GifAnimator - 8:26 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
It has been suggested that the authorship tag will indicate to Google that you have the original content so you should not be outranked by anyone that scrapes your content. I read on here that people thought the site was scanned manually before the tag was approved. The long time it takes to get approval could be the reason.
Surfers are becoming more aware that the publishers photo indicates that the site is one they can trust and believe me, in my case it certainly gives the click through rate a boost and my mug is not a pretty one.