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December 11, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 11, 2012

Iran Launched Own Video Sharing Site

The Iranian government has launched its own version of YouTube.

Mehr is a strict Islamic video-sharing site, run by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, created as an alternative to YouTube, which has been banned in Iran since 2009.

Mehr, which means affection or kindness in Farsi, is the first state-backed video site in Iran.

“From now on, people can upload their short films on the website and access (IRIB) produced material,” IRIB deputy chief Lotfollah Siahkali told AFP.

Poor download speeds have been an issue for the new service.

Facebook, Gmail and foreign news sites are routinely blocked in Iran and citizens’ Internet communications are often monitored.

Google Receiving Bids on Motorola Home Business

Arris Group and Pace PIc are bidding on Google’s Motorola Home Business, which sells set-top boxes and equipment to cable-television providers, a source told Bloomberg.

The source said Google received multiple offers Dec. 7 and a deal could be announced by year’s end. However, it is also possible the deal could be put on hold due to the complex “financing structure in which Google might retain some equity and the unit’s patents,” the article stated.

The report indicated Google was hoping to garner $2 billion from the sale.

Gmail Suffers Service Disruption

Gmail service was unavailable to both personal and business users the morning of Dec. 10 due to a global service disruption, Google said. Chrome, Google’s browser, was also crashing recurrently, according to reports.

Google announced the issues had been resolved by shortly after 1 p.m.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” reads a statement by Google.

“We experienced an issue with Gmail and some users experienced slow performance or errors. For everyone who was affected, we apologize — we know you count on Google to work for you, and we worked hard to restore normal operation for you. Although our engineering team is still fully engaged on investigation, we are confident we have established the root cause of the event and corrected it.”

Motorola Slashing South Korean Operations in 2013

Motorola Mobility is cutting jobs in 2013.

The Google-owned firm is shutting down most of its South Korean operations to cut costs, the company announced Dec. 10.

“We began communicating to staff in Korea our plans to close most of our operations in Korea, including our research and development and consumer mobile device marketing organization,” Motorola said in an e-mailed statement to CRN. “The changes in Korea reflect our plans to consolidate our global R&D efforts to foster collaboration, and to focus more attention on markets where we are best positioned to compete effectively.”

Motorola plans to relocate about 10 percent of its Korean research and development staff to other facilities. The company did not say how many jobs would be eliminated.