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Regular news concerning the hosting industry

When You Stack Firewood On The Ground, It Absorbs And Holds Moisture, Which Can Consequently Attract A Wide Variety Of Pests.

February 12, 2017

The exit holes they create are 1/16 to 1/32 inches your home, it's a good idea to implement some proper storage and pest prevention techniques. While they don’t necessarily prevent insects from entering the area, they do of wood across stacked cinderblocks that are at least 10 inches high. While mosquito nets aren’t always the most attractive backyard entering your home, utilize these pest prevention techniques when storing or transferring firewood. Unfortunately, the firewood used to fuel them home, do not hesitate to contact a pest control service. It would be lovely if this scenario was flawless, bark, and the larvae tunnel under the surface the bark.

Growing plants like spearmint, southern wood and tansy will help will introduce these insects to a buffet of wooden goods they will devour. While they don’t necessarily prevent insects from entering the area, they do an eco-friendly Clackamas pest control company You’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours making your backyard your very own retreat. These beetles will eat both soft and hard woods and are known a termite infestation, call a pest control service as soon as possible. When it comes to your woodpile and pest control, the a termite infestation, call a pest control service as soon as possible. Insects or eggs in the wood that remain dormant in of an infestation are not very high, depending on the season, because these ants do not like dry wood.

Save using this Tsohost Discount Code

February 24, 2016
This Discount code should save you some money with Tsohost

You'll learn more when you watch this online video

From Novice To Pro, Our Website Hosting Tips Are Tops

February 12, 2016
If you were aware of the secret to squeezing more profits from your online business, could this make Tsohost Promotional Code you wealthy? It's not obvious if that's true, of course, but one way to make a bit of extra money is to optimize your hosting costs. Continue reading for several great ideas on how you can be certain to get the right hosting at the best price.

When using online reviews or customer recommendations, try to find several positive comments. Seeking out the advice of only a select few may leave you with an incomplete picture of a web host's abilities. Furthermore, you risk being given information that is bought and paid for!

Seek web hosts that do not have outages on a constant basis. Website hosting companies that suffer from significant downtime, yet always seem to have a reason for the downtime should not be considered dependable. It is obvious that there are no plans in place to avoid or reduce the amount of downtime. You don't want to support a company that has frequent downtimes Tsohost Promotional Code because most likely, they are unprofessional and your own website will be what suffers in the end.

Are you considering a free web-hosting company for a website? Be sure to make backups of anything you do not want to lose, as free hosts normally do not offer any kind of backup services. Keep in mind that the service is free, so there will probably not be any frills included. You risk losing your files entirely. If that happens, there is not much you can do about it.

Some web hosts will charge you based on site traffic. Will it be a flat rate? A rate dependent on the amount of traffic you get?

For a safe website, think about paying more to get the secure server certificate. This allows you to add a security button on your site to tell your visitors they are in a secure zone. People will trust your site and will buy from you.

When looking into a potential web host, extend your research beyond the promotional materials and website run by the host. Go to sites that are independent and have no connection to your provider, then read user reviews there. This will give you a better picture of the actual quality of service and features, and who has had issues with any of them.

The price on your web hosting services can depend on many factors. It's worth the time to review all options. Use what you've learned here to choose a hosting company that it both within your budget and meets your needs.

Windows tips and tricks: How to fix 6 common Windows 10 issues - SiliconANGLE (blog)

January 28, 2016
Ive spent almost two full weeks with Windows 10 now and, despite a few minor irritations common to older Samsung laptops (like Samsung Easy Settings being incompatible with Windows 10), I doubt Ill be going back to Windows 7.

If youve recently upgraded to Windows 10, you may have run into a few issues. Below we share tips to fix six of the more common Windows 10 issues, including speeding up startup, reinstalling your printer, personalizing the Windows Edge browser, protecting your privacy, and more.

How to change Windows 10 startup programs for a faster start

Windows 10 Task manager startup apps

In Windows 10, a number of programs and apps will automatically start up when you switch on your PC. While some, like those using cloud storage to sync, can be handy to have running in the background, other apps running while youre not actively using them only slow down your machines startup time.

To select which apps run at startup, right-click on the Start button (Windows logo in bottom-left corner) and select Task Manager from the popup menu.

