This was a year in which sheer hugeness was exciting, as vividly demonstrated by Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro's excellent film about giant robots punching giant monsters in what passed for their giant faces. Similar thrills attended the mainstreaming of the phrase "big data", which made everyone wonder in embarrassment how they had got along with their pathetic wad of tiny data for so long.
Edward Snowden's revelations about government spying revealed nothing if not a triumph of big data for the organisation once jokingly referred to as the No Such Agency. They also introduced the wider world to the sneakily deployed term "metadata". As the