I'd like to do something similar, starting with just making my PC speakers play a noise whenever there's a quake over a certain magnitude. The USGS provides an ATOM feed of earthquake data (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/feed/v1.0/atom.php
Does anyone know a good tutorial for building a feed reader? I know I can download a reader and there are apps for visualizing earthquakes, but I want something running in the background, checking the feed every so often and then doing something when certain criteria are met (eg. a quake over 4 magnitude) and I haven't seen a pre-made reader that'll let me do that.