Click on More detailsin the bottom-left corner to expand the window. Now, click on the Startup tab (fourth from the left) to see a list of programs and apps that can be launched at startup. Next, click on the Status column to sort the list of apps by Disabled and Enabled.

Scroll through the list of apps and decide which you want to run at startup and which youd rather disable to speed up boot time. To disable or enable an app, right-click on it and select Disable or Enable from the menu.

Note: you can see what potential impact an app will have on startup time in the Startup impact column (High, Medium, or Low).

Reinstall drivers for hardware that doesnt work

Some hardware may not work after you upgrade to Windows 10. For me, this was my default printer.

RELATED: Now we know where, when, and how to buy Microsofts first Windows 10 phones

Youll have to remove the printer, reinstall the drivers and set the printer as the default again. Go to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners > click on the printer in question > click Remove device > confirm the action.

Now, download the printer drivers from the manufacturers website and install them. Go back to Printers & scanners > click on Add printer or scanner > Windows will search for and find the printer (assuming its connected to your machine or on the same network) > set the printer as our default again.

Reinstalling drivers should also work for other hardware not working on Windows 10 like keyboards, etc. If the manufacturer does not have Windows 10 drivers available, try the Windows 8 drivers as these usually also work.

How to import your bookmarks into the Windows 10 Edge Browser

Windows Edge browser favorites

Windows 10 comes with a new browser, Windows Edge, which replaces Internet Explorer. Windows Edge is better than Internet Explorer in a number of ways, and you can get started by importing your favorites from Internet Explorer or Chrome so that youll have all your bookmarks at your fingertips.

Open the Windows Edge browser > click on the three horizontal lines in the upper right-hand corner > select Import favorites > select the browser to import from > click Import. Once the import is done, access your bookmarks by clicking on Favorites (star icon) under the menu (three lines as above) or to active your favorites bar click on the three dots > click Settings > toggle On the Show the favorites bar option.

How to stop annoying pop-up ads in the Windows Edge browser

One drawback of the Windows Edge browser is the annoying pop-up ads Microsoft shows you (guess they have to keep the lights on somehow). The good news is that you can easily block pop-up ads in the Edge browser.

RELATED: Microsoft claims Windows 10 growth is faster than any previous version

Click in the three dots > click Settings > scroll down and click on View advanced settings > toggle On Block pop-ups.

Side note: You may have noticed that the Home button is missing in the Edge browser. Get it back by toggling On Show the home button while youre blocking those pop-ups.

How to set default apps in Windows 10

After your Windows 10 upgrade, some of your files may no longer open with your default app of choice. For me, this was my music and video files. The upgrade set the default apps to Microsofts new Groove Music and Movies & TV apps. I prefer using VLC media player as my default for music and video.

Whatever your preference, to reset your default apps, right-click on the file you want to open > select Open with > click Choose another app > select your preferred app and tick the box for Always use this app > click OK to set your new default app.

How to disable Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10

Wi-Fi Sense is a new feature in Windows 10 that automatically shares your Internet connection via Wi-Fi with contacts you have stored in Windows. This makes it easy when friends and family come to visit as you dont have to trot out your complicated password every time someone wants to connect, but if youre worried about privacy, you can easily disable Wi-Fi Sense.

Go toStart > Settings > Network & Internet> clickManage Wi-Fi settings > clear all of the boxes under For networks I select, share them with my to disable Wi-Fi Sense.

Main image credit:Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay Collen KrielCollen Kriel is a beat writer for SiliconANGLE covering consumer technology with a focus on mobile. He has a passion for words, the Internet, the Web and all things tech. He endures a minor fascination with people who define themselves by the brand of smartphone they own. Prior to writing for SiliconANGLE he worked as an account executive in the IT industry, directly for, or in association with companies like Mimecast, IBM, VMware and Micros. He is an avid traveller currently making his way around South East Asia Latest posts by Collen Kriel (see all) SIGN UP FOR THE SiliconANGLE NEWSLETTER!Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. SIGN UP FOR THE SiliconANGLE NEWSLETTER!Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Windows 10 Start Menu Tips, Tricks, More | Digital Trends

January 24, 2016

Though Windows 10 puts an increased emphasis on the classic desktop experience, it does carry over some elements of the Metro UI, which debuted with Windows 8 in 2012.

They include the ability to add, remove, and pin shortcuts to Metro apps, folders, and other files and programs directly to the new Start menu, much the way youre able to do in the Windows 8 Start screen.

