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[GreenYes] One-time-use DVDs in our future?
Let's hope this trend never picks up.

The last 2 paragraphs are the scary part.
Die another day? - 12:00am

I suppose fans of the superspy James Bond are no strangers to explosive
gadgets, but a self-destructing DVD!? MGM sent out over over 5,000 promo
discs this week as a preview for the upcoming Bond flick Die Another Day,
but there's a catch. If you want to check out the 25-odd minutes of cool
material included on the DVD, you may want to stand back after you put it
in your player. As the tag on the mailer warns, "Once removed from its packaging,
the DVD will self-destruct in 36 hours!"

Flexplay Technologies' special self-immolating DVD technology employs special
coatings when creating discs that, after being exposed to air, become unusable
within a preselected time period. As a DVD player's laser is extremely sensitive
to any changes in a disc's surface and coating, even the slightest change
can affect a disc's playability. Depending on which coatings are used, the
discs can remain operational anywhere from 8 to 60 hours. Sounds just like
a Bond movie!

If visions of Circuit City's failed DIVX technology are dancing around in
your head, you're not alone. Flexplay has been pushing their technology
for over a year now, but has so far achieved only moderate success with
noncommercial industry and promo titles, mostly music videos. But industry
sources say the upstart's real goal is to entice the major Hollywood studios
to use the technology to create "single-view titles," providing a workable
way to take back rental revenues currently lost to VHS erosion. Potentially
even more attractive to studio interests is the elimination of the video
store altogether, as these single-view discs would severly reduce the need
for return trips at all. With "rental" titles now readily available at any
retail outlet across the country, the majority of the profits on these "rental"
discs could then go directly to the studios. 

Many of the same issues raised with DIVX - namely the environmental consequences
of so many throwaway discs, and possible consumer confusion - are likely
obstacles to mass acceptance of the Flexplay scenario. And, of course, this
007 DVD is just a promo. But as they say at the end of every movie, James
Bond will return...

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