I just became aware of another product like this. Our area uses Itron or Schlumberger automated electric meters. These meters already have a radio transmitter in them. I got the Digi ERT/ethernet gateway http://www.digi.com/products/wireless-routers-gateways/gateways/ert-ethernet.jsp#overview and set it up for my meter. There is an app for both iPhone and Android that provides energy monitoring via the Digi Energy Day Trader website. If your house has a newer smart meter, there is a different Zigbee gateway that works for those meters. I just got mine set up last week, and it is working great.
Altera, www.altera.com has a version of their FPGA development software for Linux -- Quartus II. This tool allows FPGA development for many Altera eval boards, and is available for free via their website. My personal preference is to develop in Verilog rather than VHDL. The syntax is more familiar to someone who also develops firmware in C/C++. Overall, though this is a personal preference. Each language has its opponents/proponents.
Ubuntu running great on HP pavilion dv9500. Haven't booted M$oft since January