John Landry came by yesterday. In the years since I worked with him at Lotus he's gone on to become an angel investor and hands-on entrepreneur in many ventures. His most recent company, Adesso, was recently rechristened Tubes and has repositioned itself around an application built on the Adesso platform.
Tubes is basically a file-sharing application. Once a user has downloaded and installed the free software from the Tubes website, dragging and dropping a file is sufficient to share it with other Tubes users, subject to whatever permissions are assigned. In this way it is similar to Microsoft's FolderShare but with some powerful additional capabilities. The system works on or offline (like Groove or Notes), such that a user can drag and drop files while disconnected to the network and then have everything automatically replicate when he plugs in. Whenever a file goes in or out of the system, a "watcher" extracts the metadata and puts it in a database and a "factory" module can be invoked to make transformations to the file. John showed us how he can set up a snapstream to capture a TV show at his house, as soon as a show is finished, Tubes automatically creates a low-resolution version and ships it to his laptop, where he can watch it at his leisure. Another application they did for Mother's Day sent pictures from family members' computers to Mom's, where they were turned into a screen saver.
Tubes does a lot of clever things behind the scenes, such as making a hash of each file so it doesn't need to store multiple copies, and can recognize if an old file has a new name. It also makes a unique URL for each file so they can be shared with non-tubes users.
Landry says Tubes has gotten 60,000 users since they launched the new service. I hope they do an interface to Flickr, TypePad, and Linux, so I can upload pictures from my camera and have them automatically converted to the proper resolution and posted to all my favorite sites at once, according to the tags I set.