Google Ramping Up Revenue From Maps

Google is looking for more ways to monetize its incredibly popular maps. As a result, you may be seeing more ads when you use your smartphone to find the nearest sushi bar or simply navigate around unfamiliar neighborhoods.

“Google Maps is an indispensable part of life for more than 1 billion people, who use it to commute, explore new cities or find a hot new restaurant. The service has been mostly free, and free from ads, since it launched 14 years ago,” writes Gerrit De Vynck of Bloomberg. “Interviews with Google executives and customers show this is changing as the internet giant increases the ways advertisers can reach Maps users, while raising prices for some businesses that use the underlying technology.”

If Google indeed moves in this direction, it might create billions of dollars in fresh revenue. As one analyst says, Google Maps is one of the company’s most “under-monetized” assets.

cyber-security-finance-croppedJamie Dimon Highlights Intense Focus on Cyber Sec

The CEOs of major banks were on Capitol Hill this week, testifying before the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. While the headlines focused on the politics of the session, I was more interested in a paragraph written by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon in his annual letter to shareholders.

In the letter, Dimon highlights the firm’s commitment to cybersecurity, writing that “the threat of cyber security may very well be the biggest threat to the U.S. financial system.” 

JPMorgan Chase spends “nearly $600 million a year” on cybersecurity efforts and has “more than 3,000 employees deployed to this mission in some way,” Dimon writes. “But the financial system is interconnected, and adversaries are smart and relentless – so we must continue to be vigilant. The good news is that the industry (plus many other industries), along with the full power of the federal government, is increasingly being mobilized to combat this threat.”

apple-itunes-croppedApple Breaking iTunes into 3 Separate Parts

Apple plans to separate iTunes into three different functions, according to reports. The app would become three apps, which might make it easier for users who are confused by the original app’s multi-functionality.   

“Well-known Apple developers, Guilherme Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith, have independently verified Apple's plans to split up iTunes into three separate apps. In addition to the standalone Music, TV, and Podcast apps, there will be a significant redesign of the Books app,” writes David Matthews of Techspot. “The new apps will be based on Apple's Project Marzipan, which aims to make it easier for developers to port iOS apps to macOS by allowing both platforms to share a common codebase. Apple got the ball rolling with the News app for macOS last year with the three aforementioned apps to follow suit this year.”

black-hole-croppedBlack Hole Image Conquers the Internet

Science scored a big victory this week with the release of the first image of a supermassive black hole. The donut-shaped singularity was widely shared across social media, rapidly becoming a popular meme.

“The picture, a circular black shadow encircled by a bright orange ring, shows the black hole at the center of the huge galaxy Messier 87 (M87), which is located about 55 million light-years from Earth,” writes Mary Beth Griggs in The Verge.

Frankly, I’m glad that a purely scientific image is capable of capturing our interest and sparking our imaginations. Moments like these are special, and we should enjoy them.