(Brent Lewin/Bloomberg News)

Looking back, 2014 was the year of Heartbleed. It was the year of big mergers, net neutrality and data breaches. It was the year we lost three airliners. It was the year Congress nearly — but not quite — passed patent reform. We saw Apple unveil the biggest iPhone ever. These and other stories were some of the biggest of 2014. If you missed them then, have at them now: Below, you'll find some of our most viral and notable posts of the year.

Uber’s not a $40 billion start-up. It’s a mid-sized car company.

The luxury service also happened to be a perfect match for how masses of people wanted to travel. Young people in the United States aren't driving nearly as much as before. That has put Uber in a position to suck up some of the billions of dollars that people might otherwise pour into cars, fuel and auto insurance.


Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella. (Microsoft)

Investors want Microsoft’s new CEO to kill Xbox, Bing and Surface

Two influential Microsoft shareholders have been pushing the Redmond, Wash., software giant to abandon what they view as non-essential product lines so that Microsoft can focus on its core strength: selling enterprise software to businesses. Satya Nadella has spent the past seven months running Microsoft's $20 billion server and tools division, so he could be ideally suited to manage that transition.


The Spice Android One Dream Uno smartphone manufactured by Spice Mobility Ltd. sits on display during the Google Android One smartphone launch event on Sept. 15 in New Delhi. (Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg News)

No more storage space on your phone? Here’s what you should trash first.

Three common things that take up space on your phone, some suggestions for how to quickly free up space for your stuff, and how to manage those problems in the long run.


Yale's rare book and manuscript library. (laurenmanning / Flickr)

Yale students made a better version of their course catalogue. Then Yale shut it down.

Yale not only blocked the Web site from campus networks, labeling it "malicious," but forced the brothers who created the site to take it down or face disciplinary action.

Will apps that don’t burn through your data plan destroy the Internet or save it?

Apps and Web sites that don't count against the users' data plan are popping up both in the United States and abroad, often under names like Wikipedia Zero or Facebook Zero. But set against the ongoing dispute over so-called net neutrality, those apps are beginning to spark a debate about the future of an open, equal, and vibrant Internet in the United States and abroad.

Here’s how we know MH370 kept flying for hours

Even if an aircraft's transponder has been disabled, its most basic systems, such as the engines, can also send status information back to ground stations, including the engine manufacturer  or the airline. Investigators determined that some of these systems were still active on Flight 370 hours after it initially lost contact with air traffic controllers.


My awkward week with Google Glass

Anyone who opts to buy Google Glass should be ready and willing to become a constant topic of conversation and to answer questions from strangers. Wearing Google Glass in public is like wearing a sandwich-board that says "Talk to me!" And, given the rare but highly publicized fights, robberies and other major incidents some Glass users have experienced, I was a little wary about wearing the device in public.


A wall covered in fan art at Valve. (Andrea Peterson/Washington Post)

Gabe Newell on what makes Valve tick

Valve is one of the most successful video game companies in the world. The firm's online game distribution and multi-player platform Steam has 65 million users. What makes Valve so successful? Newell argues that attracting and retaining talented programmers and designers is key to the firm's success, and explained the company's strategy for doing that.

This reader mocked Heartbleed, posted his passwords online. Guess what happened next.

On a story explaining how the Heartbleed bug could slow down the Internet, a commenter scoffed at the "Heartbleed thingamajig," arguing that the Internet's handwringing over security was mostly overwrought. Predictably, inviting the worst led to the worst.

The best places to trade-in your old phone for an iPhone 6

If you're looking to pick up a new iPhone and want to get some cash (or at least store credit?) for your old one, here's a quick rundown of places that are still willing to give you special deals if you buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.


The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. (Jeffrey Zeldman under a Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Librarians won’t stay quiet about government surveillance

Guarding patrons' library activities is considered a core value of the profession, written into the ALA's code of ethics: "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted." Over the years, the U.S. government has tested the limits of how far librarians will go to defend that code.


The White House. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

White House launches ‘U.S. Digital Service,’ with HealthCare.gov fixer at the helm

The White House announced that it is formally launching a new U.S. Digital Service and that it has hired to lead it Mikey Dickerson, an engineer widely credited with playing a central role in salvaging HealthCare.gov after its disastrous launch. The idea behind the USDS, as the White House has taken to calling it, is institutionalizing the approach that saved the health-care site and applying it to the work of the government even before disaster strikes.


No, you probably can’t bend the iPhone 6 Plus. Unless you’re a bodybuilder.

The verdict is in: You can bend an iPhone 6 Plus. But unless you are really trying to do it, it probably will be fine.

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‘A soup of misery’: Over half of people say they’d abandon their cable company, if only they could

Frustrated with rising prices? Check. Keep getting hit with more fees and charges? Check. You're paying for more channels than you'd ever want to watch? Check.These are just a handful of the most common complaints consumers have when it comes to grappling with cable companies.

Yes, you can record the police.

Courts have held that, as a general rule, individuals have a right to record law enforcement officers carrying out their duties in public spaces. And as the video archive of questionable police tactics from citizen observers grows, it's clear there's a certain benefit to keeping a digital eye on the police: Knowing there is a record of their actions can help put everyone on their best behavior -- or at least make sure there's evidence of misbehavior when it occurs.

Inside the collapse of the FCC’s digital infrastructure — and the rush to save it

The Federal Communications Commission's online commenting system's sputtering was an embarrassment to an agency eager to prove it is competent enough to make rules around modern technology and a frustration for groups with names like Fight for the Future and Demand Progress that are eager to prove both their organizing chops and the rightness of their issue.