Francis Shanahan[.com]
South Mountain Mayapple 50km
[24 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]

I closed out May with a run of the South Mountain Mayapple 50km trail ultra-marathon in Millburn NJ. In what has become my usual approach to trail events, I signed up 1 week before hand and did little to no training. Paid the price but got through it. Here are my notes, mostly for my own benefit as I plan to run next year and will need something to refer back to.
The South Mountain 50km followed 2 10mile loops, East and West. We ran East twice. The race …

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Featured, Headline, Running

[24 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
South Mountain Mayapple 50km

I closed out May with a run of the South Mountain Mayapple 50km trail ultra-marathon in Millburn NJ. In what has become my usual approach to trail events, I signed up 1 week before hand and did little to no training. Paid the price but got through it. Here are my notes, mostly for my own benefit as I plan to run next year and will need something to refer back to.
The South Mountain 50km followed 2 10mile loops, East and West. We ran East twice. The race …

Featured, Headline, Running

[9 Jan 2014 | No Comment | ]
Watchung 50km Winter Ultra 2014

The other day I ran the Watchung 50km Ultramarathon. Here’s my AAR (After Action Report):
Training – minimal. I’d run about 3-4 times since October. Hadn’t been eating clean with the holidays so my diet was way off. I figured what the heck. It’s a cheap race and proceeds go to a battered women’s charity. This race is structured as 5 laps of a 10km loop, single and double-wide track with about 600 feet elevation change per lap.
We got about 8″ of snow in Watchung the Thursday/Friday before the …

Featured, Headline, Running

[30 Dec 2013 | No Comment | ]
Watchung UltraMarathon in 1 week

They say running is 90% mental, the rest is in your head. I’ll test that next Saturday with a 50km(31.5 miles) run in the woods. I haven’t done much in the way of running since the Mega so I’ve decided to kick the New Year off right with the Winter Watchung ultra. It should be a death march but hopefully will kick my butt back into gear.
NJ Trail Series https://sites.google.com/site/njtrailseries/watchung
In preparation for this race I am…drinking water and trying to eat a tonne of veggies. The holidays have left …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection, Running

[2 Oct 2013 | 3 Comments | ]
Ultrahike Megatransect 2013

Megatransect (http://ultrahike.com) 2013 is in the books. 28 miles of insane trails spread across the mountains, rivers and rocks of Bald Eagle Creek. This year was another brilliant day with glorious weather and tonnes of eye candy. What a day! It’s so hard to capture the feeling from an event like this but I will try to hit a few points.
I ran again with my brothers-in-law, Michael, Chris and Brad. We drove the 3hours down the night before with a fantastic sunset leading the way. Packet pickup/check-in was simple …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection

[16 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]
Training for the Ultrahike 2013

Last year the Ultra-Mega-Transect (it’s really called this) kicked my proverbial. 28 miles or so took 7hrs 45min, we covered 6,000 feet of elevation change including a 3/4mile uphill rock climb and I was sore for a week afterward. It was awesome but this year I resolved to prepare a bit better.
I’ve been “doing stuff” all year – what some would call training but it’s really too ad-hoc for that. I’ll document what I’ve done in the hopes that next year I’ll re-read this and actually get an idea …

Cool & Future Tech, Featured, Headline, html5, Web Experiments

[17 Jul 2013 | 6 Comments | ]
Build an MPEG-DASH player from Scratch

This post will show you how to build an MPEG-DASH video player using Javascript.
tl;dr? Skip to the demo (chrome only) http://francisshanahan.com/demos/mpeg-dash.
Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) enables streaming of media content delivered from conventional HTTP web servers. Fragments served are static pieces of media so no server-side component required. This is very similar to HLS but unlike HLS MPEG-DASH is the first adaptive bit-rate HTTP-based streaming solution that is an international standard. Reference [LINK]
The recent Build conference announced Netflix’s plan for Playready DRM+HTML5 in the browser without plugins, …

Featured, Headline, html5, Technology

[7 May 2013 | No Comment | ]
The Truth about Netflix and HTML5 vs. Silverlight

There has been a lot of hype recently about Netflix “dumping” Silverlight in favour of HTML5.
A quick Google reveals multiple articles rotating the same sound-bytes [LINK], [LINK] or [LINK].
So what’s the truth? Is the sky really falling? In my opinion there are some inaccuracies or rather inflated truths here which are being bounced around the “lite” tech echo chambers of Gizmodo, CNET and the like.
I will offer here my opinion on what is really going on.
Is Netflix moving away from Silverlight? Yes. In fact ALL streaming media providers …

Featured, General Computing, Headline, Technology, Web Development

[1 May 2013 | No Comment | ]
Essential Job Skills for the Future? Learning!

In a recent article Adam Popescu asks if Coding is the essential job skill of the future? [LINK]. As a technologist I’m always happy to read anything that espouses the virtues of programming but I have a slightly different view. In my opinion Coding is not an essential job skill anymore than Excel or Word. And what is “coding” anyway?
In my opinion the essential job-skill for the future is…Learning. Or rather re-learning. Learning how to learn.
In my parent’s time it was sufficient to learn a skill in your …

Featured, General Computing, Headline, Technology

[22 Apr 2013 | No Comment | ]
In Response to Vivek Wadhwa – Ageism in the Tech Industry

Entrepreneur, academic and prolific writer Vivek Wadhwa has written an article on LinkedIn as part of the “Influencer” blogs. The Tech Industry’s Darkest Secret: It’s All About Age
I’m a fan of Vivek but this time around I felt he missed the point. There are too many counter-points and corrections to put in a simple comment so here now are my thoughts on his article.
Here’s my tl;dr – If you want job security, be good at what you do.

Vivek (paraphrasing) – “Information Technology is an “up or out” profession”
fs: News …

Featured, Headline, Life & Introspection

[5 Apr 2013 | One Comment | ]
Essential Brain Skills: Drawing

I love-hate drawing. Growing up my brother was always drawing and was really good at it. He used to draw massive murals of dinosaurs on old wallpaper rolls my father brought home. Imagine huge, 40-50 foot long rolls of paper with a single coherent scene of a pre-historic world.
My brother also used to buy the excellent comic “2000AD” which had the amazing art of Carlos Ezquerra, Mike McMahon and many others. For a simple cheap magazine this thing really packed a punch in terms of the high quality line …