Thursday, September 27, 2007

Error 406, Not Acceptable

While I am mostly just a Sabres poster on the NHL Arena, there is a real man behind the moniker known as "Atma". Part of my time away from the Arena is spent working as a web developer for a start up ISP Reseller, as well as a free lancer. I've been doing web development since I was 17, which totals roughly 8 years of previous experience. I've hand written everything from blogs to commerce sites to classified ad programs, so I have some sort of idea of what I like.

Let me tell you this is not just a self promotion tool to try to get some business. There's something I've noticed as a web developer that bugs the ever living crap out of me, especially when it comes to hockey.

This is the's implementation of their so called "media".

Sabres pre season games in this region are hard to come by unless you listen on the Internet. Luckily I live in an area where I get MSG and Versus, so I won't miss anything as far as the regular season. However, this pre season has been a nail biter, and not because the Sabres are 1-2. It's because certain aspects of the interface when it comes to their score sheets, to their implementation of has been, IMO, sheer crap at best.

Lets start with the score sheets. I was home to listen to the Wild/Sabres game on WGR 550. Unfortunately, that's the only method I had to keep up. Steer away for a second and you missed out on who scored what goal. Why? Because something glitched on the NHL site and while the scoreboard was rolling on the score section, all the links weren't active. It was if the game wasn't even being played.

Bummer. I had to wait for RJ to tell me Rolston scored the second goal for the Wild.

Speaking of score sheets, during the two games I did get to see a score sheet during the pre season, I couldn't have honestly told you who was playing in net for either team. Last year they had this information readily available. This year, it's missing. I think it's vital to me to know that Thibault and the Sabres were choking on the PP during their pre season opener, but I couldn't have told you that without paying especially close attention to the radio broadcast.

To their credit, they've implemented some interesting stats, like shots taken 5 on 3, 4 on 3, so on and so forth. However, I'd like to know which goalie is playing in net. This is important to me being that until Vanek made his way onto the Sabres roster, I was a goalie man.

And where'd the auto refresh go? That was useful, fellas. is another debacle all together.

I totally don't live in Ciecro, NY. However, that's where I had to say I lived just to successfully sign up for the service. checks your IP address against ARIN's records to figure out your "billing address". To summarize, your IP Address is a unique identifier on the Internet which permits information to be transferred to and from your computer. ARIN is in charge of registering these IP addresses to your Internet Service Provider, and the IP addresses need a physical address. Being that I live in PA, but the ISP I use is based out of NY, suddenly my billing address is somewhere in NY, roughly 200 miles away from where I'm physically located.

This also means that I'm blacked out from the Sabres/Leafs game that played 9/26/07 according to

Also, for a while, I couldn't access the games that were currently playing on the day of the week we were on. I could access yesterday, even though the feeds weren't there, and tomorrow's games, which haven't been played yet, but today's games were a wash.

In my opinion, these glitches are totally unacceptable. To build your web presence and gain fans, you need to have a perfectly functioning system. I can accept the TV black out rules, but they shouldn't apply on the Internet. And when they do, I should be able to access an alternate feed anyway, preferably on the day of the week I'm currently on. I shouldn't need a time machine to watch a Sabres game on the Internet.

I figure at best they have a week to get this stuff fixed. This geek is highly unimpressed with their current system, and for all intents and purposes, maybe a time machine should be in my budget. At least I'd get to see the stats and games I'd want to see, opposed to the current bumbling that the NHL is providing me here and now.

~ Atma
The NHL Arena


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