This is a simple jquery + ajax + views based pop-up alarm based on the results of a view consulted by a timed process.
Step 1 - create the view
Create a view having a filter which determines whether or not there are any nodes of the type you are interested in (say, Todo) with a date field "less than or equal to" "now".
After some trial and error, I found that in order to download a module from CVS without all those pesky CVS subdirectories everywhere, you can use the export command instead of the checkout command, providing I have logged in with my cvs account:
Instructions for using the fabulous Google Custom Search Engine module.
I have to make a decision on what to do about the salesforce module architecture.
On the one hand it uses the nusoap library (modified so as not to conflict with PHP 5 soap namespace), and a GPL based api written by Ryan Choi.