I found a nice tool by Stefan Küng (also responsible for TortoiseSVN builds). It's called CommitMonitor and tells you when changes to an Subversion repository occured. In stead of scanning the log your self you just provide the tool with the necessary URLs (yes local network repositories are not yet supported [bummer]) and it does it for you once every while. The period is adjustable.
When changes occur you get a nice message above your task bar and you can see in the monitor what has happened. You get per repository per commit the author, the comment and the modified paths.
The diff is unfortunately a unified diff over the complete set.
Just have a look at it. It gives me a good idea of what is happening in my codeSpace.