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Self-Destructing DVD's Coming Soon 798

Posted by michael
from the watch-in-fast-forward dept.
BrianH writes "Looks like a close cousin of everybody's favorite self-destructing video format is making a comeback. Four years after Circuit City and its Hollywood backers pulled the plug on the self-expiring DVD concept, FlexPlay Technologies has introduced the EZ-D...a 48-hour self-expiring DVD disk. The difference? This time around you don't need a special player, and "time extensions" are no longer an option. It looks like Buena Vista has already signed on to the format, so Disney, Mirimax, and all of their other companies should be using this soon. As if that wasn't bad enough, it looks like this works for music and software disks too!" Here's an older story on these technologies.
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Self-Destructing DVD's Coming Soon

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  • Great, just great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grapes4Buddha (32825) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:34PM (#5977908) Journal
    ... and then I'm sure they'll cry victim when everybody starts copying the damn things and starts giving them all out to their friends because you can't get a permanent copy of the work.

    I'll tell ya, the first thing I would do with such a thing is to back it up. Or better yet, I would just return it after it expires and tell them that it never worked right in the first place. It's not like they could prove otherwise.
  • What's so bad? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Omeganon (104525) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:36PM (#5977919)
    Besides the obvious environmental problems with creating millions of disposable DVD's (ala AOL cd's), I don't really see much bad about these. If I could buy (read rent) a DVD for $2.00 that I didn't have to bring back to a store then I'd likely do that. Or play a self-destructing game as a sample of the full game and save $48.00 if I don't like it. Looks potentially like a money saver to me.

    --
    Omeganon
  • What about DOA's (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:45PM (#5977972)
    Like any technology it will have a a certain % failure, what will the rental place do if you come back before 48 hours with a dead disk?
  • by applef00 (574694) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:47PM (#5977990) Homepage
    I don't have nearly as much a problem with the concept of a self-expiring disc as I do with the concept of disposability. I see that they can recycle the discs, but that you (the consumer) will have to pay postage. I think that they will have a lot more success in getting people to send the discs back to them if they are willing to pick up the tab on shipping them back. They can cut costs by not manufacturing disc blanks, the environment doesn't choke, you get a warm fuzzy feeling for doing something good. Everybody wins. My other problem is that it's called "Flexplay" when it is blatantly inflexible. Talk about a misnomer.
  • by SixDimensionalArray (604334) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:49PM (#5978001)
    I don't know about anybody else - but the fact that this could be used to make DVDs simply "stop working" after so long seems to cry out "planned obsolescence". As an example, maybe they make a new generation of DVDs only lasts 6 months before it wears out (and don't tell us). That would generate a lot of profit if somebody's DVD stopped working and they really liked it (they'd either have to go buy it again, or get it copied). Ick. -6d
  • by 71thumper (107491) <steven.levin@interceptor.com> on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:50PM (#5978008)
    It opens up lots of kiosk-style opportunities as well.

    You wouldn't need a membership, leave a deposit, have a valid credit card, nothing. You could feed the kiosk cash and out comes the DVD. You take it home, watch it, then put it in for recycling.

    It even works better than the Netflix-style thing, because you shouldn't have availability issues as you do know with Netflix. Instead, you can order from Netflix (or heck, from Amazon or RentAmovieTodayOrSomething.com) and it'll show up.

    I'd love to be order them in batches at a time. I can easily think of 10 movies I'd like to have around the house, not worry about it, and when I travel, or am stuck home sick, they are already here and ready to watch.

    And nobody cares that they are just sitting for months at my place.

    Steve
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deglr6328 (150198) on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:53PM (#5978028)
    If the mechanism of self destruction is a chemical reaction between an added layer of dye(or whatever) and the Oxygen in the atmosphere (almost definitely how it works), then that means there will very likely be a stong unavoidable lifetime dependence on heat. DVD PLAYERS ARE HOT! And some more so than others....that =class action lawsuit from people who happen to have a brand of DVD player that runs particularly hot and whose "EZ-D's"(puke) are viewable for a much shorter time than the average.
  • The Stakes are Open (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jeffasselin (566598) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ednilocamroc]> on Friday May 16, 2003 @10:58PM (#5978056) Journal
    How long until someone finds a way to defeat it?

