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"Series of Tubes" Metaphor Implemented

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the drop-here-pop-there dept.

Communications 266

meisteg writes to tell us about Tubes: a beta application that uses a tube metaphor to enable users to share files over the Internet. The Windows-only app is free and the company hopes to make money on an enhanced version targeted at businesses. See this video for some details of how Tubes works. From the article: "[Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens] endured ridicule last year for his assertion that the Internet is 'a series of tubes.' But one Web startup hopes to bring that metaphor to life with a new service that makes it easy for people to share videos, songs, pictures and other big files."

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well (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622804)

writes to tell us about Tubes: a beta application that uses a tube metaphor to enable users to share files over the Internet.

Good. Because we all know that it's not a big truck.

well-Planespeak. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622862)

OK so let's hear your explaination. And NO geekspeak.

Re:well-Planespeak. (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623066)

"OK so let's hear your explaination. And NO geekspeak."

Good point. How would one explain how the internet works to someone with no clue at all? I mentioned the word "server" to my sister the other week, and she had to ask what it was. After trying to explain how it was different than her Dell laptop, I finally sent her a picture off google images of a big server rack and she finally got it.

Geeks take it for granted what we already understand. To others, it might as well be magic.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623172)

I find it easier to make people understand using slightly simplified explanations which use esoteric terms, instead of trying to "bring it down to their level." People don't like to be coddled like that. If you start saying, "The internet is like a series of tubes, not like a dumptruck." you run the risk of people feeling like you're being a condescending prick. "I'm not 12." That's what sounded so off about the Stevens explanation to most people who had even a passing familiarity with the Internet.

  People are good at picking out the definitions of words from context. We had to learn English without knowing any other language, didn't we? What makes us so frightened of "hard-sounding" words? We have a native facility for that, so it doesn't hurt to use terms in your lay explanations.

Re:well-Planespeak. (5, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623662)

Here goes nothing. Stevens got it ass backwards. The internet IS more like a truck... or really a bunch of them. It's not like a tube. A tube is a continuous flow. A roadway is a bunch of independent bits of flow all moving in different directions, much like the internet.

The internet is a lot like an information superhighway... or more accurately, a highly interconnected network of roads and bridges that span the globe. Some roads are toll roads where people can pay to get somewhere faster just like you pay for a faster connection to the internet. There's nothing wrong with that. Some roads have fast speed limits, some have slower speed limits, and that all factors into how fast the truck gets to its destination. The internet works the same way. Those trucks are called packets, and the roads are called many names---pipes, trunk lines, and so on---but you can easily think of them as being like roadways.

One big difference is that in the internet, you can pay money to your home state for the right to drive in the HOV lane or on other fast roads. People who want to get there faster can do so. Every state cooperates to allow drivers from other states to use those fast lanes because they know that those drivers are bringing things that people from their states have ordered. In effect, those trucks are driving at the request of the local residents. This generally works well; it's a lot like a nationwide, flat-rate version of FasTrak.

However, some companies don't like the status quo. The non-neutral net that they propose can best be compared to Arkansas deciding that they are going to turn some of their faster roads into "special" toll roads. On those roads, they will charge $1 for trucks from Arkansas, but charge $100 for an identical truck from California. Why? Because California provides more trucks. If the truck from California doesn't pay that increased fee, they have take the slower, non-toll road. The people who ultimately are harmed, though, are the local residents who must ultimately bear the cost, either through paying those trucking companies more so that they can pay their state more or through having to wait longer to get their packages.

Network neutrality laws are designed to make sure that the Arkansas states on the internet can't play those sorts of games. Ultimately, without network neutrality, the consumer loses.

How's that?

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623176)

Did you also explain that her Dell laptop could, in fact, be a server if she so chose?

Re:well-Planespeak. (5, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623230)

There are two kinds of servers, Dump Truck Servers and Wheelbarrow Servers. Her laptop could be a wheelbarrow server (or two or three), but not a Dump Truck Server ...

Re:well-Planespeak. (4, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623196)

After trying to explain how it was different than her Dell laptop, I finally sent her a picture off google images of a big server rack and she finally got it.