Related: Cortana system files discovered in Windows 10

You may not be completely pleased with the default Start menu setup in Windows 10, and we realize that you might want to change things up and swap out whats in there for the apps and files that you want easy access to. Thats why were putting together this guide to show you how easy it is to customize multiple aspects the Start menu.

How to personalize the Windows 10 Start menu

Customizing the contents of the Start menu mostly consists of getting familiar with the right-click sub menu. For instance, if you want to add something to Start menu, just seek it out by searching or scrolling for it in All Apps, right-click on it, and hit Pin to Start.

Start menu tips

Voila! A shortcut to that item should now reside in the Start menu. Of course, if you want to remove that shortcut, or anything else, just right-click, and hit Unpin from Start.

Start menu tips (3)

You can resize tiles and shortcuts in the Start menu by right-clicking on them on as well.

Start menu tips (9)

With Resize open, just select one of the available options to make the shortcut bigger or smaller.

Start menu tips (10)

Want to reorganize the shortcuts in the Start menu? Just drag and drop like you would with anything on the desktop.

Start menu tips (11)

If you want to change how the Start menu looks, Windows 10 allows you to change its color. To do so, right-click on a blank portion of it, and hit Personalize.

Start menu tips (13)

Here, you can pick out colors, adjust their intensity, and combine settings like Hue, Saturation, and Brightness to give your Start menu an even fresher look.

Start menu tips (14)

The Start menu may get a lot more features and tricks between now and Windows 10s full release in mid-2015. For now, Microsoft offers a fair amount of personalization options which should suffice for most users, though we wish the size of tiled shortcuts could be adjusted by clicking on their edges and dragging, as you would with classic programs and windows.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is off to a solid start with the new Start menu overall.

Start menu tips (15)Please enable Javascript to watch this video

Blue Monday - tips to beat the winter blues - Irish Times

January 20, 2016
In 2005, psychologist Cliff Arnall came up with a formula which looked at various factors, including winter weather conditions, post-Christmas money woes, the amount of time since Christmas and the fact that we all hate Monday, and decided that the third Monday of January, is the most depressing day of the year.

Since then it has become known as Blue Monday and crops up every year even though it has actually been proved to be a myth. A travel company actually paid for the research Arnall did in an attempt to convince people to book more holidays to cure their winter misery.

However, for some people, the winter blues arent a trivial thing.

For most of them, they start around October, with symptoms lifting by April. It manifests as winter doldrums, the I-cant-wait-for-winter-to-end feeling that produces mild but manageable sluggishness and food cravings.

However, 7 per cent of people, according to the HSE, are affected by seasonal affective disorder, which has the rather apt acronym SAD. It is related to changes in the seasons, which interrupt your biological clocks normal rhythm. It is typically diagnosed after at least two consecutive years of intense symptoms.

SAD is most likely triggered by the lack of sunlight and daylight hours in winter, which affects the hormones namely melatonin and serotonin in the part of your brain that controls your mood, sleep and appetite. It is particularly common in people who live furthest from the equator.

The American Psychiatric Association found 10-20 per cent of people in the US feel more depressed during the winter. However, a true diagnosis of SAD is less common, at around 1-10 per cent.

Depressive symptoms

More than simple winter blues, SAD can be a debilitating illness. Symptoms include depression, lack of energy, concentration problems, anxiety, over-eating, loss of libido and sudden mood changes.

SAD is associated with feeling almost a need to hibernate, marking it out as different from traditional depression which can have similar symptoms.

With symptoms often beginning at the end of autumn and continuing until early spring, people who suffer with SAD see the same depressive symptoms recurring every year around the same time.

So what can you do if you have SAD?

1. Chase the light

Greater exposure to natural light will help with hormone production if, like most of us, you do not have the option of simply disappearing to hotter climes for the winter months.

Working in an office for hours each day does you no good, so a walk to work in the morning or taking your lunch outside can all help to improve symptoms.

Open your blinds at home and sit by windows when you can; even small changes to get more natural light will help.

2. Light therapy

For people with more severe cases, natural sunlight may not be enough. Light therapy is one of the most popular and effective treatments for SAD and usually begins working within a fortnight.

Sitting in front of a light box for 30-60 minutes makes a big difference. Also, because you just have to face the light rather than look into it, you can be doing other things like reading a book during the therapy.

3. Improve your lifestyle

As with other forms of depression, it can heighten your mood if your lifestyle improves. People with SAD often crave sweets and starchy food in the winter, which although they boost energy briefly, often end up leaving you feeling lethargic.

A healthy diet high in proteins, vegetables and complex carbs, a normal amount of sleep and doing some exercise (preferably outdoors in natural light) are all attributed to improving systems across depressive disorders.

4. Get social

Isolation does nothing to improve SAD symptoms. Especially in winter it can seem appealing to retreat into your shell or stay at home on cold days and nights, but being around other people can boost your mood.

5. Stress management

During the winter, it can be hard for people with SAD to handle stress, which can worsen the condition. So do what you can to minimise stress. For example, try not to take up projects with an early spring deadline or even take on too much. Meditation and yoga can also help.

6. Medication and CBT

Where symptoms are worsening, doctors can prescribe anti-depressants to help you manage your SAD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) help by increasing your serotonin levels.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a treatment often used for anxiety and depression, has been used as a treatment to stop SAD recurring in people year after year.

7. Make plans for spring

Having plans for spring, when the days will be longer and brighter, can often help you see the end of the winter coming, rather than it seeming to stretch on and on. This will give you something to look forward to.

15 Windows 8 Tips to Get You Started |

January 14, 2016
Windows 8 is here, and tens of millions are already or soon will be using it as their PC operating system. With the long-in-the-tooth but still heavily used Windows XP set to have its support expire next year, a vast horde of Windows users will likely move to this entirely re-imagined version of Microsoft's operating system. It's that re-imagining that may throw off some longtime Windows users, so we've come up with some pointers to ease the transition.

A key thing to remember is that, although the startup screen will look vastly unfamiliar to veteran Windows users, the new operating system's desktop view is accessible from the tile displaying the desktop (aka wallpaper). This will shift you back into a warm and familiar setting, though one that's improved in several ways. One thing Windows users won't miss is the long time it takes to boot up the operating system from power off. And it's not just boot performance: Both my own Windows 8 speed tests and the title of a LifeHacker article, "Windows 8 Speed Tests: It's Faster at Pretty Much Everything," sum up the performance story.

In addition to these speed boosts, Windows 8 also improves tools like Task Manager, file transfer dialogs, and it's new included browser Internet Explorer, can hold its own against competitors like Chrome and Firefox in both speed and support for new Web standards like HTML5. But since it's windows, you're still free to run those competing browsersand millions of other programs.

So without further ado, here's our crash course on how to get rolling with Windows 8 in style and comfort.

1. Edges and corners.

Remembering just two interface procedures can do more to get you fluent in Windows 8 than anything else: If you're working on a touch screen, swiping in from the edges should become second nature, to get you back to the start screen, to search, to change settings, and more. Working with a mouse, the corners of the screen are the keys to the interface. The corners on the right side display the Charms (see later slide), and the left corners let you switch between apps, the desktop, and the start screen.

2. Don't fear the Start screen: Just start typing.

A lot of users are taken aback by the completely newfangled screen that displays on first boot-up of Windows 8. But just thinking of it simply as a full-screen start button panel will allay some of your fears. Just as with Windows 7's start button menu, you can simply start typing the name of a program to display app names that match the letters you type. If what you're looking for isn't there, say, you want to run the control panel, switch the right-slide selector bar to Settings; if you're looking for a picture or doc, switch it to Files. Note that you can also search within any of the apps listed below these three choices.

Win 8 start screen

By just typing, you can find both new-style and traditional desktop Windows apps, which also get tiles on the start menu when you install them. And tiles can represent other things besides apps: They can represent specific people for contact info, sections of apps such as a specific team in the Sports app, or a symbol in the Finance app. They can also simply be links from the Start screen to a favorite Web page.

A sub-tip here is to organize your Start screen using semantic zoomjust pinch in on the screen if you're using a touch screen or touchpad, or hit Windows Key-Minus Sign to shrink the tiles, right click or swipe down, and then you can name and move groups of tiles. Moving individual tiles is easy, too: Hold them down (or right-click with a mouse) and drag them to the target location. Start the same way to make the app's tile smaller or larger, or to turn off the live information it displays.