    No really. If it's a software thing, shouldn't be too hard. If it's physical, like reacting to a catalyst, there is most likely some way to treat the discs so that they will remain usable longer...

  • by sleeper0 (319432) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:10PM (#5978109)
    I dont get your response, where does it say anyweher that the point of this system is to foil dvd copiers? It isn't and it doesn't. As for people paying good money and dont "get" the movie, isnt the same thing true for a rental today? This is designed to be similar to a video shop transaction.

    Down the street from me is a big vending machine/kiosk type thing that purports to rent DVDs. I havent been able to try it because it seems to require a discover card and the signup cards never seem to be there. But from looking at it it seems to have 20 movies or so available 24 hours a day for a 3 day rental.

    I am guessing that is the type of thing they want to do with expiring DVD's. If they sold 48 hour dvd rentals at airports or hotels i'm sure i would use the service from time to time. And the company and the buyer dont need to worry about where they will be in 48 hours to return it. Takes all the difficulty out of running a vending machine based rental service.

    Of course it doesnt seem like a good replacement for blockbuster, i agree with many posters that said the last thing we need is the entire world throwing out every movie they rent. But then again there are disposable cell phones for sale that serve a niche but we arent all throwing away our telephones after every call.

  • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BagMan2 (112243) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:14PM (#5978130)
    Actually, if these self-expiring cars cost 1/4 what an equivalent non-expiring car would cost, sign me up. That is what we are talking about here.
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BagMan2 (112243) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:17PM (#5978142)
    Can't wait until some Taiwan DVD maker comes out with a drive that can read bad-colored discs... Especially nice if they wait until the technology is commonplace before doing so. I plan on keeping all my bad-colored discs around just in case.
  • by Merovign (557032) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:18PM (#5978147)

    This is the key. This will be done, and probably soon. Probably randomly, maybe 50% of the discs at first, CDs, DVDs.

    How would you tell, unless there was a leak, an informant? And a credible one, with proof?

    And how long before this tech gets into the recordable disc stream? Might the blank disc makers start using this to sell more discs? Might some of this material be included late in the process to make discs that fail randomly on small portions of the surface? As sabotage, perhaps?

    The worst part of any conspiracy theory is when you discover that it is true.

  • Re:Great! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Merovign (557032) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:26PM (#5978187)

    I think, as usual, the recycling problem will be solved by human ingenuity (some call it greed). We're getting awfully close to the point where "mining" old landfills for material is becoming cost-effective.

    Eventually our descendants will treat landfills like we treat salt or gold mines. Well, more like salt. They mark them, mine them, then cover them up until the next material crunch.

    It will all work out in the end.

  • by Therlin (126989) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:31PM (#5978211)
    I can see it now. We'll be able to buy these 48 hr movies for a few dollars but we'll have to wait a few months to be able to purchase the standard always-lasting DVD.

    I know that's how VHS works, but I've been spoiled by DVD and I don't want to go back to that. For me DVD purchases are impulse buys. If I rent a movie first, I'm much less likely to buy it later on. If I'm forced to buy a 48-hr movie instead of buying the unlimited disc, I'll buy considerably less movies in the long run.
  • by BrynM (217883) * on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:34PM (#5978223) Homepage Journal
    The hard part about that is cash on hand. Let's say X2 gets released in this format today. Think of the refund deluge two or three days from now. You have to have a lot of cash on hand (customers want cash, not credit) or balance your real time income to the rush (customers won't wait for you to go to the bank). Any store manager would hate that policy.
  • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Friday May 16, 2003 @11:40PM (#5978253) Homepage
    Why not?

    Copyright is basically a bargain between authors and the public (which includes authors as well).

    The idea is that the public wants certain desires it has fulfilled more than they would be without any copyright law at all. It grants a certain extent of copyrights in order to come out ahead. The authors often like this as well, so it's win-win.

    But there are two limits: First, that if the public isn't doing better than they otherwise would be, why should they have that copyright system? Shouldn't they change it to something that better suits them? Second, the public needn't even bother having one at all. True, we'd all probably be better off with a copyright system that was just right. But we can decide not to bother, in whole or in part.