But what did she "get" by looking at the picture? Did she actually understand the server conceptually? Or did it further add to mystery, just with an added mental picture of racks of intimidating equipment?

After all, her Dell laptop could easily perform as a server. And a rack-mount machine can easily function as a workstation. The type of enclosure does not determine the function.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

Amani576 (971730) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623420)

I'm pretty sure he understands that...
But, explaining something like a server (which can be complicated as it is) to someone who pretty much only knows how to say, play music, games, browse the internet and cut her computer on and off... something like a picture of a big rack mounted server may be a very good image metaphor for the average person who doesn't want or care too much about how a computer works, they just want it to work... that a server is complicated... but it's what makes the internet the internet...
GR

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623380)

I generally use mail as a metaphor for packets, but I suppose it works as a metaphor for the whole process.

A message is addressed and sent to somebody, who opens it up and reads it, then reacts to whatever it says--possibly by writing their own letter and sending it to the original person. The difference being, of course, that the messages are sent over a wire at extremely fast speeds rather than put into a post office box. You could probably extend the analogy to include "mail sorting machines" along the way for routers/switches, but it might be more than they need (or want) to know.

Since I'm sure people understand the mail system at least at a high level, they should understand the metaphor. If they want to know in more detail than that, chances are you should abandon metaphors entirely and just explain the process for real.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623846)

A message is addressed and sent to somebody, who opens it up and reads it, then reacts to whatever it says--possibly by writing their own letter and sending it to the original person. The difference being, of course, that the messages are sent over a wire at extremely fast speeds rather than put into a post office box. You could probably extend the analogy to include "mail sorting machines" along the way for routers/switches, but it might be more than they need (or want) to know.

One problem with that metaphor is that email - the thing most people want explained - functions rather differently than snail mail, from the point of view of the user. Their mail comes from whoever the hell sent it to their ISP ("post office"). What happens then? Well, the mailman doesn't deliver it, at least until I call the lazy bastard and tell him to come give me my mail (POP) or read me my mail and save it for me (IMAP).

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623530)

Tell them internet is a giant cup of soda, you the kind you get a mini marts and such. Broadband is one of those jumbo straws and dial up is one of the coffee stiirer dealies.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623192)

the problem is if you are trying to make laws about something you have to have more then a laymans understanding of it in order to make the right decisions. making laws and regulations about something which you have little to no understanding about is a recipe for disaster.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623690)

Which perfectly explains the sorry state our world is in...

Re:well-Planespeak. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623700)

...making laws and regulations about something which you have little to no understanding about is a recipe for disaster.

Or huge profits for you and your accomplices. Some of these laws come about for different reasons than you think. Most are simply there to generate revenue. One method is to make lots of rules and then build huge bureaucracies, which you can then fill up with your friends and relatives, around them. Some laws make absolutely no sense to us, but when you look at the results, specifically how the money flows, you think, ah, so that's what's for. In the case of the internet, most of the regulations are designed to protect the publishing industry, but they provide the appearance of trying to eliminate an imaginary boogey man. I have to admit, it's pretty slick. The Americans are the absolute best at this, due to that pesky constitution they have to deal with. Masters of disguises, they are. A more efficient propaganda machine you will never see.

Re:well-Planespeak. (1, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623430)

There are special computers that have pages, like from a book. Those special computers have something that lets you go to them, like each telephone has a unique number, but it more resembles words. Like woolworths.com is the "phone number" for the special computer with Woolworths pages on it. You type in the "phone number" into a special program, and it sends the "phone number" over the telephone line and like a telephone number, it knows where to go. It goes to the right computer, gets the page and sends it back to your computer over the telephone line. Your special program then displays the information. You can click on certain words and that will get other pages from the woolworths.com computer.

Much less misleading then "the internet is a series of tubes" and easy to understand.

Re:well (1, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622978)

It may not be a truck, but it looks like they'll be shipping plenty of things to you.... let's just hope you know you're signing up for them...

From their privacy page:

Log Files

Other Use of Information

Adesso may share aggregated demographic information with its partners and advertisers.
This aggregated information is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person. Adesso may use an outside shipping company to ship orders and uses a credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies have access to user information in order to perform their functions, but these companies are not authorized to use personal information for any other purposes.

Adesso may partner with other parties to provide specific goods and services. When you sign up for such goods or services, Adesso will share names or other contact information that is necessary for the third party to provide these goods and services. Adesso does not authorize third party providers to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose related to these good or services.

Re:well (4, Informative)

phritz (623753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623634)

Sooo ... you would prefer that they not tell Fedex your address when shipping something to you? Seriously, that's the most standard privacy clause you can find.

Re:well (1)

juanescalante (848065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623670)

gotta love the slashdot moderation system

Re:well (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623674)

Yeah but with all those bold-faced phrases and implied wrong-doing, it's fun to read!

Big Truck (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623118)

As Mac users know, The Big Truck [panic.com] file-sharing application has been around for years!

Re:Big Truck (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623232)

Personally, I prefer a Ferrari filled with 60GB iPods for my bandwidth needs.

Re:well (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623362)

Wish it was. A truck full of movies would arrive in a lot less time than it takes to bit torrent a truck load...

Already done with anything P2P-based (0, Redundant)

MukiMuki (692124) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622814)

Doesn't Bittorrent do this already?

Re:Already done with anything P2P-based (3, Interesting)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623040)

This could actually be useful... it's sort of combining BitTorrent and RSS. You subscribe to a content channel, and as people with publishing permissions add content, it updates on your local system. Also tracks changes to existing documents, so it could be good for collaboration, although any serious use would likely want a version control system that supports conflict merges. For the average non-techie, though, this could be pretty handy.

It's a shame they're aiming for such a tech-illiterate user base, though... their site doesn't seem to mention whether they do BitTorrent-style bandwidth sharing to distribute content.

Re:Already done with anything P2P-based (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623506)

their site doesn't seem to mention whether they do BitTorrent-style bandwidth sharing to distribute content.
I was wondering the same thing.

From watching the beginning of their presentation [tubesnow.com] , it seems like the owner of the tube has to upload to everyone, one at a time.

Again, according to their presentation, when a member of the tube updates the share, the owner propogates this update out, one person at a time.

If they really used such an inefficient system, well... maybe someone will implement the same idea, but with a trackerless bittorrent backend.

Re:Already done with anything P2P-based (5, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623198)

Doesn't Bittorrent do this already?

Yes, but it uses a series of waves. many small waves from other users combine to become a tsunami of information washing over you.

This is an entirely different type of software. It uses a series of tubes coming from other users. The more tubes you have pointing to you, the more internets you can get at once!

"The Windows-only app" (1)

The Real Toad King (981874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622822)

So much for advertising a new application on /. when more than half the userbase can't use it.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (2, Insightful)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622930)

On the contrary, there is significant overlap between PC users and Slashdot's core audience of unimaginative squares and dweebs.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623644)

Yep. And I'd imagine more than half of the Linux users know how to install and use Wine, too.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622948)

Do you think that more than half of Slashdot users don't have a Windows box in addition to their main OS?

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623060)

For more than half Windows is their main OS.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623068)

Speaking for myself, I've never owned a PC in my life, Windows or otherwise.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (2, Funny)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623104)

"Speaking for myself, I've never owned a PC in my life, Windows or otherwise."

Holy shit! You must be posting using your psychic abilities. I alway knew mutants were out there. Are you one of the X-Men? :)

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623160)

It's true, we Mac users are a special bunch [macslash.org] . And yes, some even say it's genetic.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623386)

So is it a computing fruit or something like that? I can't believe you are actually being smug about vocabulary. Macs look just like PCs, act just like PCs, and dancing out on a limb here, I believe that they are in fact personal computers. That they are now Wintel compatible makes the argument even more miserable for you.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623276)

Holy shit! You must be posting using your psychic abilities.

That's an interesting euphemism for "Mom's computer."

Re:"The Windows-only app" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623370)

Only if by "Mom's computer" you mean "Gay Lover's powerbook."

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623586)

Ouch! I wasn't going there... Actually, Mom's computer is probably part of the problem!

