you are asked to raise them during take off and landing (the two riskiest times for aircraft.) It's the reason airlines haven't just bitten the bullet and installed horizontally stacked bunks.

The semi-reclined position is intended for the bulk of the flight. "Fully" reclined for the bulk of the flight during night flights. Basically, we're all supposed to recline our seats back as soon as the "fasten seatbelt" sign is turned off.

So it seems to me that all seats should raise automatically during take-off/landing/turbulence/emergencies, then lower automatically to a fixed recline during flight. All at the same time, all at the same angle. It wouldn't solve all the problems caused by shrinking seat spacing, but it would at least solve the recline-vs-non-recline disputes. But this would require more hardware per seat, hence more mass, hence won't happen.

Alternatively, accept the added risk and make all seats at 10 or 15 degrees further reclined than the current "full upright". Then lock the seats. By removing the variable recline, you should be able to make seats as a single shell, which should allow you to save mass.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

FatLittleMonkey Re:Anthropometrics (813 comments)

You can know what plane you'll be on and you can compare classes between airlines Seatguru.com has information on both.

Yes, you have to use a third party site to determine basic information like product size. That's a bad thing.

Imagine buying other products like that. Neither the manufacturer and the store tell you the basic size of your TV, won't show you a demo model, instead you have to get that information off of a third party site, and they can arbitrarily change the model they sell you, even after you've paid.

There is a guarantee that if you pay extra for economy plus you'll get exactly that.

But no guarantee what that means. There's a local airline whose "Premium economy" class has seats which vary by several inches in pitch and an inch in width, depending on what aircraft they assign to a route. And what aircraft they assign can change between booking and flying. Oh, and unless you are paying full fare (which is over three times their typical "discount" fares), you can't swap flights. There's no "guarantee" that I'll get what I thought I paid for. Nothing on my ticket that says the minimum size seat I'm guaranteed, even if I paid extra specifically for that size.

That's within one airline. Good luck trying to comparison shop on price and seat-size between airlines.

about two weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

FatLittleMonkey Re:How about... (813 comments)

When you have to use a third-party service to find a basic description of the product you are buying, the market has failed.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Fight you own muscles to create force-feedback on smartphones

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers in Germany have developed a device that allows users of portable devices, such as smartphones, experience force-feedback from games using just their own muscles... and a small EMS device. When stimulated by a painless electric pulse, the player's arm moves the device in whichever direction the game commands. The player then fights the movement with their other muscles, creating a strong sensation that the device itself is bucking in their hands. According to the developers, users found the sensation much more realistic than traditional vibrotactile feedback. (Should make PvP more interesting too.)"
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Multiple minds smooths your ship's path

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts... Researchers at the University of Essex have shown that combining the output from two non-invasive "brain-computer interfaces", computer-interpreted EEG signals, led to a much clearer signal of the subjects' intention than the output from a single subject. To test this idea, they had two subjects try to steer a simulated space-ship at a target planet, by thinking of one of eight possible directions. While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined. Researchers believe the technique also compensates for individual lapses in attention, and thus may have applications in real-world space missions."
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How do you give a ticket to a driverless car?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "New Scientist asks a Bryant Walker Smith, from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, whether the law is able to keep up with recent advances in automated vehicles. Even states which have allowed self-driving cars require the vehicles to have a "driver", who is nominally in control and who must comply with the same restrictions as any driver such as not being drunk. What's the point of having a robot car if it can't drive you home from the pub while you go to sleep in the back?"
Link to Original Source
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Whitehouse Petition to sell Texas to pay off US Debt.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Amidst the flood of petitions on behalf of States demanding to be allowed to secede from the US, inevitably came the trolls suggesting that the US at least make some money out of the deal. Sell Texas to Mexico and use the money to pay down the US debt. Still in single digits at time of writing, but well worth supporting for the lulz."
Link to Original Source
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You can't print a gun if you have no 3d printer

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You may recall Cody Wilson's project to create a 3d printed gun, mentioned previously on Slashdot. Well, the Defense Distributed project has suffered a decidedly non-technical setback, with printer manufacturer Stratasys revoking the lease and repossessing the printer (presumably prying it from plastic models of Cory's cold dead hands.) According to New Scientist the manufacturer cited...

his lack of a federal firearms manufacturer's licence as their reason for the repossession, adding that it does not knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.

