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Windows Phone 8.1 Adds Support for Apple's Passbook Passes

passbook-heroMicrosoft has added support for Apple’s Passbook passes in Windows Phone 8.1, which was released today as a developer preview. Microsoft announced this latest version of Windows Phone earlier this month and equipped the mobile OS with digital assistant and Siri competitor, Cortana.

As noticed by Tom Warren of The Verge and reported by iMore, Microsoft has created a method that takes the data from a Passbook file and converts it into a card that is imported into Microsoft Wallet.

Passbook passes are just collection of data that get rendered into a card and displayed in Apple’s Passbook app. Think of the Passbook files like the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript data that makes up a webpage, and the Passbook app like the browser that renders the actual page. It looks like Windows Phone 8 is taking the same data and rendering a similar card out of it, and then pushing that card to Microsoft Wallet.

It is not known whether Microsoft’s system is operating independently of Apple or if the Redmond company has an agreement to convert the data to its own wallet. The service may not support iOS-specific features like Passbook updates and notifications, but the importing of data is apparently accurate.

Windows Phone 8.1 supports Apple’s Passbook natively. I’ve been using it for flights. Works perfectly pic.twitter.com/MFScqvEVU7

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) April 14, 2014

Passbook debuted in 2011 and was one of the major new apps bundled in iOS 6. The digital wallet permitted companies to store tickets, loyalty cards, coupons, gift cards and more in a centralized location on a user’s iPhone and iPod touch. Apple has continued to update the service, allowing third-party apps to create Passbook passes and adding support for gift cards.

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CBS Admits to "Audio Error" for Adding Engine Noise to Tesla Segment

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CBS has admitted to an “audio error” in its 60 Minutes segment on Sunday night in which engine sounds were dubbed over a Tesla electric car.

Robert Sorokanich noticed some unnatural engine sounds during the segment and penned a blog post for Jalopnik that asserted something was amiss.

“It’s one thing to dub exciting motor noises over a mundane-sounding car, but to plop engine sounds on a car that most folks realize is nearly silent? That just seems . . . bizarre,” he wrote.

Teslas operate entirely on battery power and produce little noise. The segment itself went out of its way to point out that Teslas do not operate on traditional engines. Read more…

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15% of Websites are Responsive

Web performance optimization solution Restive released findings from its inagural State of the Mobile Web report recently which detail the readiness for an “increasingly mobile device operating environment.”

The most compelling findings reveal that 36% of all Websites are Responsive i.e. customized to work on mobile devices; 60% of these Responsive websites are hosted on dedicated mobile sub-domains, sub-folders, or domain names. This means that only about 15% of all Websites are Responsive to a single web address i.e. require no mobile redirection. In addition, only 6% of all Websites are considered Fast i.e. meet higher website performance optimization standards. Only 3% of all Websites are both Responsive and Fast. The report also finds that the majority of Websites require significant performance optimization with 67% requiring GZIP Compression and up to 83% requiring Minification of either HTML, CSS, or Javascript.

“The takeaway from this report is that Enterprise Websites, and perhaps Websites in general, still have a long way to go to attain readiness for a world where the Smartphone or Tablet is the primary Web access device,” said Obinwanne Hill, Founder and CEO of Restive LLC and author of the report. “It’s hard to believe that almost 4 years after Responsive Web Design and 10 years after Web Performance Optimization came to prominence, there is still very low adoption of these important techniques. Websites need to be both Responsive and Fast to deliver an awesome experience for mobile users and we’re currently working on user-friendly tools and technologies to help Web designers and developers make this happen sooner rather than later.”

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The American Painter George W. Bush Unveils His Masterpieces

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George W. Bush has been working really hard on his artistic expression since leaving the White House.

The former president unveiled his art exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” on the Today Show Friday morning. It will be on display starting April 5 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

His daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, a contributing correspondent on the Today Show, interviewed her father as he gave a tour of the exhibit. It is is filled with paintings, photos and souvenirs from Bush’s two terms in the White House. During the interview, the series is described as being “about friendship, as much as it is about art, and each portrait aims to capture the unique personalities, with whom he’s served.” Read more…

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