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

benplaut (993145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623508)

Sure, but do you really think that they're going to use the least secure box on their network (assumed) for p2p?

Re:"The Windows-only app" (1)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623692)

Windows is an app. It runs on desktop # 8 on my computer, as I've designated that desktop for vmware. It's handy for some things like checking web pages in IE.

"The Windows-only app"-Fire,aim,foot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622964)

"So much for advertising a new application on /. when more than half the userbase can't use it."

The Windows world grieves for your loss.

Re:"The Windows-only app" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623096)

THANK YOU!

Tube == VPN (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622834)

doesnt VPN do this already?

Re:Tube == VPN (2, Informative)

Pooua (265915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622994)

VPN does not perform automatic synchronization. Tubes is supposed to do so.

Re:Tube == VPN (3, Funny)

kmkz (1022021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623216)

No, VPN == Pipe. There's a big difference, you know

I have started an OS project for this (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622842)

Initially it will be a series of pringle tubes duct taped together and connected to users computers thru which they can share files.

Re:I have started an OS project for this (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623514)

Back in the 60s our local post office had a pneumatic tube inter-office mail, stick the capsule in and poof, it gets pushed to the destination.

For the youngsters amongst us, this was featured on Lost recently.

I have the impression from movies that at least in some large cities this was used to send packets and letters from one building to another in business districts in the 40s and 50s.

Re:I have started an OS project for this (1)

talljustin (1051744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623714)

sounds like a ghetto vacuum tube system.

No thanks (2, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622858)

No more emailing or uploading large files. Shared content is pushed to you automatically without you taking any action and everything shared is always available on everyone's computers, even when there isn't an Internet connection.

I don't care who I've invited to do what, I really don't want my friends to be able to put stuff on my PC as they feel fit. Anyone that has ever shared a printer in a University house will know the feeling - it doesn't take long until a hundred pages of "you're gay" wake you up in the middle of the night.

Re:No thanks (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623002)

it doesn't take long until a hundred pages of "you're gay" wake you up in the middle of the night.

Speaking from experience?

[Just say] No thanks [to kiddie porn] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623562)

"I don't care who I've invited to do what, I really don't want my friends to be able to put stuff on my PC as they feel fit."

Then you're going to hate Tor.

Windoze Only (1)

Fyre2012 (762907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622864)

Hm, that's funny... these tubes seem to run windows
System Requirements: Microsoft Windows XP running Service Pack 2 + Microsoft .NET Framework

Oh snap! Not compatible with my Internets Tubes, such a shame.

Share files on the Internet, right? (1, Funny)

Giloo (1008735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622884)

So, where do I get the torrent? Oh wait..

Pure marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622890)

This is just a marketing strategy to try and build hype for their product. Explain to me how you implement the concept of "internet as a series of tubes"?. It's not a metaphor for anything - it's a running joke of how Ted Stephens is in the pockets of lobbyists and is trying to "educate" people on the importance of abolishing net neutrality.

Stupid old Senators (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622892)

Damn him for not saying that the Internets is a series of hot horny women who want to share their charms with virgin geeks everywhere. What the hell do I need with tubes?

Re:Stupid old Senators (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622924)

Well, a properly sized tube and a tube of astroglide can approximate the hot horny women...

Re:Stupid old Senators (1)

Dissman (997434) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622956)

But that'd be stating the obvious... we netzians call it pr0n!

What's wrong with tubes? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622914)

I know people like to make fun of the Senator, but what really is so wrong with thinking of the internet as tubes. Are the wires and fiber which can only transmit so much data at a time that different from tubes that can only move so much material? People talk about needing a "fatter pipe" without bringing on ridicule, and a pipe is nothing but a tube.

Or is it just that the rest of the Senator's speach that was ignorant, and people just latch onto tubes as a one word reminder.

Re:What's wrong with tubes? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623110)

Or is it just that the rest of the Senator's speach that was ignorant, and people just latch onto tubes as a one word reminder.

The dude more or less said that it took him two days to get an email because the tubes were full.

