In early March, the search engine Ask.com laid off 40 people, including the author's good friend and colleague Gary Price, the quintessential uber-librarian. But the most peculiar thing about this particular situation was Ask's reasoning behind its decision. Apparently, Ask thinks women need their own special search engine. Another disturbing trend is spam content. At any rate, this means the author has to look through hundreds and hundreds of spam messages a week, and although she doesn't actually scrutinize them, she does get a good idea of the latest trends. But over the last few months, she's noticed a somewhat disturbing trend: many, many more spam missives offering "cheap loans," debt reduction and consolidation strategies, and the like.
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