New story in Business from Time: The Astronomical Cost of Kids’ Sports

In TIME’s cover story this week, sports writer Sean Gregory explores the growing business of kids’ sports — a $15.3 billion industry that has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Between league fees, camps, equipment, training and travel, families are spending as much as 10% of their income on sports, according to survey research from Utah State University.

Sky-high costs are preventing some kids from participating. Overall sports participation rates have declined in the U.S. in recent years, and the trend is most evident among kids from lower-income families.

“Some parents just can’t pony up for it,” says Travis Dorsch, one of Utah State’s leading researchers on parental involvement in youth sports. “How many Michael Jordans and Michael Phelpses are out there who don’t have the opportunity?”

One of Utah State’s surveys conducted last year found that the average family spends $2,292 per year on sports. The respondents to read more

One-Time Allies Sour on Joining Trump Tech Team

President Trump’s victory caught Garrett Johnson—and the rest of humanity—by surprise. A Republican, Johnson had never been among Trump’s biggest fans. He’d worked for former Florida governor Jeb Bush and supported Bush in the primaries. The night candidate Trump addressed the Republican National Convention, Johnson retweeted the words of another Republican political operative: “There will be time for reflection. Hopefully there will be time to rebuild. But now it’s simply time to be ashamed.”

After the election, though, Johnson believed he had a responsibility. As cofounder of the advocacy group Lincoln Network, Johnson and partners Aaron Ginn and Chris Abrams had spent years cultivating a network of politically conservative tech talent. Now those people wanted to know how they could best serve the new administration.

So Lincoln Network read more

James Damore Case Could Spawn More Legal Headaches for Google

Fired Google engineer James Damore and his lawyer say they’ve talked to other Google employees who claim to have been discriminated against for challenging Google’s liberal political orthodoxy, suggesting the tech giant may face additional legal fallout from the incident.

Google fired Damore earlier this month after he posted a memo on an internal discussion board questioning women’s fitness to be engineers. Damore has filed an unfair-labor-practice charge against the company and said he may sue. Now, he and attorney Harmeet Dhillon say they’re exploring broader legal action against the company, on behalf of multiple Google employees.

In an interview, Damore says his firing was not “an independent or isolated event. What I was trying to complain about was the history of political discrimination at Google.” After he was fired August 7 for violating Google’s code of conduct by perpetuating gender stereotypes, Damore says other ex-Googlers told him they had read more

Damore Case Could Spawn More Legal Headaches for Google

Fired Google engineer James Damore and his lawyer say they’ve talked to other Google employees who claim to have been discriminated against for challenging Google’s liberal political orthodoxy, suggesting the tech giant may face additional legal fallout from the incident.

Google fired Damore earlier this month after he posted a memo on an internal discussion board questioning women’s fitness to be engineers. Damore has filed an unfair-labor-practice charge against the company and said he may sue. Now, he and attorney Harmeet Dhillon say they’re exploring broader legal action against the company, on behalf of multiple Google employees.

In an interview, Damore says his firing was not “an independent or isolated event. What I was trying to complain about was the history of political discrimination at Google.” After he was fired August 7 for violating Google’s code of conduct by perpetuating gender stereotypes, Damore says other ex-Googlers told him they had read more

Google and Walmart’s Partnership Will Be a Real Test For Amazon

It’s hard to overstate Amazon’s online retail dominance. With 76 percent market share of online retail, it’s as if the 95-96 Chicago Bulls entered your local rec league. No one can challenge Amazon today, but a newly announced partnership between Google and Walmart—allowing you to order groceries with from the latter with Google Assistant, or online via Google Express, starting late September—may ultimately present a threat. Still, it’s a long-term longshot.

In Walmart, Google adds a retail behemoth to its Google Express service, an online shopping bazaar in need of an anchor. In Google, Walmart gains a foothold in the voice-enabled future of commerce. Whether the alliance ultimately pays off is almost beside the point; the alternative was watching Amazon pull further and further ahead.

