A roundup of stories/posts/videos I found interesting:
The Jacquard Loom is historically important, not only for its direct impact on the textile industry but also for the inspirational role that it played in the emergence of punched cards and computers. Jacquards are still very much a live industrial technology, although the warp threads are now lifted by computer-controlled solenoids or hydraulic cylinders rather than by direct mechanical linkage. Several attempts have been made to create affordable Jacquard looms for home use, but they have foundered on the cost of purchasing and installing a solenoid for every warp thread. Here is a very clever way around that problem.
Also, an explanation of how a traditional Jacquard works.
Speaking of the textile industry, I wrote a couple of years ago about attempts to automate apparel manufacturing, especially the work of an Atlanta company called Softwear Automation and their product Sewbot. So I was interested the other day to see this piece about apparel automation in Bangladesh.
See also this report from McKinsey on Nearshoring and Automation in the Apparel Industry.
Reviving manufacturing in Singapore, with the aid of robotics.
Are electronic medical records actually a detriment to knowing the patient?
Outgrowing Software…Benedict Evans suggest that when everything is a software company, then the important questions are somewhere else.
Also from Benedict Evans: Are You a Seal? (If you are, watch out for Amazon!)
Constructing a bridge in Prague, in 1357.
Speaking of construction: Automation in the Construction Industry
(An earlier version of this post was published at Ricochet; member feed only)