Archive for November, 2011

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Weather? Here’s Your Weather

So, I got bored one day and decided that I wanted to make a weather widget for WordPress. Sort of. I thought that I needed one for a WordPress theme I was thinking about making. As per my previous experience, I couldn’t quite find one that fit the bill, and some were just downright cumbersome in implementation. A veritable nightmare.

When I first started development, I wasn’t too keen on what API/xml data feeds to use, so I went with the ever popular XML data feed. Development was a bear because the terms of use were incredibly restrictive. You had to display their logo, which is fine, but then you HAD to display four links that were meant to generate click‐throughs for them in some fashion; and all of this had to be visible near the weather data itself. Ok, I said to myself, I can deal with that, even if it makes the whole thing ugly.

This whole thing is kind of funny to me. But hey, you have to monetize that data.

Two weeks later, they decided to end the free XML data service in favor of a different API model. I thought, “Excellent, I can finally develop something free of the cumbersome links and logos I was required to use before!” Not so fast. This service cost several hundred dollars a year. Not so good for me if I’m creating a plugin. Then I discovered Yahoo! Weather, ironically enough, powered by’s data.

Ok, get to it already, jerk.

Fine, fine, fine. I simply thought that background information would be useful for you. With the previous version of this plugin, the version using Weather’s data, you were required to register with in order to obtain a key that would allow you to access the data, and I had to build that in to the plugin. This version will work fine without it. Yay! Simplification!

However, your site is limited in the number of requests that can be made in a given day. So if you have a high traffic site you’ll run into issues if you’re constantly requesting data from Yahoo. I had to build in data caching in order to keep those requests down, so now you’ll only access the API once or twice every hour to update data and that should take care of the problem. So, it’s not instant, but probably good enough.

At the moment this plugin is a little hit and miss. I don’t plan on doing much more with it, but feel free to fork this, modify it, whatever.

Download From the WordPress Repository

So, enjoy the fruits of my labor!

College is a socially expected consumption good, but still, what we’re seeing now is the real reason exposed when all the secondary reasons (Earn a paycheck! Join the world of 9–5 office work!) have evaporated. Most people go to college for personal fulfillment — to achieve all kinds of ends way high up on Maslow’s hierarchy. The rest is secondary.

If you can achieve those ends via cheap, subsidized public loans, then that’s just all kinds of win for you. And if you can get the public to write off those loans — because hey, we’re sticking it to the 1%! — well, Jesus Christ. Maybe you did learn something in college after all.

Jason Kuznicki

For the longest time I’ve taken issue with college as a means to a career/job. This mindset–that everyone must attend–has driven up costs, and put universities in the position of competing for students by providing needlessly extravagant services and facilities. Thus, driving up costs…ad infinitum.

Here’s a lesson in economics for OWS. Explain to the “99%” that they are actually in the 5% of richest people on the planet. Then take their wealth and redistribute it to the 95% of the world that is poorer than them.

See how they feel about wealth redistribution then.

Tom H.