Phil Nickinson

We're in the tall grass now, boys and girls. We're at that point in the year when Google's got a new Nexus coming down the pike, and the smartphone nerds are getting that annual tingling sensation not felt since puberty, or the release of the previous Nexus. All sanity and logic goes out the window, and drama ensues.

That, of course, brings us to the object of last week's infection, that painfully obvious fake "Sony Nexus X." Make no mistake, folks -- it was pretty clear from the start that it wasn't real. I said as much on Twitter before we published. Others were a bit stronger. Internally, we knew what we were looking at. I was done. But Alex likes to walk through this stuff, and he's got a good eye for debunking, so I gave him the green light. Could our post have been stronger? Perhaps. But I love that British sense of understatement. When our headline called the pictures "dubious," that's code for "utter shite." Make no mistake -- somebody was being polite.

I've never understood why folks throw out reason when it comes to new phones. Some call it "hypebeasting." I call it a pain in our collective asses. Fakes are nothing new, and they all have one thing in common: Frauds like these are perpetrated by feckless children, starved for attention. That's it. And in this case, it's twice as bad as you think. There's the attention the initial fraud receives, and then the added attention of when someone "comes clean," which is to say they own up to having lied, and we should all love them now for no longer lying. Someone should be rewarded for that? That's not what I teach my 6-year-old daughter, who's able to understand why that's wrong. I hate that I'm still talking about this, that I've given it the weight of this column.

But, frankly, I'm glad the kid who wasted his time with all this didn't even realize that we'd called bullshit, and that explained why. And I'm especially glad he didn't list us as his favorite Android site. An endorsement from a pathological liar is not an endorsement I want. I'm funny like that, I guess.

Good news, everyone! I've got happier thoughts ahead.

Speaking of endorsements ...

Generally when you see a quote from a review used in an advertisement for a device or app or whatever, we've gotten a heads up in advance, and the company asks permission. So when a quote from our Droid RAZR M review showed up in a Motorola e-mail advert, I'd vaguely remembered approving it early one morning when I was in South Korea. Still, it's cool to see, and it's great for the writer who gets featured. 

And then there's this one: Gadgetman007 pointed it out on Twitter late Friday night, in an in-app advertisement for an app review we did earlier this year. (Warning: Either of those links may be ever so slightly NSFW.) I could hear Jerry's laughter from a thousand miles away.

Election Day cometh

We're a little more than two weeks away from election not just a president, but deciding any number of state and local issues. I miss election night at the newspaper. I was in New York City in August during our primary election, sitting in my hotel room checking results online before cooler heads prevailed and I was summoned to a bar in Hell's Kitchen. (By the way, they've got an app so you can track the beers you've had.. How great is that? Now only if the website linked directly to Google Play, and I'd love to see the live-on-tap list added in.)

Oh, right. Election Day. I can't help but wonder how our phones may one day play a role in the process. Candidate apps are fine and all, but they're really nothing more than marketing tools. Smartphone arguably (or not) are one of the most important products of the last decade. There's got to be a way they can play a better part in one of the most important things we can do as adults.

And I'm curious if that's different in other countries.

120,000 feet straight down

It's been a week now since Felix Baumgartner took his two-hour-plus trip to the edge of space, and his 4-minute return home. Other than the fact that it was just cool, I'm trying to put my finger on why I felt the way I did watching it. I've saw dozens of space shuttle launches on TV. (Sadly, never any in person.) I've watched landings live online, from start to finish. I try to sneak outside and watch the International Space Station fly overhead whenever possible. (There's an app for that, too, by the way.) Last Sunday, I grabbed the kids (the one who would hold still anyway) and we watched, mostly silent. It was one of those moments.

Kudos to the Discovery Channel for showing the whole thing live. The Youtube stream was good -- and it worked fine from my Android devices. 

Putting numbers into perspective

One of the best parts about being an editor is that you get to learn a little bit about a lot of stuff. And Chris Umiastowski's analysis of Google's third-quarter earnings was one of those times where I learned something. I seem to be writing about the reactions of children this week, and the financial sector feels like that at times -- fickle children who fawn over you one minute and kick and scream the next.

1 million members, 2.5 million downloads

And to end on a celebratory note, last week we hit a couple milestones. The first (and most important) is that we now have more than 1 million registered members at Android Central. That's a number shared by the blog and the forum, so it's important to anyone and everyone where at the site, from me, to the writers, to the forum admins and moderators. And so much credit for our success over the past four years belongs to them. The blog may be the sexy side of this business, but the forums are the foundation. Kudos to Cory and all the mods. Couldn't have done it without you.

And our podcast passed 2.5 million all-time downloads last week. It never ceases to amaze me how many people listen every week, and that's what keeps the show going. We don't make money off it. It's time-consuming. But it's also a hell of a lot of fun, and a chance for us to get to know you better, and for you to hang out with us. 

If you've yet to do so, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feeds so you don't miss a show.

Despite all the crap going on, I'm still excited for the next couple of weeks. I'm sure Google is, too. This is gonna be fun. See y'all next week.