Via James I learned that earlier this month was released Natural Earth v2.0.0. A quick reminder: "Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software." We mentioned this dataset in the past quite a few times.
From the 2.0.0 release notes: "The 2.0.0 release focuses on 7 major areas and is available to download today à la carte at NaturalEarthData. ZIP combo downloads of all vectors: SHP (279 mb) or SQLite (222 mb) or QuickStart kit for ArcMap and QGIS (165 mb). [What's new:]
Here's recent FOSS4G and open geodata related news in batch mode.
Regarding open data: