"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."