For those who are still using blender on Ubuntu 11.04, the version in the Software Center is out of date (2.49). Yes, it does make a difference, there was a major user interface change with the release of Blender 2.5. For those using Blender in Ubuntu 11.10, the version in the Software Center is also out of date(2.57). The current release of Blender is 2.60. Who can I contact go get the versions in the two Software Centers updated? Any help is much appreciated.
Normally Ubuntu releases the packages with a distro release and the only updates for them are bugs or security updates, if you want to use later versions of the software you probably need to add a PPA to your list.
This PPA supplies the latest 2.60 version for 11.10, to add it to your system use these commands
After that use these commands to update your package list and possible packages
Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I've started handling this manually myself.
I've started downloading the Linux tar.gz files from the Blender website and extracting them to /opt, and updating a symbolic link to the latest folder.
This way, all I have to do is point a launcher to /opt/blender/blender to launch the latest version.