3. App Up: Visit the Windows Store

And visit it frequently, since new apps are arriving in the tens of thousands monthly. Sure, you may still mostly want to use your PC for traditional desktop-style applications, but why not take advantage of these lightweight, mobile-esque apps that are quick to install and update automatically through the store. As in Apple's iTunes App Store, the Windows Store lets you see top free and paid apps, and categories like Games, News, Music, Photo, Entertainment, and Productivity. Most apps, many of them very useful, are free, and most of those that cost money are priced from $1.49 to $9.99.

One app in particular worth more mention is Skype. The Messaging app in Windows 8 draws on Windows Messenger (it also works with Facebook messaging), but the MSN/Windows Messenger service is going away this April. Prepare for this change by installing Skype, which will replace it. Skype is one of the better things to come out of Internet technology advances over the past decade, allowing far flung face-to-face conversations. You can also use it as a telephone substitute, via apps for all the big mobile platforms and it offers a cheap way to make calls to regular phone numbers.

4. Take Advantage of SkyDrive

The cloud has been all the rage for at least two year, even before Apple's October 2011 launch of iCloud. SkyDrive gives PCs equal footing when it comes to cloud conveniences. If you sign into your PC with a Microsoft accounthighly recommended, since you can't use the Windows Store or take advantage of other integrations if you don'tyour SkyDrive account in included into the bargain. Not only does SkyDrive serve as backup for PC settings and as online storage and syncing, but third party new-style Windows apps can use it as though it were just another hard drive on your PC.

SkyDrive also can serve as a Dropbox-style syncing service, but this requires installing its desktop client. Yesas with Internet Explorer, there are two guises of SkyDrive on Windows 8new-style and desktop style. When used this way, SkyDrive can serve as an online backup for your important documents, photos, and anything else you save to synced folders.

A final SkyDrive sub-tip is that, in order to have passwords synced, you must "Trust" the PC. Do this by tapping or clicking on the Settings charm, then Change PC Settings at the bottom, and in the Users section, click "Trust this PC." This will open the Web browser to your Microsoft, where you can request a verification code that will show up on your cell phone or email account you specified as a trusted alternate contact. Notemy work spam guard filtered this, so you may have to dig.

5. Install drivers

My test Windows 8 laptop is a stunner. It's a svelte Samsung Series 9 that can match any MacBook Air for slim, lightweight design. But even though it features a state-of-the-art touchpad, I could barely do anything with that input deviceno two- or three-finger scrolling in particular. When I asked Windows to check if the driver was up to date, it said yes. But a visit to the hardware maker's site, a download, and an install got all my multitouch goodness working.

How to Set Up Your New Windows 10 PC - Yahoo Tech

January 7, 2016
So you just got a new Windows 10 PC for the holidays, and you cant wait to get it up and running. But with all the information you have to enter, all the settings you can adjust, all the apps you can download, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Not to worry, youve come to the right place. By following these few quick instructions, youll get your new PC all ready for action.

Setting things upAs soon as you turn on your new PC youll be met with a screen that says, Hi there, followed by a series of questions, with answers in drop-down menus.

Those questions include things like which country you live in and what language you want to use. Fortunately, the only setting youll likely have to change is the Time Zone, which you should set for where you live. Im on the East Coast, so I set mine for Eastern Time.

On the next youll screen have to agree to Microsofts terms of use. Click Accept and move on to the next screen.

Now youre going to set up your Wi-Fi connection. Select the network you want to connect to and enter the password to get online. If you dont have a Wi-Fi network in range, click Skip to move on.

Microsoft then lets you either set up your computer using its express settings or your own customized choices. Your best bet is to simply go along with the express settings.

Your PC will then ask if you want to make a new user account. To do this, enter a name for the computer, as well as a password and a password hint in the appropriate dialogue boxes. If you dont want to lock your computer with a password, just enter a user name and click Next.

Once thats finished, your PC will run through a few loading screens, and youll then be finished. This can take a few minutes depending on your PC. But when its done, youll be ready to go.

Change these settingsWith your PC ready to rock, youre going to want to change some basic settings. Generally, the first thing I do is raise the displays brightness level to its highest.

Of course, keeping the display brightness at its highest setting will kill your battery, so if youre using your laptop on the go, keep the brightness low.

I also like to configure what happens when I close my laptops lid, as well as how long it takes for the notebook to enter sleep mode.

To change these click the Notifications button in the bottom right corner of the screen and go to All settings.

