I hate ’em, you hate ’em; even the writers hate ’em as well. I finally got fed up enough to figure out how to completely block the autoplaying videos on the Macworld website.
Most instructions tell you to disable Flash, but I don’t even have Flash installed on my main computer (outside of the player embedded in Chrome, but I primarily use Safari). It turns out that the Macworld website will then load a video player from Brightcove, so you have to block that too.
I’m using AdBlock, so I click its toolbar icon, choose Options, and go to “Manually Edit Your Filters”. Click “Edit” and insert this text:
! Block autoplay videos on Macworld/PCWorld (need to block Brightcove as well) www.macworld.com##DIV[class="video-wrapper small-player"] www.pcworld.com##DIV[class="video-wrapper small-player"] players.brightcove.net
That seems to be the lowest common division; higher level entities are named “how-to” or “security” or some such. Might as well get PCWorld while we’re in there. Don’t forget to click “Save”, and you’re done. (Also don’t forget to pay for AdBlock; I’m doing that right now…)