Edit 03:44: so ars technica's speculation was right on the money with the Gmail integration and Jabber, and says the LA Times had the story first.
Edit 04:15: Got my first message, a system message from "gmail.com":
[04:14:03] The broken link has been fixed. Thanks for being our first users!
Guess that means talk.google.com is now live...
Edit 03:58: They totally missed the boat on a really cool name, which I'll use to refer to talk.google from now on: