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In Hidden Message on White House Website, Biden Calls For Coders
The recently updated website for President Joe Biden's White House carried an invitation for tech specialists savvy enough to find it. From a report: Hidden in the HTML code on was an invitation to join the U.S. Digital Service, a technology unit within the White House. "If you're reading this, we need your help building back better," the message said. Former President Barack Obama launched the service in 2014 to recruit technologists to help revamp government services -- for example by modernizing Medicare's payment system or reforming hiring practices across government agencies. Tech specialists join the Digital Service for typically one or two years.

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Estimated Cost of Poor Software Quality in the U.S. in 2020: $2.1 Trillion
TechRepublic shares a remarkable calculation by the not-for-profit IT leadership group the Consortium for Information and Software Security: CISQ's 2020 report, The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the U.S., looked at the financial impact of software projects that went awry or otherwise ended up leaving companies with a larger bill by creating additional headaches for them. According to the consortium, unsuccessful IT projects alone cost U.S. companies $260 billion in 2020, while software problems in legacy systems cost businesses $520 billion and software failures in operational systems left a dent of $1.56 trillion in corporate coffers. As a result, the total cost of poor software quality in the U.S. amounted to approximately $2.08 trillion in 2020, CISQ said. Comparing this to the total U.S. IT and software wage base of $1.4 trillion, the company said the figures "underscored the magnitude of the negative economic impact of poor software quality."

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Python Named Programming Language of the Year by 'Somewhat Dubious' TIOBE Index
Programming columnist Mike Melanson describes the announcement of this year's programming language of the year: The TIOBE Index, the somewhat dubious ranking of programming language popularity according to search engine results, has announced its yearly proclamation of "language of the year," with the award going to Python for the fourth time in its history [more than any other programming language]. The title, the project leads write, "is awarded to the programming language that has gained most popularity in one year," with Python moving up 2.01% in 2020, which they attribute to "the ease of learning the language and its high productivity," alongside its numerous use cases. C++ "is a very close runner up" for programming language of the year, TIOBE tells us, "with an increase of 1.99%. Other winners are C (+1.66%), Groovy (+1.23%) and R (+1.10%)... "What else happened in the TIOBE index in 2020? C has become number 1 again, beating Java. Java lost almost 5% in only 1 year."

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IT Earnings Way Up at Job Site Elance
Google App Engine, HTML5, search engine optimization and social media marketing are among the fastest movers on Elance's list of hot job opportunities available online.

Say What? The Week's Top Five IT Quotes
Google Wave crashes, fighting to keep mainframe skills alive, beware the Outernet and more.

GPL Enforcement Notches Another Victory
The license at the heart of many open source projects is amassing a winning record when it comes to successfully pursuing enforcement lawsuits.