The notification bubble is a well known feature of Ubuntu, gently informing us when we are online, when we get tweets and new email and so on. It has an interesting feature that it commands attention for a few moments, but doesn't get in the way and the user can return to what they were doing without really stopping. At the moment I am trying to learn a bit of Swedish and wondered if these attributes might help when learning new words. What if I could use the notification bubble to show me words at random intervals so grab my attention momentarily while using my computer?
A fun project that you can do with open source software and some carefully chosen hardware is to build yourself a media centre PC. This is a very different computing experience from a desktop or netbook, it can stream content from the Internet to your TV, act as a PVR, be a jukebox and stream media files to devices such as Internet radios in your home. When you connect a computer to your TV though you need a very different user interface to control it compared to a desktop or a netbook, everything must be visible and usable from ten feet away from the screen, content and functionality navigable by a simple remote control, and even content must be different, more video and audio focused and less text heavy. On Linux systems we're really lucky in having a wide range of media centre software options, popular choices include Boxee, MythTV, XBMC and Freevo. The problem is that these tend to run on top of desktop versions of Linux and certain functionality requires that you exit "set top box" mode and use a desktop or the command line.
Mobile broadband is becoming more popular now and many people are enjoying the convenience of being able to get broadband internet from a wide variety of locations. Both pre-pay and contract options are available on connections and the cost of using this service can be very reasonable. A lot of contracts are based on the idea of paying a certain rate for a set amount of data, for example £10 might buy you 1GB of data, but go over this allowance and the surfing could start getting a bit more expensive with each megabyte being charged separately at a high rate.
An area where Linux is sometimes criticised is the level of difficulty expericed by people new to the operating system when installing software. Earlier today, Dr A J Cann posted an example of this criticism when he suggested that Ubuntu should follow the same model of software distribution used Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X of having a downloadable installer file for your desired program.