Showing posts with label Entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entertainment. Show all posts

InBoxDollars - A Regretfully Negative to Neutral Review

Latest update: November 19, 2022. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

 InBoxDollars is a website that will pay you for performing various online activities. It's a great concept, but there is a major flaw for most people.

Long story short, InBoxDollars has no respect for your time. Just my opinion. My average earnings are  less than 10 cents a day. It is just not worth it. They do seem to be an honest, legitimate, open and aboveboard site. The only problem is the time spent versus the income earned.

Some Examples:
  • The average pay to watch a video is one cent per video.
  • Many times you will spend 10 minutes qualifying for a survey, only to be told you are not qualified and end up earning nothing.
  • The average winnings for the three levels of InBoxDollars Scratchers are {1 cent, 2 cents, 1 cent (I've quit this level)}, {3 cents, 3 cents, 4 cents, (I've quit this level)}, {5 cents, 10 cents, 8 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents, 8 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 8 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 9 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 5 cents, 9 cents, 5 cents}. And it can take a long time to qualify to play the scratchers.

The lowest cash payout threshold I could find was $15.00 to be sent to you via PayPal. InBoxDollars paid me $5.00 to sign up (I don't know if that is still going on); but accumulating the additional $10.00 to reach payout will take you a long, long time. I haven't reached payout yet. It will be interesting to see how that goes; I'll post an update if and when that happens.

In fairness, I should mention that InBoxDollars has a lot more than just surveys, videos, and scratchers. They have 1% (and more) cash back deals all over the place. They have cash back signup deals with third parties all over the place. They have shopping deals all over the place. They have printable coupon deals all over the place. They have various other offers all over the place. They will pay you to do web searches. They will pay you to take pictures of in-store receipts. They will pay you to read emails. They have free games.

My only problem with all of the above is that pesky time versus income issue. If you think you can do better than I'm doing, here's their link:  InBoxDollars.

InBoxDollars is also accredited with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB classifies InBoxDollars as belonging to the following categories: Internet Service, Online Shopping, Internet Marketing Services, E-commerce, Market Research, Entertainment, Surveys, Gift Cards, and Coupon Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is InboxDollars safe and legit? They have an excellent reputation as to safety and legitimacy.
  • How much does InboxDollars pay to watch videos? It used to be 1 cent a video. Wasn't worth my time. I've noticed I don't see the video option anymore. Apparently is was not worth anybody else's time either.
  • How can I earn fast money? Not at InBoxDollars.

I had planned to frequently add to this FAQ list, but I've finally lost interest. I should add that despite some of my criticisms, I was still fond of some parts of the site.

Some Random Notes and Updates

Note. This has happened to me more than once. Some of the survey collectors that InBoxDollars uses are collecting some or all of the survey answers from us that go beyond simple qualifying and then after collecting the answers will say we didn't qualify and don't pay us. I do not know if InBoxDollars is aware of this. This practice is ripping off both the InBoxDollars website and those of us taking the time to do the surveys. This has happened frequently enough that it has become a deal-breaker for me as to doing anymore surveys.

Note. There are other parts of the InBoxDollars website I still like and continue to interact with. But with the survey option being dead to me, I no longer consider InBoxDollars a viable source of any meaningful income. Despite this article's title and that the surveys part is dead to me, I have strangely become somewhat fond of this site.

Update. I received an email from InBoxDollars informing me that one of their members made over $3,000 last month. I'd kinda of like to know how they did that...

Update. I do like their "PaidEm" emails. Doesn't earn much, but some of the ads are interesting.

Update. I tried the surveys again; 3 or 4 of them; truly epic fail due to previously stated reasons; do not waste your time.

Update. I finally got bored with the PaidEm emails. The remuneration for reading the PaidEm emails and for doing searches just isn't worth it to continue. Oh well, at least the whole experience has been somewhat interesting. This is probably my last update.

Well now, we have another update. I suddenly got an email from InBoxDollars informing me that I'd earned $0.96 from a cash back. This was triggered by my recent online grocery shopping. This is either the result of the InBoxDollars "Billy Button" or I'd clicked a cash back offer I'd forgotten about on the website . The email says it's pending. We will see how that works out. Another update. I received a second email saying I have gotten another grocery shopping cash back in the amount of $1.10, also pending. The adventure continues...

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Help - A Negative Review of Amazon Prime Video and Fix for Streaming Service Settings - Keyboard Hotkeys, Shortcuts, Tips

Latest update: January 23, 2022. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Alternate Titles

  • Why Is Amazon Prime Video So Bad?
  • I Have Amazon Prime But I Can't Watch Videos
  • Amazon Prime Keeps Buffering
  • Amazon Prime Video Not Working on Chrome
  • Keyboard Shortcuts and Tips

When I first signed up and tried to use Amazon Prime Video, it was a royal mess and basically useless. The videos refused to work. It turns out that Amazon Prime's default video setting is ultra-high bandwidth usage. For folks with a less-than-perfect, high-speed ISP account; this can be a real problem. However and if one is lucky, it is possible to solve the debacle.

