We posted many thousands (!) of stories in this past year, but these are the ones that stuck with us. Some are dumb, some are serious, two are about cults. And each of them of them is worth another look.
Here are the Gizmodo staff's picks for the best things we posted in 2014, in no particular order, with a few words about why we liked it.
Kelsey: Ashley Feinberg at her best, pinning together ragged web detritus into a spectacular portrait of one of the weirder corners of the 1990s internet.
Sarah: As the internet matures into young adulthood, it's easy to look back at kitschy 90s-era websites with a mix of nostalgia and knowing laughter. But this is dark backstory of such a website, maintained for a cult that once promulgated a mass suicide.
Nick: I love weird things on the internet.
Leslie: It is amazing and sweet and hilarious this is an actual thing that happened.
Kelsey: Getting to see an appraiser carefully gesture at a plastic Toshiba emblem with a pointer normally used to display priceless antiques. A deeply uncomfortable video that also made me guffaw.
Mario: If you're not pissing people off, you're not doing your job. This story outraged me more than any other post that hit our page this year—most of all because Leslie has a point.
Nick: People tend to dismiss old tech even when it still has a lot of value.
Meg: Love this post despite having to admit my mother was right.
Leslie: Times Square is the biggest gadget in our city, and I'd never seen a teardown like this before.
Mario: I usually hate stunts, but I'll give Ashley credit for legitimately inconveniencing herself for a month—and then for spending another month trying to get the photos off that phone. Also, I want to go on the record and say that Ashley cheated and used my phone to play Threes.
Nick: Look at how much cellphones have changed!
Leslie: It was really fun to watch Ashley—who hates communicating over the phone to begin with—struggle with a Razr for a month. Gadgets change so much so quickly, and 10 years isn't that much time. But she really committed to something that was already so antiquated it changed her life for a short month. It was fun to watch, and besides, people love nostalgia.
Ashley: That is maybe the most perfect post we have published this year (Eric agrees but I beat him to saying it). Not only is every aspect of the post itself brilliant, but it (and the image caption) pissed off EVERYONE on Facebook. There was not a single FB comment that didn't wish some horrible disease and/or pestilence on Matt and everyone he cares about. True art.
Barrett: With some good ol' fashioned internet sleuthery, Sean shed new light on what could end up being the most exciting new tech of the next several years.
Darren: Being a writer, your days are filled with jealousy, stories that pop up on your twitter feed that make you curse under your breath. Almost no other story in 2014 made me feel as jealous as Matt Novak's "The Man Who Fought the Synanon Cult and Won." This is an epic story of an incredibly man nearing the end of an equally incredible journey. The classic unsung hero mixed with heart break and also the drama of cult breaking. Dammit, I wish I wrote that story.
Mario: Tech is crazy! Also I learned something.
Barrett: I didn't even know I was interested in this until I read it, mostly because I hadn't bothered considering what a technological challenge it was not just to take Olympic photos but to get them where they need to go. It's a fascinating process, and extremely well-told by Mario here.
Mario: Because I'm a cheapskate and a drunk and I like funny things.
Andrew L: There's an assumption that packing more and more pixels into a TV will make the image better and better. But our eyes can only discern so much detail, especially when you're sitting on a couch on the other side of a room. However, there are still many ways that a TV's picture quality can be improved, given how sensitive the human eye is to color, lightness, and darkness. And as Andrew Tarantola explains, that's how the technology behind Dolby Vision will make our TVs even better, not with more pixels, but with better ones.
Kelsey: Besides making a valiant stand for preserving the richness of the English language, it contained one of my favorite paragraphs of the year: "Then finally, one day, we'll have hacked all we can hack here on Earth and it will be time for us to hack ourselves deep into the ground. The dirt and the worms will hack our bodily form as we hack our way into a human hack of a compost pile. And then—only then—will we hack no more.
Mario: Something always bothered me about this movie, and now I know that it wasn't Luke Wilson's shitty acting.
Barrett: A delicate problem and a groundbreaking solution, both written about with an ease and grace and clarity that marks so much of Kelsey's work. Also our most-read post of 2014.
Ashley: Yo was the worst but this is the best—succinct, funny, timely. Eric hit peak blog here and I will forever envy that.
Matt: A lot of ink and pixels have been spilled over the hacks that have unraveled Sony. But Brian's take on the whole thing helped put it in a human perspective. These weren't just snarky emails and terrible business decisions getting poured all over the internet for the entire world to see. These were people's lives in some of their most mundane and vulnerable moments. Brian's post served to remind us that not only could this have been any of us, but that it almost certainly will be in some capacity in the future.
Meg: Our very smart boss wrote the best thing I've read on the Sony Pictures hack, and you should read it.
Brent: I just thought it was interesting, the lengths this company went to to resurrect a once-beloved beer that had gone extinct decades ago. With no recipe surviving it was a real feat of reverse engineering.
Barrett: It's so rare these days (maybe any days?) to find a gadget that brings out feelings of pure joy. But just look at Eric's face! Read his post! This is technology at its best, shared at its most earnest.
Kelsey: This is a classic Paleofuture debunk, an outrageous truth told deadpan.
I Don't Want a Bigger Moto X. I Want a Better Moto X and The iPhone 6 Is Somehow the Only Decent Non-Giant Phone Left in America
Sean: The smartphone is the most personal computer? Competition breeds choice? Yeah, right. This year, every manufacturer decided to give up on smartphones you'd actually want to use that you can actually fit in your pocket. Except Apple. Here, we're leading a conversation about gadgets that could set companies right.
Ashley: I think we are probably at our best when we're telling everyone else why they're being a big fucking douchebag. And no one does that better than Brian.
Barrett: Explainers don't have to be boring. Explainers can be full of vitriol and humor and vivid dismantlings, especially when the thing being dismantled is this grotesque.
Meg: Eric Limer's personal kinja is gold. This is how work gets done at Gizmodo friends.