Tech Crunch Review of Flight Simulator 2020 Emphasizes Flaws

A recent review on Tech Crunch emphasized that the Bing Maps data scrubbing in Flight Simulator 2020 is beautiful when it is on target, but frequently is quite obviously off-target. This, combined with new leaks that show blatant artifacts in heavy traffic areas such as San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, reinforces everything I’ve been saying all along about Flight Simulator’s relationship with Bing Maps and Azure AI for months.

Multiple Leaked videos show satellite projections beneath major bridges in San Francisco and New York City.


Don’t get your hopes too high when Microsoft claims that they’ve modeled the entire world in 3D. We all know they’ve done a much poorer job than Google in this regard, and even Google has barely scratched the surface. In reality, what you’re buying is a fraction of what’s available on Google, some hand-crafted airports (40 of them in the Premium-Deluxe edition), a few models of landmarks (even Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium has a model), with a whole bunch of auto-gen scenery in between (which is how 99.99% of the world will be rendered by my estimation). The auto-gen techniques are probably just an evolution the same techniques you would have found in FSX, but clearly updated for the first time in 13 years.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, Pyongyang, How Bad can it Get?

A recently leaked video of Flight Simulator shows just how ugly the scenery can get when you travel off the beaten path in the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.

Microsoft has been careful to control the messaging coming out of FS2020, only publishing screenshots and videos that are polished and show the simulator in it’s best light.

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Big Brain Memory Manager Updated for 2020, the first update since 2013

Download BigBrain2020.

If you are using the standard Delphi Memory manager in your Delphi applications, you’re probably missing out.

One of the things, I really like about Delphi is that it ahs always offered an easy way to replace the memory manager with your own, or one that you get from a 3rd party. Being a nuts-and-bolts kind of programmer, coming up with a better memory manager for Delphi naturally became an intense personal obsession.

I have also always been particularly fascinated by the idea that a computer could have multiple CPUs and, therefore, do more than one thing at the same time. I built Big Brain as a personal challenge… to see if I could make Memory Allocations run faster on systems with multiple cores and CPUs.

The first version was released circa 2000, and was eventually adopted by hundreds of companies and organizations. I stopped “selling” it in 2007, giving it away for free on a boring, white web page with just a couple of links.

20 years later, I am still just as obsessed with nuts and bolts and multi-processing, and I test out my designs on an AMD 2990WX chip, which has 32 cores, capable of handling 64-threads in addition to various 16, 8, 6, 4, and 2-Core Intel and AMD chips.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Will be an Angry Referendum on Bing Maps

As I argued yesterday, you can’t Azure AI your way past complete utter, total lack of accurate data. Flight Simulator 2020 will leave Flight Simmers wishing that they had Google’s data. How bad will it be? Well, here’s a side-by-side comparison — a mix and match, including some major cities and mid-sized cities that you might want to fly a plane to.

UPDATE: It should be noted that this is a comparison of Microsoft vs. Google data sets and none of these screens are from FS2020. However, it is relevant to note that FS2020 is using Microsoft’s Bing Maps to inform the sim about areas of the world that human artists don’t have the time, incentive, nor budget to painstakingly comb through. I do not have insider access, so I can’t tell you, for example, how good or bad Tokyo looks in FS2020, and even if I had insider access, I’d be bound by NDA to say nothing, however I can tell you that Microsoft published a pretty poor screen shot of Warsaw, Poland that was missing virtually all of the Warsaw skyline. None of these screenshots are from Flight Simulator 2020 therefore I am making no observations about what the actual scenery in FS2020 will actually look like, and in fact, much of what I’m talking about here is pure speculation. Microsoft could, for example, rely on additional surveys and artwork hand-crafted by 3D artists to render Tokyo… however… the point I’m trying to make here is that the forgotten parts of the world are going to be only as accurate as Bing Maps and Azure AI can artificially make guesses.

We all know that Google and Microsoft both have good data for New York and San Francisco… but what about Honolulu, Tokyo, Flint, Rockford, IL? What about the mountain ranges? This gallery might leave you wondering how in the heck Microsoft expects to employ Azure AI to auto-gen all this missing architecture. It would probably, honestly, be easier for them to just buy it from a vendor.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator “2020”. Hype vs. Reality

EDIT: This article was updated to reflect that the Bing App offers better information than what’s on the Bing Maps website.

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the pending release of Microsoft Flight Simulator “2020” as it is commonly known (although not officially titled, and only presumed to be released in 2020).

A number of people out there have been given “insider” access. I, however, am not one of them. Therefore, unlike an “insider”, I am not bound by any NDA agreements that have sworn others to secrecy.


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UDP Discovery Done Right (Not as Easy as you think)

Seems like a simple thing right? You want to do a UDP Broadcast to find devices/services on the network and then display them in an elegant list, right? Whereas it isn’t exactly an immensely difficult problem, knowing the right formula from the start is a must. There are other pre-canned discovery services out there, Bonjour, for example, but I really wanted to make my own just so that I could understand what all the fuss was about. Why do my friggen Chromecasts sometimes have a hard time appearing on the network? As simple as the problem seems, there are a few “gotchas” and other things to consider, however I was able to find a 100% working solution. Maybe you will find these advice points useful.


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3D Mark’s New Port Royal benchmark demonstrates how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go

The new Port Royal benchmark is beautiful, but you really have to have TWO Geforce RTX 2080Ti graphics cards to appreciate it. It is worth noting that the Port Royal benchmark does not run at 4K. I’ve heard reports that it runs at 1440p, but it looks terrible enough that I feel it might even be dialed back to 1080p. On my watercooled. overclocked RTX 2080ti it averages about 35fps. If you force it to run at 4k, it will barely pass 15fps and is totally unwatchable.


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