Bad form to reply to myself, but for the record, adding a
header was incredibly easy:

.....
class DukPolScanner < RSSscraper::AbstractScanner
  def initialize
     @get_headers = {'User-agent' => 'RssScraper' }
.....

thanks Chad for the pointer, and RSSScrapers creator for a
well-designed tool....

* Dick Davies <rasputnik / hellooperator.net> [0632 12:32]:
> * Chad Fowler <chadfowler / gmail.com> [0655 03:55]:
> > On Sun, 6 Jun 2004 05:02:25 +0900, Dick Davies

> > > /data/ruby/lib/ruby/1.9/net/protocol.rb:135:in `sysread': End of file reached (EOFError)
> > >         from /data/ruby/lib/ruby/1.9/net/protocol.rb:135:in `rbuf_fill'

> > It appears to me that this site refuses to respond unless you have a
> > recognized User-agent set in the request header.  That's probably the
> > problem with open-uri.

-- 
There are two types of people in this world, good and bad.  The good
sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.
		-- Woody Allen
Rasputin :: Jack of All Trades - Master of Nuns