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The Grumpy Editor's Twitter experience

Sep 26, 2010, 07:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Your editor, being the grumpy, older sort that he is, must confess that he has never quite understood the allure of services like Twitter. 140-Character broadcasts look an awful lot like a combination of the worst features of cellular short messaging and Usenet; it's conversation via bumper sticker. A local disaster recently pushed your editor to spend more time on the site; what follows are some observations, somewhat tenuously tied to the world of free software.

"While grumpily working through the US Labor Day "holiday," your editor noticed that the sky, as seen through the basement window, had turned a rather sickly shade of orange; the smell of smoke followed shortly thereafter. Drawn away from the keyboard for a quick look, your editor could not miss the fact that a large fire was burning in the hills to the west. While Colorado does not do forest fires on the scale of places like California (actually, we don't do anything on a Californian scale), wildfires are still a serious threat. When the sky fills with smoke, it's natural to want to know what's going on.

"What was going on is now known as the "Fourmile fire"; it burned something like 6600 acres (2600 hectares) of heavily-populated foothills and destroyed over 160 homes. Definitely worth knowing about."

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