"

Link to Original Source
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If U R readng ths, I M already dead.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A particularly nasty text scam is doing the rounds in Australia. Police say that hundreds of people have reported receiving text messages reading: "Sum1 paid me to kill you. Get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised... Email me now killerking999@yahoo.com", or variations on the theme. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Scamwatch site, also details the threat messages.

(No reports yet of anyone managing to troll the scammers.)"

Link to Original Source
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MS damage washed away by stream of young blood

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A new study on mice suggests that damage caused by diseases like Multiple sclerosis, as well as natural ageing, can be reversed by an infusion of stem cell rich blood from younger mice. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that erodes the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord, and can result is serious disability. Similar effects occur naturally with ageing. Via New Scientist:

White blood cells called macrophages from the young mice gathered at the sites of myelin damage. Macrophages engulf and destroy pathogens and debris, including destroyed myelin. "We know this debris inhibits regeneration, so clearing it up is important," says team member Amy Wagers of Harvard University.

Here's a direct Link to the paper, if you have academic access through the paywall.."
Link to Original Source

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Harnessing the energy of Galloping Gertie

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You've all seen the footage of Galloping Gertie, the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge. This is due to a type of turbulence called Wake Galloping, caused by airflow creating lift on the lee-side of cylinders (or cables on suspension bridges.) Now researchers in South Korea have developed a way of harnessing the turbulence to generate electricity. Their device works most efficiently at wind speeds too low for conventional wind turbines."
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Multicellular life found at 3.6km under the crust

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers from Princeton University have discovered nematodes at depth of up to 3.6km in three gold mines in South Africa, likely feeding on the radiation-consuming bacteria also discovered by the same team. Carbon dating their environment confirms that the 500 micrometres long critters have been there for at least 3000 years and are not a recent contaminant. The finding means that unexpectedly complex ecosystems occur deep underground, increasing the chance that complex life may have survived on Mars according to Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, "The significance was that you could imagine an ecosystem existing in the subsurface of a planet that didn't have a photosynthetic biosphere, like Mars," he says.

Until now, it was thought such an ecosystem could be made of bacteria only. But Onstott's new findings have completely changed that. "These nematodes are grazing on microbes. So now you could imagine that if animal life had ever developed on a planet, and the surface of that planet became lifeless," Pilcher explains, "you could imagine that animals could coexist with microbial ecosystems all powered by radioactivity."

"

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Can computers be used to optimise the US tax code?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Science Fiction author, David Brin, wonders whether the US tax code, described by President Obama as a "10,000-page monstrosity", could be dramatically simplified. No, he's not trying to get support a libertarian wet-dream "Flat Tax", this is about using computers to... shuffle the existing system.

"I know a simple way the sheer bulk of the tax code could be trimmed by perhaps 70% or more, without much political pain or obstructionism! ... it should be easy to create a program that will take the tax code and experiment with zeroing-out dozens, hundreds of provisions while sliding others upward and then showing how these simplifications would affect, say, one-hundred representative types of taxpayers ... Let the program find the simplest version of a refined tax code that leaves all 100 taxpayer clades unhurt. If one group loses a favorite tax dodge, the system would seek a rebalancing of others to compensate. No mere human being could accomplish this, but I have been assured that a computer could do this in a snap."

With all the talk about Open Government, perhaps the computer code currently used in tax modelling could be released to the wider community, leading eventually to a Folding@Home type project."

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Can't get enough Will & Kate? Now meet their k

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Prince William and Kate Middleton met while attending the University of St Andrews, so it seems... appropriate... that the Perception Lab at St Andrews would have a go at predicting the appearance of the royal couple's future "heir and a spare".

New Scientist also tries its hand at some evolution-centric royal fan-fic.

Oh, and feel free to participate in Perception Labs' experiment."

Link to Original Source
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South Australia to drop MA15+ video game rating

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 3 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "While its former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson actively campaigned against an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, the new South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says he will abolish the MA15+ rating in SA after the introduction of an R18+ rating. To better differentiate "between what adults can get and what children can get", games will be rated G, PG, M, and R18+.

"I will push for the South Australian position on MA15+ games to be adopted nationally, but if it isn't, I'm prepared to go it alone," he promised, calling the MA15+ classification "dangerous".

"Besides," Rau says in an interview to Gamespot, "if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all." Ouch.

All of this follows a review of the classification system in general, so Rau may be reflecting a more general move away from MA15+ in all media."

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