There was an article in that year's Scientific American, which I've read in the Polish edition. I don't have that paper now, but I think this was that one: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-oldest-rocks-on-earth/
The discovery is described in short here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140224-oldest-crust-australia-zircon-science/. It's about Zircon crystals, that are to be 4.4 billion years old. However, as the article states, the found is not (yet?) widely researched. But it's accepted, there are rocks that are 3.8 billion years old.
The problem is, only a special kind of crystals could survive the conditions on the young Earth, and zircons are one of them. They preserve only some part of the information about the geological history of the Earth. So it's not like that, that nothing has survived the first billion years, it's only a special minerals and rock did. It's not enough to answer many questions that are of top importance, like the origins of the life (but probably no geological sources would ever do, because of the fragility of the speculated pre-cellular life forms). However, we do get a lot of valuable information that will allow us to learn many facts about the Earth's history we didn't know before.