Spotify is the worst culprit, since it PAUSES the commercial if you lower your system volume.
I guess the physical knob on my speakers would be getting more of a workout then. Does it also do that in the web player (which they apparently don't show the link to on Windows)?
How soon before websites try using the CPU of visitors to mine bitcoin? Would that be possible?
What changed in 4.4, other than Android Browser dropping plug-in support?
Apparently, Google removed some deprecated APIs; I'm not sure of the details. There is someone who released a modified version of Flash yesterday that will work in the Dolphin Jetpack browser (link), so saying that you "can't" use flash on a newer device is no longer strictly true. Saying that it's completely "unsupported" (both by Google and Adobe) seems to be accurate, though.
So how should hobbyist game development continue in the era of...
"Hobbyist" development never meant "free" development. You've always had to buy the computer, keep it fairly up-to-date, buy your development environment (unless you worked in something with a free compiler/interpreter), etc. A hobbyist is more likely to work with what they have (since, yes, they're more likely to want to minimize costs). For instance, someone without a cellphone (or uninterested in mobile development) might start playing with WebGL and HTML5 for a desktop's browser (or work in a compiled language, like I do).
Android has the lowest barrier to entry to develop at the hobby level, with free, multi-platform tools, including a system emulator and non-cell devices of various descriptions and price points.
Apple provides free development tools, as long as you're not planning on releasing to the App Store. A hobbyist can develop on their own device. Of course, that requires either a Mac or the knowhow (and disregard of EULAs) to set up an OSX VM.
For Windows Phone, Microsoft offers AT&T and T-Mobile phones with no contract. Microsoft also provides a phone emulator in the development kit. Of course, you'd need a copy of Windows in the first place, and apparently Microsoft wants you to pay a subscription to even be able to transfer the app to a physical device. Then again, Adobe software has always needed a Windows or MacOS system to run on, anyhow.
So, Android seems like the cheapest solution. If I were a wannabe mobile app developer starting with nothing, I'd buy a cheap PC, a cheap Android tablet or personal video device (OK, so just the cheapest that should be able to run what I want to write), and work from there.
Not always. I often get "The content owner has not made this video available on mobile" on my Nexus 7.
You know what you never see on your Nexus 7? Flash. Well....unless you don't upgrade to Kitkat, track down the apk and install it manually. That's not going to be a very popular option.
Nor do they offer the slightest bit of interactivity. What's the multi-platform successor to Flash games?
In spirit? Phones and mobile, produced using multi-platform game engines. I see people passing around goofy phone apps the way that they used to pass around goofy Flash games. As the closest-related technology? HTML5.
Except for PC users on satellite Internet.
Again, like I said, it depends on your audience. Honestly, I've never met anyone with satellite internet. Still, HughesNet seems to offer some plans with some decent caps at decent prices (given what the service is).
Even if one plans to export the animations to YouTube, in which non-Adobe program should one create them in the first place?
Why would it have to be a non-Adobe program to create the animation? My problem's more with Flash/SWF than Adobe products. Edge produces HTML5 content, and is the Adobe product that's meant to succeed Flash. If you'd rather ditch Adobe products completely, from what I understand, there are alternatives.
I can't say that I've noticed quality problems from the ladies (at least not any more than I do from the men I work with). We've got a couple of "rockstar" guys that really stand out, but I think that's more of a numbers game than anything. I can't say that I'm more impressed with the females than the males, but I'm not less impressed either, for whatever worth my opinion has.
In close to 30 years of working with computers, I can count on one hand the number of females I've run into who actually code for a living.
Well, what do you mean by "code for a living"? Do you mean women that held an engineering position for that entire 30 year span of time? Most of my coworkers are male, granted, but I'd have to at least include my toes to count the number of female software engineers in the building with me right now.