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Please bring some sources you want to scrape as well as ideas for what to do with the scraped data.
The homework is to complete this tutorial on regular expressions: http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/ruby/ruby-for-newbies-regular-expressions/
Regular expressions are a must-know tool when you're parsing textual data: http://xkcd.com/208/
But they're not the right tool for every problem: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/06/regular-expressions-now-you-have-two-problems.html
This class is Ruby-only. New students that are Ruby newbies, please complete http://tutorials.jumpstartlab.com/projects/ruby_in_100_minutes.html before class. You don't need to know Rails are have completed the Rails getting started guide before attending Ruby-only classes like this one.