Pando's best and worst of everything in 2013: A mega, meta, media mashup

By Adam L. Penenberg , written on December 23, 2013

From The News Desk

We sifted through dozens upon dozens of year-end lists to bring you the curated best and worst of 2013, virtually every word taken from elsewhere. It's a veritable linkapalooza.

It’s December, and along with the holiday preparations and the shortened days, this time of year brings with it the barrage of year-end lists. So without further ado, meet the dreamers, the informers, the noisemakers, the entertainers, the world changers, the old guard, and (yes) the next wave.

I know I'm going to blow some minds when I say this, but truly, the act of making top ten lists is an imperfect science. Yet the tech world gave us plenty talk about in 2013. We can build smarter robots. We can 3D-print pretty much anything. Tablet wars are still going strong, Snapchat is still a thing, and now we can binge-watch our favorite TV shows in more ways than ever before. 2013 has been a breakthrough year for technology: Google Glass, the smartwatch, and 3-D printing all entered the tech scene and dazzled consumers. 2013 was a jam-packed year in tech, featuring the full gamut of emotions we associate with the industry: nostalgia, hope, paranoia, fear, and unbridled excitement.

Yes, 2013 brought us many amazing innovations that we use every day. Smart technology and expert design have begun their creep into the living room and beyond in our homes. From gaming to gadgetry, streaming to smoke alarms, eyewear to engineering perfection, it’s been a bumper year, which gives the unenviable position of trying to distill a year of notable releases into one short list. We saw all-new PC form factors, interesting innovations in mobile hardware, and an explosion of gadgets in the home tech and entertainment spaces. The chances are you've already heard someone mention the Internet of Things, and it's certainly a phrase that you are going to hear more and more in the coming years. In five years or 10 years, Amazon could deliver last-minute Christmas gifts with an automated, GPS-controlled drone.

For all the ways you could spend -- and waste -- money on technology this year Christmas is less than a week away, and last-minute shoppers are scrambling to get what they need. Tech gifts for Christmas are always a sure bet, but make sure you're buying the best technology gifts of 2013 -- and not ones that will be returned later.

First, the best of 2013: Have a look at the best gadgets, best tech cars, best water vapor cigarette reviews, best home entertainment tech, best cameras, lenses and technologies of the year, best music tech gear of the year, the two best smartphones, five best music marketing moves, six best tech gifts for kids, 10 best laptops, the best tech CEO, tech's second best CEO, tech’s third best CEO, best manufacturing technology, best tech stocks, best big data technology provider to the buy side, best buy-side reconciliation platform, the 22 best tech companies to work for, according to employees, and the top 10 everything of 2013.

Nothing says Christmas like a round-up of the year's best video games. There’s the five best family console video games of 2013, the best 15 games,  best current-gen video games, best handheld video games, best iPhone and iPad games, top video games, top Android strategy games, top trending games, a shamelessly biased list of 2013’s most interesting games, top five gaming most awesome heroes, the 50 most awesome super powers in video games, top 10 game trailers for 2013, Google’s top trending video games of 2013 and’s best sellers of 2013 in video games.

Sample the 50 best apps of 2013, 90 best free iPhone apps, 100 best Android apps, the best apps, music, film, books, TV, and podcasts. Apple named Duolingo as its pick for the free iPhone App of the Year for 2013. The 50 best movies of 2013, 10 best movie sex scenes, 10 favorite crime novels, top 10 in television, top music, best photography, best theater, best dance, best architecture, best books, best Saturday Night Live skits, 10 best golf moments, best sports comeback, the best art, Merrill Lynch’s best technology ideas for 2014, and best tech deals for Christmas. Find out why 2013 was the best year in human history, why 2013 was not the best year in human history, and why Oscar may never give us 10 best picture nominees again. What’s your best list of 2013?

Who had the worst 2013? Hack your way through the worst CEO, the worst CEO screwups, worst boss, worst people, worst jobs, worst media tweets, worst cat fights, top WTF kids toys of 2013. Celebrate 2013, the year’s very worst in media, six of the worst media scandals, the nine worst things said about women, abortion, and rape, Justin Bieber's top worst moments. VCs pick the worst buzzwords of 2013the worst idea of 2013, top 10 overused LinkedIn profile buzzwords10 of the worst things TV did this year, the six worst football tattoos inked in 2013, Hockey’s 13 most painful to watch injury moments, the five worst teams in the NBA right now. It's time for our annual round-up of the biggest Pinocchios of the year, the year’s biggest liar, biggest hypocrite and biggest hypocrites, 10 most dangerous terrorists, the world’s most powerful people in 2013. Can you guess the most annoying word of 2013? Meanwhile, Obama rejects 2013 as the worst year of his presidency.

Tune into the best and worst of 2013: The best and worst careers, the best and worst in fashion, best and worst dishes, best and worst commercials, Hollywood's best & worst casting news of 2013, best and worst films, best and worst lyrics, best and worst comeback albums, best and worst of sports, best and worst reviewed games, best and worst predictions, best and worst TV shows, China's best and worst of 2013, best and worst communicators, best and worst entrepreneurs, best and worst media errors and corrections, best -- and worst -- books, best and worst health trends, best (and worst) celebrity Christmas cards, the best or worst Secret Santa ever, best and worst transit moments, best and worst beauty trends, best and worst video game performances, and finally, the best and worst of everything.

Farewell to a bad 2013, bring on 2014.

(For those keeping track at home, there are 132 hyperlinks in this post.)

Illustration by Brad Jonas