Instead of hold music, use Twilio and the New York Times API to read today's headlines.
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New York Times Conference Room

Instead of hold music for your Twilio Conference, read the caller the latest headlines from The New York Times.

[Build Status] (


Look at all these crazy features!

  • Dynamic Conferencing - Create new conferences by passing the name as parameter (e.g.
  • Easy Configuration - Use to set your Twilio and New York Times credentials.
  • Alice - Get the news with the soothing voice of Alice, Twilio's new voice.
  • Tests - Fully tested? You betcha.
  • PEP8 - It's good for you!


Optional for tests


This project ships with two ready-to-go endpoints for your Twilio conference. One dials the user into the Conference, the other serves the wait room.

To setup a Twilio phone number with a conference room that plays the hold music, just set the Voice Request URL to your number to the conference endpoint with the name of your conference as a parameter:

To just hear the headlines, point the Twilio phone number's Voice Request URL directly to the wait room:

Want to try without installing? Call (646) 430-9298!


Step-by-step on how to deploy, configure and develop on this project.

Getting Started

  1. Grab latest source
git clone git:// 
  1. Navigate to folder and create new Heroku Cedar app
heroku create
  1. Deploy to Heroku
git push heroku master
  1. Scale your dynos
heroku scale web=1
  1. Configure your New York Times API Key for the dyno.
heroku config:add NYTIMES_API_KEY=xxxxx


Want to configure your dev environment to hack on this project? is a file available for you to configure your Twilio and New York Times account credentials manually. Be sure not to expose your Twilio account to a public repo though.

ACCOUNT_SID = "ACxxxxxxxxxxxxx" 
AUTH_TOKEN = "yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"
TWILIO_APP_SID = "APzzzzzzzzz"
TWILIO_CALLER_ID = "+17778889999"

Setting Your Own Environment Variables

The configurator will automatically use your environment variables if you already have a TwiML app and phone number you would prefer to use. When these environment variables are present, it will configure the Twilio and Heroku apps all to use the hackpack.

  1. Set environment variables locally.
export TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID=ACxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
export TWILIO_AUTH_TOKEN=yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
export TWILIO_APP_SID=APzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
export TWILIO_CALLER_ID=+15556667777
export NYTIMES_API_KEY=wooooooo


Getting your local environment setup to work with this hackpack is similarly easy. After you configure your hackpack with the steps above, use this guide to get going locally:

  1. Install the dependencies.
make init
  1. Launch local development webserver (using the great Foreman)
foreman start
  1. Open browser to http://localhost:5000.

  2. Tweak away on


This project comes with a full testing suite ready for nose.

make test

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