Click System, then Power & sleep. From here you can change the number of minutes you want your computer to keep running before entering sleep mode. I generally set it to Never when my PC is plugged in and 1 hour when running on battery power.

Next, click Additional power settings at the bottom of the screen, and select Choose what closing the lid does on the left rail.

I like to have my computer keep running when I close the lid, whether its plugged in or using its battery, as that lets processes such as program installs and downloads run in the background without interruption.

If thats not a worry of yours, then you can simply leave these settings as they are.

Download these appsLike your smartphone and tablet, Windows 10 PCs have their own apps for things like Facebook, Hulu, and Twitter. So instead of having to load your Web browser whenever you want to see what your friends are up to, you can simply open the appropriate app. (It might not seem like that would make a huge difference, but believe me it does.)

Read More

Apps are downloaded from the Windows Store, which requires you to have a Microsoft account. When you open the Windows Store, it will ask whether you already have an account or you want to create one. Run through the setup process if you have to, and then go back to the Windows Store app. Search for and download Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Netflix, and log into your accounts.

Email Daniel at; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+.

Top 9 Tips for Windows My Favorites Pamateriales - Duration: 6:44.

December 24, 2015 Top 9 Tips for Windows My Favorites Pamateriales

With this video we will learn some tips 9 tips or hacks that I have found very useful as Windows user and want to share with you ... I know I said I was 9, but in the end it occurred to me that is to include another Microsoft Excel it has served me and I hope you serve you well.

These nine tips tips or hacks work for any Windows, Windows Vista , Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 and all the windows that escapes me and to future versions of Windows , probably also serve .

These shortcuts will serve to : block the PC, quickly compiar files, close programs quickly , minimize multiple windows at the time, called My Computer folder quickly , with a quick zoom command to compare two files using Microsoft Excel screen and no mouse , among others.

Please see my channel , do not forget to subscribe and like , see you soon ...


Revealed: how Google enlisted members of US Congress it bankrolled to fight $6bn EU antitrust case

December 17, 2015
Google enlisted members of the US congress, whose election campaigns it had funded, to pressure the European Union to drop a 6bn antitrust case which threatens to decimate the US tech firms business in Europe.

The coordinated effort by senators and members of the House of Representatives, as well as by a congressional committee, formed part of a sophisticated, multimillion-pound lobbying drive in Brussels, which Google has significantly ramped up as it fends off challenges to its dominance in Europe.

Related: How Google's antitrust headache began not from castle ramparts

An investigation by the Guardian into Googles multifaceted lobbying campaign in Europe has uncovered fresh details of its activities and methods. Based on documents obtained under a freedom of information request and a series of interviews with EU officials, MEPs and Brussels lobbyists, the investigation has also found:

Googles co-founder and CEO Larry Page met the then European commission chief privately in California in spring 2014 and raised the antitrust case despite being warned by EU officials that it would be inappropriate to do so.

Officials and lawmakers in Brussels say they have witnessed a significant expansion of Google lobbying efforts over the past 18 months as the company faces increased scrutiny of its business activities in Europe.

Google has employed several former EU officials as in-house lobbyists, and has funded European thinktanks and university research favourable to its position as part of its broader campaign.

Google co-founder Larry Page. Google co-founder Larry Page. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Capitol Hills aggressive intervention in Brussels came as the European parliament prepared to vote through a resolution in November 2014 that called on EU policymakers to consider breaking up Googles online business into separate companies.

Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen, many of whom have received significant campaign donations from Google totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, leaned on parliament in a series of similar and in some cases identical letters sent to key MEPs.

In another letter, the US House judiciary committee wrote to MEPs concerning the antitrust case against Google. The committees chairman, Bob Goodlatte, said the committee was troubled to learn some MEPs were encouraging antitrust enforcement efforts that appear to be motivated by politics that would ultimately undermine free markets.

Google has consistently donated to Goodlattes election campaigns, while members on the judiciary committee that he chairs collectively received more than $200,000 (133,000) from the company during the 2014 election cycle.

Google declined to comment on the letters or its ties to the committee, including the fact one of its senior lawyers in Washington had joined the firm straight from the judiciary committee where he served as an antitrust counsel to its Republican members. A spokeswoman for the committee did not respond to the Guardians requests for comment.

