Mesa 10.6 is up to a release candidate state and should be officially released in early June. If you're not up to speed on this quarterly update to the open-source user-space graphics drivers, here's an overview of the new features for Mesa 10.6.
NVIDIA has been working out plans for their graphics driver to support Mir and Wayland. As part of that, besides their recent EGL support, they've been tackling kernel mode-setting.
Image manipulation in GNU/Linux has always been associated with The Gimp. However, most users will find Gimp vastly oversized for their needs. Fotoxx is a neat, simple and yet very advanced photo manipulation software that is definitely worth installing and playing with.
About 6 years ago, I wrote an article about why I felt that installing software in GNU/Linux was broken. It pains me to say that the situation is, sadly, exactly the same:GNU/Linux never made it to personal computers, really, and at this point it looks like it never will.