No laser anywhere that I know of has a pre-set “This color does this action”
Rather, you set the colors in design to indicate lines which should be treated the same as one another, then when loading the cut, you decide how to run each one.
This is the interface for my Lasersaur. Those 6 colors are the specific colors in the loaded cut file. You can have somewhere around 32 different colors in any file. While you can pre-set the speed and power level in the cut file, you can also change it in this screen. In each pass, you set the speed/power, and which colors to follow the cut path for.
Now… the point where confusion easily comes in, would be laser cutting services. They have this interface available for themselves, but they don’t want to deal with custom requests on every single file they ever cut. So they make it a requirement that you set each color to a specific type of cut. Then the only customization they need is to append the proper presets to your file for the material which will be used.
From the Brad Feld video, it looks like GlowForge goes a step beyond. His file was all black lines, he never changed color at all from what I noticed/remember. Yet he was able to choose different speed and power settings for different components in his final file. Which is pretty damn awesome (you don’t have to pre-plan every minor tweak, or go back to the computer when you figure out one line should be done differently)