{Update: Has Amazon fixed this? I'd like to know.}

A few seconds of this is fine. But if it lasts longer and/or an error message appears, then there are problems.

How to Fix Amazon Prime Video Bandwidth Issues

There is both good news and bad news. The good news is Amazon has an option setting where one can change the bandwidth usage to a lower level. The bad news is the option setting is not available on the main menu; it is only available when one is able to get a video to run long enough (approximately a minute) for the option icon to show up at upper-right. One may have to make repeated attempts to make this happen. Closing all other apps and making sure Windows Updates isn't running will increase your chances of success.

If one can get the settings/option icon to work in video mode, three menu options will appear:
  • .38 GB or the menu might just say "Good".
  • 1.40 GB or the menu might just say "Better".
  • 6.84 GB or the menu might just say "Best".
Amazon has the default setting at 6.84 GB aka "Best". Changing the setting to .38 GB aka "Good" will solve the problem; the changed setting is immediately applied to the current and future videos. Oddly, I noticed no difference in video quality between the three settings. Your results may vary.

Sooner or later, Amazon will realize the error of their ways and include the bandwidth setting option in their main menu. They may very well have done so since this page's last update, so that would be worth checking. Until then, this appears to be the only workaround.

A Short Review of Amazon Prime Video

Amazon has discounts for folks on EBT and/or Medicaid or Medi-Cal.

Amazon Prime has an excellent variety of movies, TV shows, original programming, etc. They are doing the free 30-day trial promotion. I don't see a downside to giving them a try. If one is able to overcome the bandwidth problem, they should have several months of entertainment available.

My standard procedure for watching Amazon Prime videos:
  1. Skip or fast forward through the one or two introductory segments.
  2. When actual show starts, I hit pause.
  3. I go away for a minute or two to give the video a chance to buffer.
  4. All is well for the rest of the show.
And, there are the other benefits of joining Amazon Prime; shopping, free deliveries, music, etc. I have no plans to discontinue their services anytime soon.

June 2020 Update
Amazon Prime Video pulls a very dirty trick on it's subscribers. I found a TV show I thought I might like. So I watched the first episode. I did like it, so I happily watched all the episodes of the first season. When I went to the second season, Amazon suddenly demanded more money. That left an extremely bad taste in my mouth. There is nothing wrong with trying to sell add-ons; Amazon, Netflix and Hulu all do it. But to suddenly demand more money in the middle of a series is a new low in tackiness. I stared at that for a minute and then signed-off the site. I've got a renewal date coming up and am considering discontinuing my subscription. Not necessarily a permanent good-bye, just some time to mull things over. We shall see. Besides, Netflix has been poking me with a stick about some new shows.

2nd June 2020 Update
Yep, I unsubscribed from Amazon Prime Video and resubscribed to Netflix. I figured that Netflix has accumulated enough new shows to keep me entertained for at least a month, and they don't pull that demanding-more-money-in-the-middle of-a-series thing.

May 2021 Update
Well, I do believe it's been about a year since I gave Amazon Prime Video my regards. If there are any recent or current subscribers reading this, I and many others would be very appreciative to know if Amazon has fixed the video buffering issue by adding the bandwidth setting option on the main menu. Meanwhile, It looks like Amazon Prime Video has all sorts of different free-trial promos going on. A search for "Amazon Video Prime free trial" should bring them all up; use more than one search engine.

Amazon Prime Video Web Browser Keyboard Shortcuts

The Amazon Prime Video keyboard shortcuts are similar to the Netflix and Hulu keyboard shortcuts. I consider this a good thing; it appears that an industry standard has developed. This is definitely a break for the user. YouTube also appears to be the same way.
  • Space bar = Pause / Play (toggle) - Also works on YouTube in certain screen modes)
  • M = Mute / Un-mute (toggle) - Also works on YouTube)
  • F = Full-screen (double-clicking the screen also works) - Also works on YouTube)
  • Esc = Exit full-screen (or double-click again) - Also works on YouTube)
  • Left arrow = Rewinds, 10-second increments. - Also works on YouTube; (5-second increments)
  • Right arrow = Forwards, 10-second increments. - Also works on YouTube (5-second increments)

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A Review of Netflix - Plus Keyboard Hotkeys, Shortcuts, Tech Tips, and News

Latest update: August 19, 2022. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

This article started out years ago as a list of Netflix keyboard shortcuts and some tech tips. The news items and the short reviews were added later. This Netflix review has gone from positive to negative to positive to negative again. Netflix is certainly having its ups and downs.


Here are the Netflix keyboard shortcuts. Darned convenient they are. My mouse sent me a thank you note when I discovered "m" and the space bar.

