Hacking Tour de France Updates with Ruby

I’m going to miss the Tour de France coverage tomorrow because I’ll be
on a plane up to Portland for the day. Normally I would catch the race
on OLN.tv or on the "Live Tour" page
at the official tour web site. The "Live Tour" page is pretty slick and
provides updates every few minutes during the race, but that doesn’t
help me when I don’t have web access. Hmmm….

I threw together a Ruby script last week when I took a similiar trip. It scrapes
the Live Tour page for a given stage, looks for new news updates, and
sends them to my cell phone. Use at your own risk – you’ll get LOTS of text messages during the race. This is definitely a one-off implementation.

Download letour.rb.txt

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Don't Start the Tour Without Me

Did you hear that barbaric yalp coming from Pasadena a few minutes ago? That wasn’t fireworks – that was me screeching out because I found out my Dish Network subscription doesn’t include the Outdoor Life Network, the only network that provides daily Tour de France coverage. Last year we watched most stages on cable (yeah Tivo!) but we switched to a basic satellite package this year for the lower cost. Turns out the basic package doesn’t include OLN. Doh! This will be six-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong’s last tour so its a must watch for me.

I called Dish to upgrade and they set me up within a couple of minutes. The technician chuckled when I told him I needed to get OLN. "We’ve been getting a lot of these (upgrades) over the last few days. What’s up?" I told him its all of us Tour fans making sure we’re ready for race start tomorrow.

The tour can start now – go Lance!