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WeatherUnderground no longer free?
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I guess IBM bought Weather Underground some time back. Some folks were saying they are no longer issuing free personal use/development keys. They haven't shut down the existing ones, but it looks like they are charging $850/month for the same stuff now. That clearly isn't reasonable for an individual. But it's also clearly not possible for a small company to cover that charge and get a license that all its customers can use.

Not to mention it would get hacked in no time and be used by folks all over the place. It's one thing if it's in some embedded device, but in regular software it would be fairly straightforward to find out what the key is since it has to be passed in every transaction. Even if the connection is encrypted, you still have to build the queries you are going to send, so it's got to be in the open at some point.

Some services may change less as a baseline, but then charge based on access above a certain level. If the key got hacked that would be a very bad thing since the company would be on the hook for that usage until it was caught, and that would require invalidating the old key and getting a new one installed on every customer system. But if they found it once they can find it again even more easily.

I guess you could do a proxy server where the server kept the key. But then the company has to deal with licensing client systems making calls to it, and tracking usage and and the same problem will occur, just one step removed, and folks like AWS and Azure are going to charge based on volume as well.

Anyhoo, I don't know if there's any immediate cause for alarm. The discussions I saw on another forum were from May, so they haven't shut down any existing keys yet.
Dean Roddey
Software Geek Extraordinaire
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