Raise Your Voice

Here’s a vision for the future that Walmart and Google are banking on: You realize it’s time for a grocery run. Rather than hop in the car and head to the store, or read more

New story in Business from Time: Mark Cuban Says This One Book Changed His Outlook on Money

Before Shark Tank, before the Dallas Mavericks, before HDNet, Mark Cuban was a humble twenty-something trying to figure out his way in the business world.

“I did things like have five roommates and live off of macaroni and cheese and really was very, very frugal,” Cuban recently told MONEY. “I had the worst possible car.”

The frugal lifestyle allowed him pour resources into the businesses that would ultimately make him a billionaire.

Cuban says a major source of inspiration for living on the cheap was the book Cashing In on the American Dream: How to Retire by the Age of 35. The book was published in 1988 by Paul Terhorst, who achieved this feat and said one can retire with a modest net worth—if they only spend $50 a day.

“The whole premise of the book was if you could save up to $1 million and live like a student, you could retire. But you would have to have the discipline of saving and how you spent your money once you got there,” Cuban said.

read more

New story in Business from Time: Mark Cuban Says This One Book Changed His Outlook on Money

Before Shark Tank, before the Dallas Mavericks, before HDNet, Mark Cuban was a humble twenty-something trying to figure out his way in the business world.

“I did things like have five roommates and live off of macaroni and cheese and really was very, very frugal,” Cuban recently told MONEY. “I had the worst possible car.”

The frugal lifestyle allowed him pour resources into the businesses that would ultimately make him a billionaire.

Cuban says a major source of inspiration for living on the cheap was the book Cashing In on the American Dream: How to Retire by the Age of 35. The book was published in 1988 by Paul Terhorst, who achieved this feat and said one can retire with a modest net worth—if they only spend $50 a day.

“The whole premise of the book was if you could save up to $1 million and live like a student, you could retire. But you would have to have the discipline of saving and how you spent your money once you got there,” Cuban said.

read more

Why It’s So Hard to Define What Online Hate Speech Is

Shortly after a rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to the death of a counter-protestor, YouTube removed a video of U.S. soldiers blowing up a Nazi swastika in 1945. In place of the video, users saw a message saying it had been “removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.”

Around the same time, an article from the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer attacking Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed during the protest, was shared 65,000 times on Facebook before Facebook started deleting links to the post one day later for violating its community standards on hate speech. After that point, Facebook would only allow links to the post that included a caption denouncing the article or the publication, the company said.

The two incidents underscore a central challenge for technology companies as they reluctantly wade deeper into policing content. To help sort through torrents of material, platform operators increasingly rely on computer read more

Sorry, Banning ‘Killer Robots’ Just Isn’t Practical

Late Sunday, 116 entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, released a letter to the United Nations warning of the dangerous “Pandora’s Box” presented by weapons that make their own decisions about when to kill. Publications including The Guardian and The Washington Post ran headlines saying Musk and his cosigners had called for a “ban” on “killer robots.”

Those headlines were misleading. The letter doesn’t explicitly call for a ban, although one of the organizers has suggested it does. Rather, it offers technical advice to a UN committee on autonomous weapons formed in December. The group’s warning that autonomous machines “can be weapons of terror” makes sense. But trying to ban them outright is probably a waste of time.

That’s not because it’s impossible to ban weapons technologies. Some 192 nations have signed the Chemical Weapons Convention that bans chemical weapons, for example. An international agreement blocking use of laser weapons intended read more

New story in Business from Time: These iPhone 8 Features Could Transform Your Smartphone

I’ve had the privilege of following Apple as a professional industry analyst since 1981. During those 36 years, I’ve learned a lot about Apple’s way of thinking and how its products impact the market, often becoming rapid mainstream phenomena that push the industry to adopt new standards, helping grow and diversify the PC and consumer electronics business.

A good example of this is when Apple put a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive in its very first Mac, at the now iconic desktop computer’s launch in January 1984. The PC industry had rallied around 5¼-inch floppy disks as the de facto medium for storing data. But Apple cofounder Steve Jobs and his team understood that the hardshell case surrounding 3.5-inch floppies was more durable—and more importantly, small enough to help them reduce the Mac’s physical size, making it seem almost svelte when measured against comparably bulky IBM-style PCs. In two years, the PC industry had moved to 3.5-inch floppy read more