    So if everyone really does feel that it's okay to copy creative works and not pay for them under some circumstances -- and we realize that this will have certain consequences and we're alright with that -- then perhaps we ought to do that.
  • Re:air bubbles? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:04AM (#5978325)
    Maybe I don't understand how pressure works but...

    If there is a bubble that pops outward under zero pressure, then wouldn't it crush under 14.7 PSI?

    From what I understand, a human won't explode in space because we are built rigid enough to survive standard air pressures so our structure won't rupture from exposure to zero.
  • Recycling (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:07AM (#5978341)
    Yea, but I thought it was decided that proper landfilling and burning was cheaper and better for the environment than recycling.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ ne ws/2003/03/02/wrecyc02.xml

    Throw away the green and blue bags and forget those trips to the bottle bank: recycling household waste is a load of, well, rubbish, according to leading environmentalists and waste campaigners.

    In a reversal of decades-old wisdom, they argue that burning cardboard, plastics and food leftovers is better for the environment and the economy than recycling.

    They dismiss the time-consuming practice - urged on householders by the Government and "green" councils - of separating rubbish for the refuse collectors as a waste of time and money.
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dylan Zimmerman (607218) <Bob_Zimmerman@my ... m ['box' in gap]> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:16AM (#5978374)
    Well, I'm wondering just what reaction they use.

    "After 48 hours of impeccable play, the DVD will no longer be readable by the DVD player". 48 hours of impeccable play implies that the reaction takes 48 hours to even get started. Somehow, I suspect that the quality will degrade rapidly as the deadline aproaches. And if it does, will we be able to claim false advertising? If the reaction is really air based, then what happens if the air has a high concentration of the reactant? That would make the DVD drcay more quikly. Would we be able to sue for our remaining few hours?
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by msaulters (130992) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:19AM (#5978384) Homepage
    If it reacts with a gas in the air, it's probably oxygen. No vacuum necessary... Just open it in a chamber full of N2. Completely non-reactive and very cheap.

    Then cover it with a layer of clear acrylic spray. There may be some vertical deviance, but most players are made to correct for up to somewhere between .3mm and .5mm vertical dev. Translation: as long as you get an even coat, it should play nicely (unless the acrylic is permeable to O2 or has a chemical that itself reacts with the disc).
  • Early failure? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lgftsa (617184) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:31AM (#5978419)
    OK, it seems to be a process of oxidization which renders the disk unreadable.

    How about making it fail early by placing it in a vessel of pure O2?

    Under pressure.

    And warm it up a bit, just for kicks.

    How fast could you make this thing fail? 24h? 12h? 2h?

    Tip: Don't get it too warm, and avoid using a flame as your heat source!
  • by iamhassi (659463) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:41AM (#5978440) Journal
    "Go Go Gadget DVD ripper.."

    Aw crap, why'd you have to go and say that?? Now if it fails FlexPlay Technologies will blame it on DVD rippers, and it'll be another reason for makers of DVD-copying software to be sued [slashdot.org], and somehow the RIAA will stick their big nose in.

  • by m0ng0l (654467) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:43AM (#5978453)
    Would be samples of games for various systems. If they can get / keep the price down low enough (say under $5), this might work. See a new game for you PS2/XBox/GameCube/PC, but aren't sure you'll enjoy it enough to warrant dropping $40+? By the trial disk. You now have 48hrs to try the game. Probably wouldn't work as well / at all for the PC, as all I need to do is copy the disk, and then find a no-CD crack for it, and I never need to buy it, but might work for the consoles. However, for movies? No way. I thought DivX (the Circuit City one) blew chunks, and am glad it died a (fairly) quick death. Unless you either sell me these disks for under $2, OR give me a VERY large discount AT THE REGISTER when I buy a non-expiring copy of the same movie, I would not buy ANYTHING in this format. As I said, NO mail-in rebate crap, as I would not want to wait 3-4 months for a rebate. Jason A.
  • by MyHair (589485) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:53AM (#5978496) Journal
    ...i agree with many posters that said the last thing we need is the entire world throwing out every movie they rent.