KFG

Re:What's wrong with tubes? (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623324)

No, it didn't take two days to get an email, it took two days to get "an internet." I'm downloading the internet right now, and it's been taking a lot longer than two days. That guy must have some hella tubes for it to only take two days.

Re:What's wrong with tubes? (2, Insightful)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623398)

Tubes as a metaphor wouldn't be problematic in and of itself. However, after saying "it's a series of tubes" he elaborated by saying "it's not a truck". Whilst babbling in this manner he said his staff sent him "an internet" and it took 2 days to get to him because the tubes were full. He basically has no understanding of the subject and butchered what could have been an ok metaphor.

Re:What's wrong with tubes? (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623424)

I think it's more like a series of trucks connected by a bunch of tubes. Sometimes it's all about sending stuff through the tube (IRC), sometimes it's about dumping stuff on a truck (google has some big ones), most of the time it's a convination of both.

I think we laugh at the guy because of the bizarre situation: a senator had an idea about how the internet worked (that he pulled out of his ass) and when he discovered he was wrong, he just went out to enlighten the rest of the world about it, like he just made a big discovery for all humanity.

The relavent quote: (4, Informative)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623592)

Here is why he gets mocked:

"There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

"But this service is now going to go through the internet* and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

"Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

"Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially. ...

"They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

" It's a series of tubes.

"And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

"Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

"Do you know why?

"Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people."

This quote (more fully found here [wired.com] ; there is also a link to the audio recording on that page) doesn't actually get at what the Senator was talking about--how corporations clog the "tubes," causing them to be unavailable to the average consumer for sending "internets," and therefore telephone companies should be allowed to charge fees to content providers to discourage clogging the "tubes."

Here is a tracking of the Senator's delayed "internet." [wired.com]

Also see, of course, the relevant Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] .

[and this is why we should probably hand decisionmaking authority with regard to this type of regulation to an expert body, rather than leaving it to congresspeople who don't even know the proper use of the word "email."]

What's wrong with tubes? sheltered childhood? (1)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623830)

It's a lousy metaphor and it isn't helpful. We have enough metaphors for the internet already. Clearly all the good ones were already taken, and now they are scraping the bottom of the barrel, trying to find one that will be easily googlable.

I got a tube for ya, right here.

What's next? Hand-job metaphors? "The internet is really like a big Circle Jerk(s) [wikipedia.org]

Commercial Plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17622928)

This is a commercial plain and simple.

You got tubes... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622946)

But what about the little people running inside the tubes to deliver messages?

The burning question (3, Funny)

jspoon (585173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622952)

How long does it take to send an internet over it? Sometimes it takes days to receive them on the current implementation.

Just Marketing spin. (3, Insightful)

XorNand (517466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622958)

There are a zillion apps out there that accomplish the same thing. This is just one company riding a meme for publicity sakes. God how I hate marketers...

Re:Just Marketing spin. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623156)

I am the marketer at TubesNow.com and my name is Steve. And no, we didn't name it Tubes because of the Senator from Alaska although we do get a chuckle out of it here in Boston. We named it Tubes because of the metaphor we borrowed: the pneumatic tube used at many bank drive ins to transfer documents & cash. You know that cool thing at the bank the teller uses to send you money with a whoosh? Tubes is the digital version of that - letting you share with many people at once. Just like that bank tube, Tubes is secure, bi-directional, personal (you see and wave at the teller behind glass while she counts out your money), private, nearly instantaneous and fun. I remember getting lollipops in the tube when my Dad would drive to the bank (way before ATMs) and I practically begged him to use the bank tube because I was trying to figure out how it worked. We could have called it Star Trek (but we didn't, that would really be bad marketing) since some people think of it as part Replicator and part Transporter. We think it is cool and I hope you try it. It is beta software and we're hoping the slashdot crowd helps us make it better.

And to the other person worried about getting his computer filled with stuff that other people send you, be aware that we implemented a feature called "On Demand" that lets you see what people are sending you before you accept. Or you can accept it all, delete your local copy, and request a local copy any time you want, on any computer.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them on our forum!

