The Apache Software Foundation announced the releases of Apache Lucene 5.0 and Apache Solr 5.0, with each project adding new features and major component changes.

Apache Lucene 5.0 adds Java’s NIO2 API file access, unique ID storage and IndexWriter merger checking, along with reduced heap storage, auto-IO-throttling and payload support for memory indexes. The full list of features and changes in the high-performance Java text search engine is available in the Apache Lucene 5.0 change log.

Apache Solr 5.0, on the other hand, released a new reference guide along with the latest version. The open-source NoSQL distributed search and indexing platform adds new versions of several major components, as well as script support for Solr-as-a-Service on Linux, distributed IDF support, and added API support for collections, field configurations and managing blobs. The full Apache Solr 5.0 release notes can be found here.

Lenovo open-sources Superfish removal tool
Hardware provider Lenovo, which has come under fire for pre-installing the Superfish encryption-breaking adware on Windows laptops, has open-sourced a tool on GitHub for removing it.

The Superfish Removal Utility removes the Superfish application, associated registry entries, files and security certificates from devices. Lenovo has since been served with a class-action lawsuit from affected customers.

Next Linux kernel release to be Linux 4.0
After a Google+ poll on the Linux community, Linus Torvalds has decided to make the next version of the Linux kernel Linux 4.0, rather than 3.2.

In a Linux mailing list post, Torvalds announced he is heeding popular opinion and has dubbed the next release Linux 4.0, codenamed “Hurr durr I’ma sheep.” Linux 4.0 has a long list of anticipated new features and improvements, the bulk of which can be found here.

Rust 1.0.0.alpha 2 announced
The Rust team has announced the second alpha release of the Mozilla-backed programming language. According to the team, all major API revisions are finished, and all modules shipping for 1.0 are in final form.

The beta release is expected to be released in six weeks with all major functionality marked as stable.

More information is available here.

Digium releases WebRTC platform for developers
Digium has officially launched its cloud platform for secure Web and mobile communications. Respoke features individual and group chat messaging, voice and video calling, screen sharing, and file sharing.

Within the next quarter, Digium plans to provide Android and iOS mobile SDKs and address current limitations with Internet Explorer and Safari.

“Product managers that want to introduce real-time interactions within a Web or mobile app can now point their developers at the Respoke API to see their vision turned into reality in days instead of weeks or months,” wrote Charlie Wilson, general manager of Respoke, on Digium’s blog.

Apple to open future iOS betas to the public
Apple will reportedly open future beta releases of its iOS mobile operating system to the public.

According to a report from 9to5Mac, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, at the same time as developers receive the beta. The report also stated that Apple will release iOS 9, codenamed Monarch, in June at WWDC, and will continue the public beta program with future releases.