If you ever thought the world of flash storage was, well, a little pedestrian, then you've clearly never met Kingmax. The memory-maker likes to spice things up with world firsts, and exhibits an enthusiasm for the utilitarian product that can only be admired. The latest innovation? A USB drive with a glass ceiling. The UI-05, as it is known, lets you peer directly at the chip that holds your data, while keeping it waterproof and dust-proof, all in 8, 16 and 32GB denominations. Even better for you, that enthusiasm is backed up by pure faith, with the metal-cased pen drive easing nerves with a (not world first) five-year warranty. What Kingmax didn't let us see, however, was price and availability. There's a close-up shot right after the break, or you can jump to the source for more info.
When it comes to Linux distributions, Slackware could well be called the archetype. It's not just one of the longest-serving releases at nearly 20 years old -- it's designed to be "pure" and cut back on customized apps, many graphical interface assistants and the requirement to download anything during the installation process. Pat Volkerding and team have nonetheless given us a bit of a break with the launch of Slackware 14.0. While many open-source fans will be downloading a copy for the more recent Linux 3.2.29 kernel and other updated packages, ease of use is the guiding principle for the new build: there's now a graphical NetworkManager interface to manage wired and wireless connections, for a start. In tandem with the newer kernel, updated versions of the KDE and Xfce desktop environments also result in much broader hardware support than many veteran users will remember. Slackware is now much more savvy about removable storage, accelerated 3D video, SATA and other features that have sometimes demanded command line trickery. Anyone can download the revamped distribution for free, including for ARM-based devices like the Raspberry Pi, although we'd consider springing for the $33 subscription to CD-based copies of Slackware to fund Volkerding's long-term efforts.