For my midterm I will make a dial up news service, where the user will be able to dial in and have the latest news headlines read to him/her and be given the opportunity to have the full stories emailed. I’ve written a Ruby script that calls up the Yahoo News rss feed and parses the xml to retrieve the headlines, which are then passed through text2wave, which is a text-to-speech application. The result of this script is a folder of audio files corresponding to the headlines. When the user dials in the dial plan plays back the audio files and the user is asked to press a button to have the story emailed. This will be set up to have all the emails sent to me, but ultimately I’d like to add a web element that will allow other users to sign up to receive emails.
I originally wanted to pursue this project because it provides a way for those who have a phone but no internet to tap into current information on the net and stay informed. Incorporating the email element brings an added level of convenience for the user. I can envision a scenario where I’m calling in while walking to the train in the morning and my chosen stories are waiting for me by the time I get to my workstation.