In my current setup running Ubuntu Natty and GNOME 2, I use the COMPA applet to display information on my top GNOME panel that I wish to always be visible on my desktop. I really like this ability to show exactly the information I want, through writing a Python script that outputs something to stdout, and the having COMPA print this on my GNOME panel, updating every x seconds. Right now I have the current price of bitcoins up there, as well as the stock price of Google. . You can see the plugin in question (COMPA) and the information it outputs in the middle of the top panel (right click, "open image in new tab" for larger size).
Is there a way to achieve this in Unity? I want to have the information always visible, I shouldn't have to click anything to view the information.