Actually, I'm way past 3.0 on these. But 3.0 is Today's Big Number as Linux godfather Linus Torvalds (referred to as simply "Linus" in the Linux universe) announces a release candidate for version 3.0 of the kernel.
This would seem a Big Deal, as kernel updates typically just roll the last digit of the odometer (my kurrent kernel, for example, is 126.96.36.199). But Linus begs off: "I decided to just bite the bullet, and call the next version 3.0. It will get released close enough to the 20-year mark, which is excuse enough for me, although honestly, the real reason is just that I can no longer comfortably count as high as 40."
Some of the notable items that are new to this kernel release include:Another upcoming release of note: Linux Mint 11. Historically, Mint has been Ubuntu pre-tweaked to be media friendly, as the Ubuntu folks hold back on things like DVD and .mp3 codecs for assorted legal reasons. This time, Mint is that AND it's using the traditional Ubuntu GNOME desktop, instead of the new Unity which has been a controversial switch in Ubuntu 11.04.
- Cleancache support, with initial implementations for the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems, among others.
- A Microsoft Kinect Linux driver.
- Various open-source graphics driver improvements. This includes Sandy Bridge performance optimizations, initial support for Intel Ivy Bridge, early work for AMD Fusion Llano APUs, and many other Intel / Radeon / Nouveau changes.
Another controversial Ubuntu move has been its app store which, in a selling ice to the Eskimos trick, could actually be convincing people to PAY for Linux software.
Here's an argument that desktop innovation in Mac world and the evil Windows empire is being driven by Linux.
For the geeks: an explanation of Linux file systems ext2, ext3 and ext4.
And finally, a lesson in job security: how to write code that is impossible for anyone else to maintain.