We've already shown you how to keep your desktop interesting by setting a video as your wallpaper and how to download and rotate fresh photos. This week, weblog Simple Help shows us how to rotate a photo of the Earth from space.
Thanks to some of Ubuntu's great built-in tools, this is actually quite easy to do in Linux. You'll need to install the gnome task scheduler, but all this requires is entering sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule in a Terminal window. When it's finished installing, you'll be able to access the scheduler in Applications > System Tools > Schedule Tasks. Hit the "new" button and make the description whatever you want, like "Moving Wallpaper".
This trick is fuelled by the ever-useful wget command, which will download a photo of the earth from die.net at a specified time interval. In the command box, type in wget -r -N http://static.die.net/earth/mercator/1600.jpg and set the default behaviour to suppress output. Die.net uploads a new photo every 3 hours, so I picked an interval of 6 hours, to compromise my desire to have a semi-accurate view of the Earth at that time and my desire to not overflow Die.net's servers. You can specify a custom time period by clicking the edit button next to a time interval in the Advanced section.
After you've set it up, hit the run button (the one with the gears icon) so it will download the first photo. Then, right click on your desktop and hit Change Desktop Background. The photo will be stored in ~/static.die.net/earth/mercator/ on your hard drive, so navigate there and choose 1600.jpg as your wallpaper. Now, it should automatically update at the time interval you specified in the last step, giving you a cool picture of the world's sunlight at that time of day.