    I'm not exactly an environmentalist, but everything is going throw-away it seems. Swifter-type one-use dusters and mops, paper plates (don't recall the brand) now advertising that you have more time for family if you use their product and throw it away--this commercial complete with a shot of Mom doing dishes and looking over her shoulder to Dad with two kids laughing over a game or similar group activity. Disposable DVDs...sheesh.

    I remember when Compact Discs first came out; one of the promotional ideas was that it used less plastic than LPs (that's "vinyl" or "records" for you young 'uns) and cassette tapes, yet they packaged them in jewel cases several times the CD's thickness and large boxes over twice the height of the jewel case. WTF? I guess they were afraid of them being stolen. The boxes eventually shrunk but the large jewel cases are still prevalent.

    Come to think of it, my Mom made my sister and I do the dishes while she and Dad had all the fun.
  • by BlueJay465 (216717) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @01:01AM (#5978533)
    The RIAA and MPAA are hoping to hell that it is only the geeks who are ripping these movies and CD's to a non-protected format. They do NOT want the general consumer to find out how to do it.

    And all it would take is for someone major like FOX News to do a story about how this "brand new technology" has been cracked 5 seconds out of the jewel case due to existing technology like DeCSS. That would blow the whole thing wide open and raise awareness on how to be able to keep what you pay for.

    Poor xxAA, I weep for thee!
  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fishbowl (7759) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @01:53AM (#5978675)
    >Imagine a game that requires a CD that expires
    >in 48 hours.

    I imagine someone will buy it. If it is perceived as cheap ($2.00-$5.00 each time instead of $60.00 one time, works better in some people's reasoning). I wouldn't touch such a game.

    >How about a copy of Windows where the install
    >disk fries itself after install?

    Whoever chooses to buy such a thing brings the consequences on himself. I'm not sure I see a problem really. In a way, I wish Microsoft hadn't been so willing to enable copying from the beginning. Had they made it difficult to copy windows install discs, we might have seen more competition in the OS market since 95. I often wonder if more people have Windows installs that are afoul of the license, than have completely legal installs. Some days I actually wonder if one person in ten who runs Windows even has an original install CD.

    There are alternatives to Windows, but most people don't know it. If they can't afford Windows, they know they can get it free. If Microsoft actually made an effort to stop them getting it free, they would start to understand the value of the alternatives.

  • Environment? Market? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gad_zuki! (70830) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @02:11AM (#5978718)
    >This is designed to be similar to a video shop transaction.

    Okay, lets assume this isn't a hamfisted attempt to push DRM down the throat of Joe Sixpack. While all these useless DVD discs pile up in the local landfill, someone out there is getting a pizza delivered.

    I wonder what's best for the long-run? A peapod-like video store or 48-hour DVDs? You still have to drive out to the store to buy the DVD in the first place.

    Also, video stores makes a lot, if not most of, their money off late fees. I wouldn't expect these things to be that much cheaper than the offerings at your local video store.

    Also, where exactly is the market for this? People too lazy to goto the video store AND who also don't have pay-per-view AND don't want to subscribe to NetFlix? Yeah right, I'm sure these 800 people are going to love DRM-DVD.
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jace of Fuse! (72042) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @02:27AM (#5978765) Homepage
    Will it last longer in a low pressure environment like in the mountains?

    A few things can be assumed. First off, the estimate of 48 hours is probably just that. If the movie only lasts 48 hours, or if it happens to last 80, then it was all just chance one way or the other.

    I'm guessing they probably say 48 hours, because that is the minimum it could last. The point behind the movie is that it does decay, and it's not so much a matter of how long that decay actually takes.

    Next, if the reaction happens actually because of contact with air, then it's safe to assume that it actually NEEDS constant exposure to that air to react. If that's the case, no problem. Gloss clearcoat will easily prevent the air from reacting and can be purchased in a spray can at any hardware store. I'm suspecting that if you buy one of these movies and place it label down and give it an even, clean, and complete cover of clearcoat, the reaction will probably stop.
  • by mobets (101759) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @03:59AM (#5979005) Journal
    Actually, they seem to support recycling: http://www.flexplay.com/recycle.html [flexplay.com]

    also in their FAQ: http://www.flexplay.com/faq.html#recycle [flexplay.com]
  • by plj (673710) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @04:23AM (#5979065)
    I'm not exactly an environmentalist, but everything is going throw-away it seems.

