Japan will have the worlds first fully capable space elevator in 2012. They are highly needed. Is US going to leave behind Japan in technology?
It's not just computers, this is true for everything. Everyone does something for a reason. For me, programming was a way to create the games and sandboxes I dreamed of and enjoyed. I never really even finished anything, but I had my mind going around the AI and the general gameplay mechanics. Especially when I was waiting for bus or doing something other boring stuff. But, I was never really fascinated about computers or programming *per se*. I was interested at what those techniques could give me.
So rather than trying to educate programming, computer history or other boring stuff, try to tell what fun stuff you can do, or whatever he would be interested at. Everything else will come later, and the kids will either pick it up themselves or ask, if they want to.
Is it because they offer something for "free"? Their contributions to open source are minimal at best. In fact, their contributions towards open source hurt open source and web standards. Google is by far the only company still fighting against H.264 (the better product) because they have a competing product they would like to see more use for. They are so desperate to get into the social network spying game that they actually made it required to make Google+ profile when you're creating new Google account.
Put it other way, they will continue closing services that didn't turn into immediate profit. They will continue to buy out firms just to close them down the line. Sometimes they buy them because the idea might be good or for some business reason (like Google Earth, Android and YouTube), but many times they also buy out competitors because they would be a good competitor to Google and they don't want that to happen.
Remember that Google's "low, shitty guidelines and standards" advertising side arm is called DoubleClick, which certainly has a "funny" history.