In particular, it does not apply when you're talking about subsidies / investment that is required to produce a demand that will cause economies of scale to lower prices to the degree that would increase real demand. If, rather than one window being broken, a few thousand were, then that might cause the glazier in the story to invest in machinery to produce glass in high volumes. Once all of the windows have been replaced, the glazier is still able to produce glass at significant volumes and lower costs, and so reduces his prices to stimulate demand. This then triggers the development of industries that depend on the cheap and ready availability of glass.
That's stretching the story a little bit, because the production of glass is very well understood and there are few changes in the process that are more than small incremental improvements. It is very different in a comparatively new field, for example the production of solar cells, where new processes regularly produce 50% better (more efficient, cheaper, etc.) technology. It would be true of microprocessors, if not for the fact that this market has already moved on to the stage where there is sufficient demand to drive investment without needing external priming.
The motivation is largely irrelevant. The broken window fallacy would apply to the TSA if the TSA is hiring people who would otherwise be employed doing something productive. It is, of course, not the only way in which the TSA costs the economy. On my last trip to the US, I spent a total of around two hours in queues for security theatre, which could have been time spent in the airport lounge working. The same is true of most business travellers.
And this post highlights exactly why: when a trend that's been going on for decades across administrations from both major parties continues (or, worse, accelerates slightly), what happens? Half of Americans loudly blame the current incumbent, causing the other half to reflexively defend whatever this trend is.
Hint: Government is not like sports. Don't mindlessly support the Red Team or the Blue Team, they're supposed to stand for something.
It seems like an obvious choice to me. The pragmatic business choice isn't 'do we pay Microsoft or try to use a free alternative', it's 'do we get better value for money by paying Microsoft to provide whatever they decide to provide and hoping that it's what we need, or by taking an off-the-shelf open source product and paying for the customisations that we want?'
The Pentium M is a good example of how Intel remains dominant. It takes about 5 years to bring a CPU to market, for any vendor. You start with an approximate transistor and power budget and an estimate of what the market will want in 5-7 years. You then start work. Hopefully, the process technology gets where you need it to be and the market does what you expect. With the Pentium 4, neither happened: they were expecting to get to 10GHz with a thermal envelope of around 60W and didn't, and the market started caring about power as laptops and dense servers became big markets. If AMD had made this mistake, it would have cost the company a huge amount. Intel's size means that they don't start just one processor design, they start ten, and gradually cull them as either it becomes clear that the market isn't doing what they expected or that their designs aren't working out. They typically have 2-3 that can be ready to go in under a year, which is how they were able to pull the Pentium-M out of a hat.
This is also why ARM's strategy has changed with ARMv8 (and, to a lesser extent, with the later ARMv7 designs). Previously, most ARM customers build chips that were an ARM design plus some customisation. This was fine for ARM's traditional markets, because they were predictable and ARM could happily succeed with a small set of designs that covered this space. With ARMv8, they intentionally delayed the launch of their own designs and worked with other manufacturers (nVidia, AMD, and so on) to produce completely in-house implementations. This makes the ARM ecosystem a lot more resilient, because individual manufacturers can aim for different niches and they can bring them all to market. And, because many of these companies make money from producing SoCs, if they don't have a CPU core that makes sense for the current market, they can license one from one of the other manufacturers and add their own things on the side.
Actually x86 IS efficient for for something completely different. The architecture itself is totally unimportant as deep inside it is yet another micro code translator and doesn't differ significantly from PPC or Sparc nowadays.
This is true, unless you care about power. The decoder in an x86 pipeline is more accurately termed a parser. The complexity of the x86 instruction set adds 1-3 pipeline stages relative to a simpler encoding. This is logic that has to be powered all of the time (except in Xeons, where they cache decoded micro-ops for tight loops and can power gate the decoder, reducing their pipeline to something more like a RISC processor, but only when running very small loops).
x86 short instructions allow for highly efficient memory usage and for a much, much, much higher Ops per Cycle.
It is more efficient than ARM. My tests with Thumb-2 found that IA32 and Thumb-2 code were about the same density, plus or minus 10%, with neither a clear winner. However, the Thumb-2 decoder is really trivial, whereas the IA32 decoder is horribly complex.
This is just that big of a deal that ARM has created a short command version of ARM opcodes just to close in. But then this instruction set is totally incompatible and also totally ignored.
Thumb-2 is now the default for any ARMv7 (Cortex-A8 and newer) compiler, because it always generates denser code than ARM mode and has no disadvantages. Everything else in your post is also wrong, but others have already added corrections to you there.
There are relatively new systems, 2 to 5 years old, that only did 802.11b
Really? My laptop from 2003 supported 11g and the one before it didn't have any built-in WiFi, but has an expansion card that does 11g. I do have an 11b PCI card somewhere, but it's from 2001. I don't remember seeing much 11b kit being sold after about 2004. Ten years is a very long time in computer equipment. Two years ago most new stuff came with 11n support. 11n was standardised in 2009, although firmware-upgradable stuff was shipping in 2007 based on the draft standard, so there are devices that are getting on for 7 years old now that support 11n.
Still, if you get rid of all those 802.11b devices, you still do not clear up the 2.4ghz bands. There are even older wireless phone handsets still in use (I have two).
Older wireless phones (DECT and even analogue stuff) that uses that band is just a source of interference, so only decreases the speed by lowering the signal to noise ratio. It doesn't connect to the network and block other devices from broadcasting in its timeslots, using a disproportionate amount of the available bandwidth by taking longer to transmit the same amount of data.
Silicon Valley had a purpose at first, but I can't figure out for the life of me why anyone would want to invest, today, in companies that are based in one of the most business-and-individual-unfriendly regions of the nation.
Because there are a lot of competent people there and these days people don't stay in the same job for a very long time. People circulate between companies quite a lot and it's easier to get people to move to a place for a job if they have the option of other jobs in the same area if it doesn't work out for them. If you create a company in the bay area, you can easily find people who are looking for a bit of a change to work for you. If you move to the bay area, you can easily find a lot of companies looking to hire competent people (and some who will settle for not-totally-incompetent people).
You need to develop a critical mass of demand for a particular skill set for this kind of environment to become self-sustaining and the more companies are there, the easier it becomes for others. It's somewhat counter-intuitive, but it's the same reason why you often see shops and restaurants selling similar things in clusters - both benefit from people who go to one in the knowledge that if it's full or out of stock of what they want they can go to one of the others.
Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp