Get him an Arduino. That way you can kickstart him in both programming and electronics.
Also, the Arduino was actually built for people that don't already know how to program.
And kids love blinking lights
To be more fair, Python is not hard if you use just basic features. No one has to use list comprehension to manage data on a list.
However, and that's a BIG however, there's still nothing in the python world that matches the ease of creating a GUI app like VB has. Hell, using some IDEs like Qt Creator makes GUI programming easier even for C/C++. And a GUI is what most non-programmers believe a "program" is.
Anyway, I'd still ask the kid for a project, which would pretty much dictate the technology to be used. A good programmer knows many languages and uses the best for the task.
To get attention, one could start by getting an Arduino and making a led blink. That's the electronics "hello world". You can use either Wiring or simple C (without pointers) to do that, and with a program skeleton in place, there's lots to be learned.
And those same people don't know (or remember) the first rule of intelligence:
Those who know, don't talk. Those who talk, don't know.
I'm not talking, move along.
If you think a deep further, with a LOT of imagination, one could envision another scenario:
It's possible Google is preparing for a non net-neutrality world, in which it would have to pay for the vast amount of bandwidth that it's clients use. Actually, Google is one of the first targets of those who wish to double-charge for bandwith (charge for users and providers at the same time).
In this world, a sensible way out of that cash-hole is for Google to be an ISP on its own. For that purpose, it could acquire dark fiber and try to acquire wireless spectrum (or lobby the FCC to make some unlicensed spectrum bands). With those at hand, it could make devices which are capable of forming mesh networks (if Android support that in the future, which is not unlikely). Those networks would then be connected by fiber over long distances. As such, how to get enough coverage to have a reliable mesh network? One answer it to make available a Google Phone which would have a great appeal if it could make free calls through Google Voice. That would ensure quite good acceptance from users.
That's it. A simple scenario. Seems quite possible to me, though I'm not an expert on the economics required to make it a reality (though if there's one company with enough resources to make it happen, that company is Google).
Note: the words marked with bold indicate topics which were discussed at a number of times right here on Slashdot.
Last time I checked, that's what politicians do
Maybe I should just start a church and make believers be my friend on Facebook
Steve Jobs said two years ago that X is brain-damaged and it will be gone in two years. He was half right. -- Dennis Ritchie