I couldn’t find a truly universal regular expression (regex) to match phone numbers, no matter from which country and in which format. They all seemed to be limited in some way. Even named entity extraction APIs require you to set a country to find phone numbers.
In the end I rolled my own regex. It simply looks for a certain amount of numbers and characters generally used to make phone numbers human-readable. If you are looking to match longer or shorter numbers, you can just change the quantifiers. Some examples it will match:
Let me know, if this is useful for you or if you find space for improvement. Currently the biggest issue I see is that the matching ranges between numbers and total chars are unrelated. Due to many filling chars higher values are needed. Those can lead to false negatives. Best test it for yourself.
Most invoices exist in electronic format. They are generated from structured data and need to be entered as structured data. It’s a shame that we still need humans to manually extract data points, like amount, date or issuer from it.
In the last days, I tried a few online invoicing solutions, like shoeboxed, but none of them does a good job at automatically recognizing new invoices. Some do it manually and charge accordingly.
Currently I don’t see a way to automatically get the data. PDFs are simply not made for this. the best we can do is to add templates for a specific invoice format and use that to extract the data. I have created a proof of concept library, which is open source on github.
If you have any thoughts on what to improve or would like to extend this to use it in a production accounting, let me know.
I like to write my notes and reports in Markdown and then send them out in PDF. Gimli worked OK for a while but rasterizes files and doesn’t work with UTF8-characters. I finally came across a similar project in Python and now I’m very happy with it. You can define a custom style sheet in your .profile and md2pdf will use it.
We recently started using the slide function of iPython notebooks. Basically it allows you to partition your notebook onto different slides, slide fragments and subslides. Those can be exported to reveal.js
There is already a great viewer for notebooks on http://nbviewer.ipython.org. To save some steps in exporting, converting and adding reveal.js, I took the idea and added a slide viewer. Anyone can use it to link to their slides on Github, Gist or any other place. We even support Basic Auth. Check it out at:
Ansible is a great automation solution. I mainly use it to provision servers and launch Docker instances on them. Sometimes I need container attributes, like PID or Port to configure Nginx or monitoring tools.
While the Ansible documentation gives you some hints, I didn’t find it 100% obvious on how to solve this. Basically all your newly-created containers will end up in a list called docker_containers. It has the same structure as docker inspect.
I really like the password generator, built into Apple’s keychain and System preferences. Passwords are secure and memorable. Only problem is that accessing it takes many steps. Running it from the command line would be much faster.
Are you already hosting your own mail- or webserver and do you enjoy the flexibility, control and freedom self-hosting gives you? Besides the many advantages like better privacy and the power to customize it gives you personally, you can also offer your services to other people. Even tough there are a large number of budget hosting companies, many customers are willing to pay for better support or the comfort to have you around for questions. Continue reading →
Despite some notions that SSDs or HFS drives don’t need defragmenting, I have often read and experienced myself that defragmenting your Mac every few years will clearly make it faster.
I had some trouble running iDefrag and would like to share a little trick I learnt. Basically it will refuse to run a full defrag, while your system drive is mounted. Restarting didn’t help. Here is what I did in the end: Continue reading →
I noticed an increasing number of phising emails from ‘Telekom’ and ‘DHL’ making it into user mailboxes. ClamAV anti-virus together with Sane Security Phising checks does a good job in stopping zero-day phising emails.
On a different account, DKIM Email signing seems to be preferred by Google these days. So time to add that too.