I don’t think this is such a good idea. What it leads to is artificial inflation of followers that disrupts algorithms for determining influence (yeah they are pretty weak right now but constantly improving). It also leads to the most popular profiles benefiting from the law of accelerating returns and that’s not the meritocracy that social networks are supposed to represent.
Last month Twitter quietly launched a new feature that generated a list of suggested users to follow. Most likely as a result of this list, the followers to many Twitter accounts increased exponential over the course of the last month. @LiveEarth, my employer’s twitter account (which is maintained primarily by me), saw a rise in followers from the mid 2,000s to over 90,000 between January 16 and February 22, when, suddenly, the meteoric rise in followers came to a screeching halt.
[From To 90,000 Twitter Followers in 30 Days | netZoo]
The same thing happened in RSS when “feed bundles” and default feeds in applications started distorting subscriber numbers, the result being that the number of subscribers reported for an RSS feed is pretty much a worthless number today.
Let’s hope this is true. Automobiles are a platform for innovation for technology companies just as is the case with other tech platforms, but far from being open source or even documented, a lot of the inner control logic for automobile electronics has to be reverse engineered.
Standardizing automobile operating systems not only decreases the costs for automakers and improves reliability, but also opens up the market for technology extension and integration by third party developers.
Toyota, Hitachi, Nissan, Honda, Denso, Toshiba, Panasonic, and other Japanese automakers and electrical machinery manufacturers are joining forces to develop a common software infrastructure for automobile electronic control systems by year-end, the Nikkei says. Seventy-three firms will take part in the efforts to standardize software specifications; and an additional fifty or so companies plan to adopt the standardized software.
[From At Long Last: A Standard O/S For Cars | The Truth About Cars]
Lose $50m a year and still not profitable… sounds more like a startup than a 143 year old newspaper.
In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.
[From Hearst seeks changes at Chronicle]