    I think somebody should tell them to build such dual-layer disks, whose upper layer would be self-destructing, and lower layer normal dvd+/-rw. Such disks would be easily reusable, yet meet their original purpose from rentals' point of view.

    But wait... that would make MPAA embrace writable disks. How absolutely dreadful! To hell then with environment protection, profit!
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @05:03AM (#5979132)
    I seriously doubt the trigger mechanism is gas-related. That would mean all one needs to do is spray, (as somebody already suggested), the disk with a plastic coating of some sort. 3M the disk into immortality. I'm sure a company charged with coming up with a paranoid scheme of self-destructing media is smart enough to out-wit the average Slashdotter armed with a spray can.

    I'm betting that the disk is made with photo-sensitive plastic, and that the envelope it comes in is sealed against light, not air.

    To activate the disk, (to make it readable), you probably need to let it expose for a while, (like a Polaroid snapshot), and then 48 hours later, after the initial exposure, the chemical photo-alters beyond the range readable by the average disk player.

    Not a bad system. --If you're a paranoid media company charged with keeping a stranglehold on knowledge.

    If you want to crack such a system, you'll need to own a computer with ripping software. Luckily, this will remain a possibility forever, since the National Security State wants people to remain distracted with all the dumb movies and bullshit media designed to keep their attention away from the actual important things going on in the world.

    The best way to lock down a geek? Give them a technical puzzle and 'forbid' them from solving it. You could sell pig-shit to a nerd if you encrypted it first.


    -FL

  • by Corrado (64013) <rnhurt@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday May 17, 2003 @05:17AM (#5979158) Homepage Journal
    Yea, if you mail the disk to a recycler Missouri. Using your own envelopes, stamps, time, effort. Yea, that will happen quite a bit around here. </sarcasm>

    However, if I can toss the disk in my city recycling bin that might not be too bad...
  • This will never fly, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by imadork (226897) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @07:14AM (#5979374) Homepage
    many people have commented on various methods to make the disc last longer. Spraying chemicals in a vaccum, or other methods.

    They may be outside the capability of the average consumer, but if anyone figures out a way of doing it cost-effectively in volume, then there's a business opportunity there;
    Step 1: buy a self-destructing rental for $5,
    Step 2: run it through your process which you've got down to $4/disc
    Step 3: sell it for $15.
    Step 4: Profit!

    Sure, it may be of dubious legality, and will be made definitively illegal in the U.S.. But that will not stop some shady organizations from trying to espablish a huge grey market in the U.S. or elsewhere!

    You think that's unrealistic? Well, disposable camera producers are fighting a similar problem. Disposable cameras typically get returned to the manufacturer for recycling. But several "businesses" started buying used camera bodies for $.10 each directly from photo developing places and re-loading them with film and re-selling them on the grey market. The big disposable camera producers are pissed off about this and fire off lawsuits left and right when they find someone doing this, but there's not much more they can do. Everyone involved is just trying to make a profit: the manufacturer can try to buy back the camera at $.15, but someone will offer $.20, and how much profit do you thing those camera manufacturers really make per unit?

  • Re:So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blue Stone (582566) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @07:27AM (#5979411) Homepage Journal
    This is the death of rental stores, like Blockbuster (and more unhappily, small, local rental stores.)

    Now any shop, supermarket or garage, can get into the rental business.

    Let me guess, the MPAA, or whoever doesn't mind technological advances that put other people out of business, but when it's them... well, the sky is falling.

  • Copy it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @07:54AM (#5979472) Journal
    I thought the prime time for ripping CD's and DVD's was as soon as you got them out of the box? that way there are fewer scratches and less chances of errors (ok modern error correction is pretty good but still..) So this is another pointless technology? well atleast now people will have a real reason to "backup for personal use"
  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mattrix2k (632351) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @08:39AM (#5979621)
    Hmmm... depends how far away your movie rental place is and how you get there. The pollution preventing by halving (or more than halving if supermarkets etc jump on the bandwagon) the use of a car may outweigh the amount of rubbish produced. Especially if they allow you to take the case next time and just put the DVD in it.
  • by Peale (9155) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:07AM (#5979738) Homepage Journal
    A lot of people are speculating that exposure to air is what will cause these disks to cease working. My hypothesis would be an exposure to light.

