This year has seen tumultuous events shake the world. The economic crisis, the lingering effects of the recession, natural disasters, war and revolution. With all of that going on, it seems like our readers needed a little light relief. Whether it was piracy, hacking or 'laptop rage', you came in your droves, and we were happy to accommodate you.

As part of our look back as this solar cycle draws to a close, we'll be running a series of articles on the biggest and best stories of the year. Stay tuned for our picks of the best news and features, and perhaps a few surprises as well.

These are your top stories of the year, in no particular order:

Sun MicrosystemsIBM in talks to buy Sun Microsystems

So this is where the saga started. All those interminable delays, antitrust investigations, open source hissy fits and insult exchanges began here. IBM began to sniff around the none-too-fresh smelling Sun Microsystems, when suddenly, in jumps the young challenger Oracle. You have to wonder if they knew what they were letting themselves in for.

Now, with the deal nearly complete (pending the outcome of a probe by EU commissioners) we can look back in amazement at a twisted a tale of corporate mergers as was ever told.

Gordon MooreMoore's Law is dead, says Gordon Moore

Shock! Horror! Can it be? The author of possibly the most famous (and famously disputed) thesis in the history computing recants?

Well, no. What he actually said is that in 10 to 20 years' time, we will have reached the limit where transistors will be on the scale of atoms. But by that time, we'll all surely be flying around in personal spaceships, wearing silver foil and using Star Trek techno-magic. Either that or we will be slaves of the victorious robot army.

George Osborne with TrainTories ignoring open source security risk

Shadow chancellor George Osborne accused the government of wasting time and money on proprietary software, when open source tools could do the same job for less. All part of the swinging parliamentary slanging match.

But what's this? In swoops security firm Fortify to explain that Osborne has it all wrong. No no no they cry! Open source is so horribly flawed, all that lovely government data could come leaking out like runny egg. Commenters on the story, on the other hand, seem to disagree and accused Fortify of outrageous FUD. Could it be true? A company promoting positive stories to ensure sales of its products? Surely not.

Handset makers agree to universal phone charger

I would kill for this. Literally. However, the original plan went one better.

"Verheugen said the original plan was to push for a universal charger for all devices."

Are you kidding? Some innovative soul suggested a single charger for all my gadgets, and someone stopped this happening. Crying shame isn't the word.