Re:Just Marketing spin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623408)

interestingly I had a dream about this two nights ago (using a browser based OS though) not knowing anything about what you guys were doing. This happens allot, and i'm mentioning it here because, as they say, enough is enough. One day i'm going to have an original thought for myself instead of tapping into the public consciousness and be a bagillionaire. Maybe I'll write a spam filter for those with ESP.

anyway, i get the concept. good work.

Great! An easier way... (1)

SupplyMission (1005737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17622968)

...to send some tube steak to my (female) friends (with benefits) when I'm not there in person!

Re:Great! An easier way... (1, Funny)

William_Lee (834197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623016)

...to send some tube steak to my (female) friends (with benefits) when I'm not there in person!

Hmmmm... A poster on slashdot with access to a friend with benefits...Somehow I doubt it, unless the benefits you're referring to are access to a Segway and a D&D partner...

Re:Great! An easier way... (1)

SupplyMission (1005737) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623108)

What can I say... once the girls witness the girth of my tube, they can't stop downloading my content.

I am TubeSteak... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623326)

...and i can confirm his access to female friends with benefits.

Normally, he calls me up, we work out a schedule and I drive over to provide benefits for his lady friends. Honestly though, the commute is a real killer.

Having a series of tubes would make everything vastly more convenient.

/For the record, I've never played D&D
//Or ridden a Segway

Would this even be news without Ted Stevens? (1)

HerrEkberg (971000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623046)

This company makes a metaphor about tubes, and suddenly it is news as if Ted Stevens' assertion might perhaps have been correct all along. But a user interface metaphor including tubes doesn't mean the internet is a series of them.

In fact, I have an application where I drop files onto a duck (Cyberduck widget for Mac OS X), with the result that they are transferred to someplace else, but still the internet is not a series of ducks (I hope).

Re:Would this even be news without Ted Stevens? (1)

theodicey (662941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623556)

"You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's ducks all the way down!"

Interesting Product (1)

Pooua (265915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623058)

It looks like an interesting product. The most useful feature for me would be the ability to synchronize files easily between all my devices. I do have to wonder what would happen if malicious programs were shared through a tube? Sally wants to share a file that has a virus, so it instantly updates all the computers attached to the Tube. I suppose virus scanning software would work, but that wasn't covered in the demonstration.

So what's so new about this (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623062)

All decentralized version control systems do this kind of stuff already.

DropChute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623082)

Isn't this what DropChute did like years ago?

http://www.hilgraeve.com/dropchute/pro/index.html [hilgraeve.com]

iFolder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623092)

Marketing vs Privacy (2, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623114)

Many slashdotters so far have commented on the brutal marketspaek going on in this presentation, but this concept has one thing going for it that torrent networks so far haven't touched on very well... the use of a private share network that is collaborative.

I think Tubes looks like it will catch on. If sites like Facebook and Technorati implement some hooks into it, there is no telling where this could go.

Re:Marketing vs Privacy (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623368)

I think Tubes looks like it will catch on. If sites like Facebook and Technorati implement some hooks into it, there is no telling where this could go.

To Alaska, perhaps? But then there probably wouldn't be anything at the other end.

who invented the tubes? (1)

BigMike (122378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623134)

Someday Sen Stevens will brag about inventing the tubes, and we'll still make fun ...

Grouper much? (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623150)

It looks like a total rip off of Grouper but that's okay cuz if it works the way they say it does, it kicks Grouper's ass several times over in features and functionality. btw I hope it has a little animation of the file being put into one of those containers and the bank and sucked up a tube cuz that's totally cool :-)

Or WASTE (1)

devilsbrigade (930153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623354)

It also seems a lot like a program WASTE we used to use here at my job to download music from each other without being detected running a P2P network. It was basically described as a "series or hidden TUNNELS in the network". It was interesting because you had to have approval to join the network, and only people who had your private key could connect directly to you, so the network was usually limited to a few trusted people.

It doesn't send Internets (1)

techmuse (160085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623154)

The slides showed Tubes sending Word files, spreadsheets, and other data through the tubes. But Senator Ted Stevens clearly described the capability to send entire Internets through the Tubes. If this can't send Internets, it is clearly not a complete Tube implementation.

