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Press Release: February 21, 2012

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, 2nd Edition--New from No Starch Press: A Guide to Creating Time-Saving Programs to Mine, Parse, and Archive Online Data

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, 2nd Edition
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San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2012—With every passing second, the Internet grows. Most people simply don't have the time to keep up with this ever-expanding online world, and we're all a bit tired of clicking through page after page to find the information we need. So why not let some virtual robots do the work and tedious research?

In Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers (No Starch Press, March 2012, 392 pp., $39.95, ISBN 9781593273972), author Michael Schrenk, a noted webbot developer, teaches readers how to build time-saving, automated bots to mine, parse, and archive online data. The book begins with detailed, easy-to-follow instructions on how to write stealthy webbots in PHP that read email, emulate online forms, auto-authenticate, manage cookies, and handle encryption. Once readers have mastered the basics, they move on to sample projects that reinforce the material and put it in the context of the real world. This updated second edition adds new information on using proxies, regular expressions, dealing with difficult websites, and scaling webbot projects.

According to No Starch Press founder William Pollock, "Michael Schrenk is well known for his seminars at Defcon and sessions on data mining for journalists. He excels at making complex topics simple and clear." Pollock continues, "With Schrenk's guidance and some basic PHP skills, you can make bots that do the drudge work for you."

In Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, readers will learn how to build webbots that:

  • Send email or SMS notifications to alert them to new information quickly
  • Search different data sources and combine the results on one page, making the data easier to interpret and analyze
  • Automate purchases, auction bids, and other online activities to save time

In business (and in life), we can all use more time to take care of the things that matter. Using webbots, programming-savvy readers can save time and hassle, and give themselves or their businesses that competitive advantage.

For more information or to request a review copy of Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, 2nd Edition, contact Jessica Miller at No Starch Press (, +1.415.863.9900, x108) or visit

About the Author

Michael Schrenk has developed webbots for over 15 years, working just about everywhere from Silicon Valley to Moscow, for clients like the BBC, foreign governments, and many Fortune 500 companies. He's a frequent Defcon speaker and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Additional Resources
Chapter 2, "Ideas for Webbot Projects" and Chapter 3, "Downloading Web Pages" (PDF)
Table of Contents
Detailed Table of Contents (PDF)
Index (PDF)
No Starch Press Catalog Page

Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, 2nd Edition Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers, 2nd Edition
Publisher: No Starch Press
By Michael Schrenk
ISBN: 9781593273972, $39.95  
March 2012, 392 pp.

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