Netflix and Apparently Most Streaming Services Keyboard Shortcuts

  • M = Mute/Un-mute (toggle)
  • Up arrow = Volume Up
  • Down arrow = Volume Down
  • Space bar = Pause/Play (toggle)
  • Enter = Pause/Play (toggle)
  • Not a keyboard shortcut, but clicking anywhere on the screen also does pause/play
    • F = Full-screen (double-clicking the screen also works)
    • Esc = Exit full-screen (or double-click again)
    • Left arrow = Rewinds 10 seconds each click (space bar may be needed to re-initiate play)
    • Right arrow = Fast Forwards 10 seconds each click (space bar may be needed to re-initiate play)
    • Shift+Left arrow = Rewind (keeps going until you hit space bar)
    • Shift+Right arrow = Fast Forward (keeps going until you hit space bar)

    Netflix Video Stuck?

    On occasion, I've experienced the video suddenly just stops playing. The computer, modem, and internet are all still fine; but for whatever reason, the video has stopped and most of the icons and keyboard shortcuts have become unresponsive. For me, clicking the 10-second-forward icon kick starts things back to normal. The keyboard right-arrow key may do the same. Much more convenient than closing and reopening the tab/window.

    Netflix Keyboard Functionality

    I've also noticed the Netflix keyboard key assignment functions stop working occasionally. I'm guessing this is because I have other Windows tabs open. When I go to those tabs, sometimes the website or application there resets the keys back to browser default; or maybe it is the browser itself doing it. Sometimes Netflix will reset the keyboard shortcuts back on when I return, but sometimes they apparently don't. Fortunately, I noticed using the mouse to click something once when I return usually resets the keys back to what Netflix wants them to be. Worst case scenario and if worth the bother, simply go back to browse and then back to whatever you were watching; this should reset the key shortcuts functions back on.

    If there is more information about the Netflix keyboard shortcuts, here's the latest from Netflix.

    Netflix Access Tech Note

    Netflix has served me well for years. Amazingly, it also works just fine when using landline DSL; broadband not required. However, be forewarned that a telephone company technician told me such is not the case for everyone. Apparently, it all depends on how close the telephone company substation is to your place of residence.

    Netflix Social Media Accounts

    If interested, here are Netflix's Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest social media accounts.


    Ongoing Netflix News and Review Notes


    October 2019 Update

    There are news media reports that Netflix has over 158 million global subscribers, but that major competition is afoot. Apparently, there will be four or five major competitors who will come upon on the scene within the next year. This can be both bad and good for subscribers:
    • Good: more competition is usually better for the consumer.
    • Bad: much of the video programming that has been available to Netflix will be withdrawn from Netflix and only be available to the consumer via Netflix's competitors. In other words, each video streaming service will have their own special group of shows. It looks like there will be very little cross-platform sharing. This means consumers will have a limited selection with any one service. If one wants a decent selection, the only recourse will be to subscribe to multiple services.

    January 2020 Update

    The selection of shows on Netflix has indeed dwindled considerably. The quality has also dropped significantly. When they report their number of subscribers next quarter, the stock price is probably going to take a major hit.

    February 2020 Update

    The selection and quality continues to be miserable. I really hate to pull the plug on them after all these years, but it's been weeks since I've found anything worth watching. Whenever I do click anything that looks promising, I inevitably end up aborting it within five minutes. I've got four days before the next renewal date to decide.

    An update to the update. Sadly, I have indeed canceled the account. I'll actually remember them fondly for all the good years. Who knows? I might even sign up with them again sometime in the future. No doubt I'll be receiving promotional emails from them in the coming months. Needless to say, it would be pointless to sign back up with them anytime soon. They'll probably need at least six months to turn things around, if ever. Time will tell.

    April 2020 Update

    Netflix to raise a billion dollars in new funding for  more original, new programming. Netflix has seen the writing on the wall and is more than ready, willing, and able to compete. I can see the day where I'll be willing to come back and subscribe to see how they are doing.

    July 2020 Update

    I have re-subscribed to Netflix. What with society being turned upside down due to the apparently neverending COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix business is once again booming. And I'm happy to say, I'm finding all sorts of new things to watch.

    August 2020 Update

    Netflix is now using a shuffle button. Apparently I'm not their only bored customer: CNN article.

    January 2021 Update

    Due to the pandemic, Netflix now has over 204 million subscribers worldwide. When that news came out, their stock jumped up over 10%. Meanwhile the fierce competition in the video streaming industry continues, Disney in particular is giving Netflix a run for their money. Hulu is also a player. I am still subscribed to both Netflix and Hulu, both are currently worth the price.

    June 2022 Update

    It's been awhile and what a mess. Netflix stock recently crashed and burned due to an exodus of subscribers. I likewise dropped Netflix yet again awhile back due to the lack of quality new content, Oh well. Netflix has publicly announced they intend to do better.

    I wish Netflix well, but they've got another serious problem. I am now finding free video streaming services all over the place. They all include ads, but I can live with that. Don't tell anyone, but I get up and do some quick house chores during those.

    August 2022

    Netflix keeps occasionally sending me emails to resubscribe. I did a news search and it appears that Netflix has been busily creating new content. There are also reports that Netflix is creating an ad-supported subscription option. I haven't received any emails about that yet. I am probably going to work up the energy to resubscribe this fall.

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