Yay! A metaphor! (2, Funny)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623264)

A metaphor that enables users to share files! I always thought we needed similes for that. How foolish of me.

Security Issues? (1)

TheSexican (796334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623280)

Wouldn't it be pretty easy to, say, program some sort of virus/worm that uses tubes to replicate itself and then decimate a whole network of tube-linked computers? I feel that I might wait a while before jumping into these tubes feet first, lest an alligator be at the other end.

Re:Security Issues? (1)

tyler.willard (944724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623566)

Not necessarily, it depends how the product is implemented. That said, email, IRC, and IM are all common malware vectors.

Yuo Fail It... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623290)

truth, for all collect any spille/d very sick a8d its Available to

The Real Tubes Metaphor (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623338)

I am the marketer at TubesNow.com and my name is Steve. And no, we didn't name it Tubes because of the Senator from Alaska although we do get a chuckle out of it here in Boston. We named it Tubes because of the metaphor we borrowed: the pneumatic tube used at many bank drive ins to transfer documents & cash. You know that cool thing at the bank the teller uses to send you money with a whoosh? Tubes is the digital version of that - letting you share with many people at once. Just like that bank tube, Tubes is secure, bi-directional, personal (you see and wave at the teller behind glass while she counts out your money), private, nearly instantaneous and fun. I remember getting lollipops in the tube when my Dad would drive to the bank (way before ATMs) and I practically begged him to use the bank tube because I was trying to figure out how it worked. We could have called it Star Trek (but we didn't, that would really be bad marketing) since some people think of it as part Replicator and part Transporter. We think it is cool and I hope you try it. It is beta software and we're hoping the slashdot crowd helps us make it better.

And to the other person worried about getting his computer filled with stuff that other people send you, be aware that we implemented a feature called "On Demand" that lets you see what people are sending you before you accept. Or you can accept it all, delete your local copy, and request a local copy any time you want, on any computer.

Hope that helps. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them on our forum!

Linux Equivalent (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623340)

So, the Linux equivalent to tubes would be, what?... pipes?

Re:Linux Equivalent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623710)

Actually, it seems more like Usenet [wikipedia.org] .

This is for staggeringly ignorant teens... (1)

jimhill (7277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623374)

...at least, that's what I'm guessing from the "hipcool" language used in their fora (a/k/a "forums"). Nearly every topic is seeded by an "rlunetta" who writes as though she were a 13-yo MySpaceFlickrFrapprButchrBakrCandlestickMakr type. Either Adesso has hired a prepubescent to serve as their public face or they're slickly targeting this at the demographic that has conflated a computer with a keyboard-loaded tellybision.

Get the scientists working on the tube technology (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623434)

... immediately.

-Tenacious D, "City Hall"

The Tubes were a GREAT band! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623614)

They sure made fun songs to listen to. "White Punks on Dope", "Talk to you later" and "She's a beauty". What's not to like about a band that would go on stage in suits & ties and have a lead singer named Fee Waybill?? :)

and the current release.... (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623814)

is broked.

I took a gander at the site and thought it would be interesting to play around with.
d/l and install. Watch a couple of the demo vids to see how it works.
Try to create a Tube - the vid and docs say type in a name and press create...

no go..
The advanced window appears asking me to 'Select an account' and this is required.
However this is a drop down box with no accounts pre-loaded and no apparent way to create them..
Can't even click the ellipsis button to select another folder to share

Pity cause it appears to be a good concept

How about a series of tunnels? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623862)

Aren't I kinda, sorta, doing the same thing with Filezilla and a vpn? It's seems more private, and I feel a bit more secure actually connecting directly to the other end instead of another middleman that will just roll over for "National Security Letters" and the sort. I don't find this thing to be really new and impressive. After seeing the site, it looks like just another gimmick for pre-teens who only be giving up all their info for the marketers.

FTS: "The only files that other will see are the files that you have chosen to share within a tube within the group of users you have invited. At no time do others actually read files from your system directly."

Uh huh, until the Pentagon wants to see. I suppose as long as you assume that you will have no privacy with this thing, then there sould be no problem.
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