    After being exposed to light, the disk then takes approximately 48 hours for the chemical agent to cure. It's probably some derivative of silver nitrate (used in photographs) and will opaque the disk, and the laser will then be unable to read it.

    Just my .02
  • by jargon (75774) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:33AM (#5979850) Homepage
    Well recycling is a nice idea, but not always a good one. Most of the time, people say "recycling" when then really mean "downcycling": reusing a material after it has gone through a process that drops its quality.

    For instance, when you melt down plastic bottles, you are mixing different plastics together and introducing impurities into the "new" plastic. You now have crappy plastic. You often add some fresh material to the "recycled" material to make it usable. Overall the process is expensive, and often the chemicals used aren't terribly environmentally friendly, and you really don't know if the recycled plastic is healthy - will it off-gas into your food?

    This is true for metal and paper recycling as well - any recycling where the material hasn't been designed to be cleanly extracted and recycled.

    The best "recycling" is simple reuse. To not chuck the product, but to either refill or otherwise reuse the product.

    It does appear we are in a worsening trend of products that are designed for short use. These are poor quality products with clever marketing. My crappy plastic containers become "single use!" and now I can sell a boatload of them.

    I won't be buying disposable DVDs any time soon.
  • disposable society (Score:2, Interesting)

    by f00zbll (526151) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @09:41AM (#5979885)
    All this tells me is corporate america loves disposable society where everything moves towards use once and throw away. There is no way in hell I'm going to fork out 2 or 5 dollars for once of these lame DVD's. Hell, i will gladly pay 25 to order DVD's from Canada, UK or any other country that treats consumers like human beings. Disney can take their straight to video crap and blow it out their rear. Disney hasn't made anything good in the last 8 years and never will until the idiot CEO is kicked out of office. Eisner has done everything in his power to ruin the company walt built. for those who don't remember, disney was created so that both parents and kids could find entertainment. He made the point of making his movies intelligent and thoughtful. Not moron, thoughtless pieces of snot.
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Orne (144925) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @10:30AM (#5980090) Homepage
    CDs & DVDs are a thin layer of reflective material (which is the data) coated with a protective clear layer (which is why you can "scratch" a CD and still listen to it).

    From your article, it implies that the protective outer layer is now chemically treated to go "opaque" within 48 hours (from red to black) after being exposed to air, which would make it literally "impenetrable to the laser".

    The reflective layer underneath would still be readable (and still decypherable), if you could figure out how to remove the outer coatings... This would be interesting, if you could develop a chemical bath to reverse the oxidation process. Just soak it until it turns clear again, and re-use -- not ditigally "hackable", but chemically.
  • Re:Ways to crack it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gumbi west (610122) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @11:15AM (#5980334) Journal
    Next, if the reaction happens actually because of contact with air, then it's safe to assume that it actually NEEDS constant exposure to that air to react. If that's the case, no problem.

    Or the reaction scheme could be

    • A +air -> B -> C

    where B is the readable state and degrades on its own to C. i.e. The air makes some unstable compound that makes the disk readable and that compound just decomposes on its own (no help from air).

    The reason to believe that this is that (acording to above posts) they thought of forcing you to get air in there in the first place, so the probably thought of you excluding air (oxygen) after you started the reaction to make it readable.

    Dificult to tell with out more information.

  • One time pads (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cozminsky (452030) on Saturday May 17, 2003 @12:04PM (#5980543) Homepage
    This is a great way to make a 1 time pad. Just put a random bunch of 1s and 0s on 2 discs with this tech. Then when you have a sensitive message to send you encode it with this disc, which then self destructs after 2 days. If the time could be made shorter it would be good. But it would be pretty obvious if someone had peeled off the protective layer that your message had been compromised. The only danger would be if the media was somehow readable after the rusting process with a special treatment or the like.
    I guess you could always make doubly sure by damaging the disk further.
  • by sulli (195030) * on Saturday May 17, 2003 @05:50PM (#5982476) Journal
    As it was for DIVX. And we all know how many of those were recycled (hint - more than expected, since most of the discs were never bought!)

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

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