If you are interested in embedded programming and you live in the present you might just want to forget about the ancient 8-bit Arduino thing and jump straigth to ARM programming. We live in the 2015 and there is really no need to wonder about 1996 8-bit Atmel AVR technology. It is in fact true that for approximately $0.77, Mouser will sell you a 50MHz 32bit ARM equiped with UART, SPI, I2C, DAC and nearly 1Mbps 7 channel ADC all packed in a 3mm by 3mm case.
Today Free Range Factory Talk is born. Like its icon suggests, Talk is the place inside the Free Range Factory website where discussions and announcements take place.