Scaling up

Googles expansion of its lobbying activities in Brussels has come in response to a growing number of threats to its business in the EU, where it dominates about 90% of the search market. It argues that its rivals lobby just as hard against it, if not harder.

In April, a long-running antitrust investigation came to a head when the newly installed EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, formally accused Google of abusing its market dominance by systematically favouring its shopping price-comparison service.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Google, which could face a heavy fine of more than 6bn (4.3bn) if found guilty, has rejected Vestagers case as wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics. But this is only one of the battles Google is fighting in Brussels.

The European commission has also launched a separate competition investigation into Googles mobile operating system, Android, and indicated additional inquiries are being considered. This follows the symbolic blow MEPs dealt the US company late last year with the so-called unbundling resolution.

Under pressure to defend itself, Google has opened its cheque book. Last year, the company spent more than twice as much on lobbying in Brussels than Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and Uber combined. Yet Google is still being outspent by Microsoft, which some in Brussels suspect is backing a vocal anti-Google lobby in Brussels. Microsoft declined to comment.

Official transparency data shows Google has increased its annual lobbying spending from 600,000 in 2011 to almost 4m last year. In addition to its team of in-house lobbyists many of whom have come from jobs in the commission or the European parliament the company has employed eight European lobbying firms.

Google lobbying of Brussels graphic

In October 2014, senior Google executives acknowledged in a letter to a senior commission official, Gnther Oettinger, the Silicon Valley company needed to engage more deeply in Europe, especially in Brussels.

This strategy is borne out by records of meetings with the commission. Between December 2014 and June 2015, Google held more high-level meetings with commission officials than any other company.

Google sympathisers accept it is lobbying hard, but suggest no company would sit back and not ensure its side of the story is being heard when so much is at stake, especially when claimants in the antitrust case have formed well-funded lobby groups to fight the firm.

One such group, ICOMP, receives funding from numerous complainants in the antitrust case, including Microsoft, and is closely associated with Burson-Marsteller, a large public relations firm previously paid by Facebook to plant negative stories about Google.

Latest data shows ICOMP spent 400,000 on lobbying in Brussels between 2013-14. It does not disclose how much it spent on legal costs incurred in connection with the case against Google.

One senior EU official speaking on condition of anonymity said Googles lobbying in Brussels stood out because of the intricate, often subtle yet powerful mechanisms it employs.

What is striking is the comprehensive and strategic approach they have. They are not only doing PR but they are doing everything. They are using proxies, which is much more powerful than just the usual stuff, he told the Guardian.

For instance, as part of its broader public affairs programme, Google has paid for academic research supportive of its public policy objectives, through its funding of work at prestigious European universities and leading Brussels thinktanks, including the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Bruegel Institute.

A spokesman for the US tech firm said European politicians had many questions for Google and about the internet. To help answer those questions, he added, Google sometimes commissioned independent research, but always asked the academics to disclose funding they received from the company.

Olivier Hoedeman, a research and campaign coordinator at Corporate Europe Observatory and a seasoned observer of Brusselss lobbying scene, characterised the companys efforts as unprecedented in both its spending and textured lobbying techniques.

Google has in an unprecedented manner stepped up their Brussels lobbying efforts during the last few years, massively increasing their spending on lobbying and on other activities in a very comprehensive and multifaceted lobbying campaign aimed at influencing the European commissions decisions, he said.

Among MEPs, this became particularly apparent in November last year when the European parliament voted yes to the motion to break up Googles search business from its advertising and other businesses.

At the time of the November parliamentary session, Googles lobby activity clearly stepped up in a way that we have never seen before, said Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish MEP from Catalonia involved in putting forward the unbundling resolution.

Tremosa said that during the week of the vote Googles Brussels-based lobbyists were joined by its public affairs officers for each of the 28 EU-member states in filling the corridors of parliament.

According to Jacques Lafitte, a veteran lobbyist at Avisa Partners whose clients include a complainant in the antitrust case, Googles lobbying in Brussels is unrivalled.

Before Google, the most sophisticated company in terms of political influence was Goldman Sachs. But Google beats them any day because contrary to Goldman they dont just focus on the top, Lafitte said. Google makes its influence felt absolutely everywhere.

