Read the article and there are a few inaccuracies including the need to "renew a license". As a pilot, aircraft owner and have a small business at an airport, I can confidently state some costs have risen over the years, mainly fuel, new airplane cost, rental fees. However some have remained the same or actually have fallen; hangar rent is about the same as a decade ago and my insurance is actually cheaper, used planes are about the same cost. I don't agree cost nor legislation is the main issue; it is interest and initiative from younger persons. No one hangs out at the airport like they did in the past. The same week I landed a full time job out of university I signed up for my training. Three months later I had my license. Instead of running out and getting a new car and a new payment, I started flying. I still think it can be done in a similar fashion if there is interest and initiative. I also don't agree with relaxing the rules to let people fly without a medical; it just isn't that big of a deal (or cost) to go for an exam every couple years. A rule change like this will not get new younger people flying, it will just extend the time for older people to legally fly. BTW, if they really want to, the older folks will probably fly anyway medical or not. Not certain how to fix it, but I'm not buying the cost and legislation excuses.
Started on a VIC20 with Compute! magazine. Got a job a chicken joint when I just turned 16 and the owner had an Apple ][ in the back; he was paying Robotwar and looking for an opponent. Learn to program the Robotwar bots. That led me to take a course in programming at high school on Apple ][e. Still program today: iPhone apps and Arduino.
I started with bare bones AVR. I switched to Arduino. I could see from online community support Arduino would jump start my experience. A year or so later I have made several higher ended projects including the electronic payload for a near space balloon. I would have not achieved so much so quickly without Arduino and the community support. One can still go small with Arduino (Nano, Micro, etc) and one can go barebones as well: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Standalone. I generally prototype with the Uno and switch to the Nano or barebones when moving beyond the prototype stage.
As an American traveling through Russia on a motorcycle 6 or 7 years ago I took a Polaroid and quite a bit of film. I cannot tell you how great it was at times to take a photo with the locals and hand them a print. End of an era.
I am holding my Hexbright now! Admittedly, I went into this with rather low expectations knowing how difficult product development can be. I thought it was interesting, fond memories of the original Battebots and it was my first Kickstarter support; probably not the best criteria for investments... Product exceeded my expectation.
Spinning in the wrong direction...
I had typed-in programs from the various mags at the time into my Commadore and peeked and poked a bit. However it was the game "Robotwar" that got me really interested in programming. My first original programming was done on an apple ][. A turning point for me; pointed me toward programming, math and science. Cheers to the apple ][! BTW, I still boot one from time to time to play Robotwar!