Ruby Programming/Standard Library/Net::HTTP
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How to access webpages with Net::HTTP 
Allows access to downloading webpages.
a 1.8 example:
require 'net/http' mainp = Net::HTTP.new('www.hello.com', 80) response, content = mainp.get('index.html', nil) puts content
Here is the rdoc which contains many examples.
See also OpenURI.
how to do it with https (ssl) snippets.dzone.com/posts/show/788