Have a long queue of tech items to catch up on -- before returning to "Going to Hell," China-US relations, new small-plane developments, beer, and, yes, "work." First up on the tech front: Nexus One phone, as previously mentioned here.
I could try to be fancy in introducing my comment, but why bother: This thing is great. It's now been eight weeks since I switched my SIM card from a perfectly good Blackberry Curve to the Nexus One to see how it worked. I've never thought of switching it back and no longer have any idea where the trusty little Blackberry might be. (Sorry, BB! It's not your fault.)
My one big complaint remains: typing on the on-screen "soft" keyboard, like an iPhone's, just is a nuisance. On the other hand, the voice-recognition software is usable enough that more and more I rely on it instead of typing -- for Web searches, to dial phone numbers, to give map and navigation instructions. Medium complaint: the battery makes it through a full day of use, but just barely. On the other hand, the battery is easily swapped out, unlike an iPhone's, so in theory you could take a charged spare. Small weird complaint: most users I've spoken with mention that it's surprisingly hard to figure out how to keep the phone-call ringer ON while turning the email notification ringer OFF. Yes, there's a way -- it's just not obvious.
In other aspects, this is great and better the more I use it. Seamless integration with Gmail, Google search, and Google's calendar, task, maps, and voice functions -- as you might expect. Somewhat more surprisingly, a full and sharp version of Google Earth; plus, a voice-powered Google Translate function that spans a very large number of languages and, on the ones I have tried, works better than I would have thought. (You say a phrase in English and it gives you, say, the Chinese version -- in characters. Hasn't worked so well when we try to speak Chinese into it! Maybe that shows it actually is working....) Also integrated with, gasp, non-Google functions: Pandora, NPR and NYT news, lots more.
The "Navigate" function, with spoken-out driving directions, led me astray once -- the first time I used it. I was heading to the airport in Duluth, a route I actually knew, and it steered me onto a road it didn't realize had been closed. Since then, flawless.
After the jump, a recent paper from inside Google about other aspects of the phone. It's important to note again that I never used an iPhone so can't do head-to-head comparisons. But on its own this is a real contender.