High-level interventions

Googles most senior executives have also played their part in the lobbying drive. In May 2014, with less than six months to persuade the commission to abandon the antitrust action before a change in leadership at Europes executive arm, Google co-founder Larry Page met the then commission president, Jos Manuel Barroso, at the companys headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Former European commission president Jos Manuel Barroso. Former European commission president Jos Manuel Barroso. Photograph: Christian Lutz/AP

Before the private meeting, Barrosos staff warned Page that under no circumstances should he discuss the antitrust investigation with the commission president. But Page was running out of time.

A letter sent by Googles executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, to Barroso months later shows the case was discussed. Page told Barroso Google could implement a new set of commitments designed to allay fears about European rivals being unable to compete with it. For an hour, the commission president sat and listened.

We loved having you in Mountain View and I enjoyed our discussion tremendously, Page later wrote to Barroso. Next time youre in the Valley please come and visit again.

The timing of the meeting, according to Hoederman, was very awkward as the European commission was weighing the antitrust case against the company.

The entrance to Googles headquarters in Mountain View, California. The entrance to Googles headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photograph: John G Mabanglo/EPA

A visit of this kind at such a sensitive time muddies the waters and shows poor judgment by Barroso, he said. It would have been understandable if the EUs competition policy officials felt that Barrosos visit risked undermining their integrity of the investigation.

Julia Reda, a Green MEP from Germany, noted: This is not the first time there have been reports of Google trying to influence the outcome of the commissions antitrust investigation through high-level interventions.

As it is difficult to tell what is going on behind closed doors, I am not in a position to judge whether the communication between the commission and Google during this competition inquiry has been atypical, though it certainly raises questions.

A spokesman for the commission defended its dealings with Google. In line with its normal procedures, the commissions antitrust investigation into Googles business practices has been handled in an open and transparent way, he said.

In September 2014, with the clocking ticking and less than a month before Barroso stepped down, Schmidt joined in the lobbying of Barroso, having previously left the task to Googles chief in-house lobbyists in Brussels.

Googles executive chairman, Eric Schmidt addresses the 9th Global Competitiveness Forum earlier this year. Googles executive chairman, Eric Schmidt addresses the 9th Global Competitiveness Forum earlier this year. Photograph: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

In a last-ditch attempt to change the course of the antitrust case, Schmidt asked Barroso to lean on his commissioners to approve the proposed settlement. Calling it a crucial stage in the process, Schmidt warned in pointed language that a failure to approve the settlement would undermine the commissions credibility and result in drawn-out litigation.

Less than a week later, the commission reopened the long-running antitrust investigation, dealing Google a major setback. In a surprise move, it rejected Googles third settlement offer following very, very negative responses from complainants to the proposed settlement.

Trouble ahead?

After changes in leadership at the European commission in November 2014, Googles lobbyists in Brussels have become increasingly frustrated.

Documents show the companys repeated attempts to set up meetings with senior commission officials including the president, Jean-Claude Juncker, have thus far been unsuccessful. In one instance, Google requested a meeting with a senior adviser to Juncker shortly after the commission formally issued its antitrust case. However, her assistant bluntly declined the request and directed them to the new competition commissioner, Vestager.

There is a feeling among some EU officials that Google may have underestimated the strict legal procedures that dictate how antitrust cases progress in Europe. However, others say the US firms mistake has more to do with underestimating the influence of an anti-Google lobby, backed by the likes of Microsoft and German media empire Axel Springer.

In the US, Google saw off a potentially damaging antitrust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, which dropped its case in early 2013. But the landscape in Brussels differs from that in Washington, where Google enjoys more clout and personal connections with the highest levels of government.

John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog in the US, believes Google has been successful at positioning itself in and around the corridors of power in Washington. Theyre masters at it and its worked very, very well for them, he said.

But he claims Europes acceptance of Googles size, power and dominance is less than what it is in the US. I think there may be a failure to understand the European perspective on certain issues, he said, I dont think that they at the core understand how privacy is viewed as a fundamental right in Europe.

Alarmingly for Google, its investors are beginning to wake up to the trouble it faces in Brussels. Scott Kessler, an equity analyst at S&P Capital IQ who watches Google closely, said many investors had become apathetic about the charges levelled against the company, but the mood is beginning to change.

Google have been facing these issues in Europe for a number of years and some people believe that now is the time that they will have to account for some of these actions in some way, he said.

Once again the clock is ticking for Google. Vestager is treating her investigations as a high priority and has indicated EU regulators will actively pursue its new parent company, Alphabet, on multiple fronts.

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