amusing

'Star Trek' theme park: Hop on the Warp Speed Coaster

Fans disappointed that the "Star Trek"-themed section of a Las Vegas hotel closed can now set their sights on a new tribute to Gene Roddenberry's galaxy of space exploration and adventure.

"'Star Trek' will be represented in force at Paramount Park Murcia, to be located at Alhama de Murcia on the Mediterranean coast about 270 miles southeast of Madrid," according to StarTrek.com. "The wide-ranging project will incorporate condos and office buildings, hotels, malls, a casino, a convention center, gardens, nightlife, and dining areas, an exhibition hall/auditorium and a theme park divided into several sections. … Read more

Buy an abandoned amusement park on eBay

Ride a rickety roller coaster without standing in line. Stay on the Ferris wheel as long as you darn want. Woo someone special with a romantic row around a swamp.

It will only cost you 1.62 million euros ($2.2 million) to make an abandoned Berlin amusement park all yours. Yep, Spreepark is now for sale on eBay.

Granted, it's been closed for more than a decade ever since its former manager used "The Flying Carpet" ride equipment to smuggle cocaine in and out of Germany. And the place needs a bit of vacuuming and dusting. But now new owners can breathe life back into it. … Read more

Samsung knocks Apple Maps in Sydney marketing stunt

Samsung is apparently not keen on letting Apple's recent Maps mishap in Australia go unnoticed, and is poking fun of its rival in downtown Sydney today.

CNET Australia has snapped pics of a little guerrilla marketing by Samsung featuring a muddied-up vehicle with a tent and other camping supplies. Next to it is a sign that says, "Oops, should have gotten a Samsung Galaxy S III. Get navigation you can trust."

The lost vehicle and signage, of course, are referring to recent incidences of people getting stranded in a wilderness area around Australia's Murray-Sunset National Park … Read more

Tinkertown: An animatronic, handmade maker wonderland

SANDIA PARK, N.M.--It's a good idea to raid your piggy bank for quarters before you go to Tinkertown. You'll need them to trigger the fortune teller machine, play the automated one-man band, and turn on some of the homemade animatronic displays.

Ross Ward's legacy Tinkertown is a testament to the vision, determination, and craftiness of tinkerer Ross Ward, a carnival painter who spent 40 years of his life carving figures and building miniature towns and circuses for them to live in.

One highlight of a Tinkertown visit is the Old West town. It spans a long room. Buttons along the way trigger a figure that chases a chicken, a flying Mary Poppins, and carpenters hammering away. Most of it is hand-built and hand-carved, with layers upon layers of tiny Western details recreated in miniature.

The result of all that work and creativity is Tinkertown. Tucked away in the Sandia Mountains, Tinkertown pulls in thousands of visitors every year. Ward passed away in 2002, but his widow and partner-in-tinkering Carla Ward still runs the place.… Read more

'Rickroll' protection hits Firefox in add-on form

Are you the victim of frequent Rickrolls? The time-honored, and now passe trend of being tricked into thinking you were seeing one video and ending up seeing a rendition of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" instead?

Well then we have some good news for you: there's a new Firefox add-on called RickRemoval that solves this problem entirely. Install it, and it will do a quick check on the page, as it's loading, to spot Astley's video and keep it from playing. It's also nice enough to put up a little message … Read more

Extra scary roller coaster ride

Haunted 3D Rollercoaster Rush Free is a free three-level preview of Haunted 3D Rollercoaster Rush, a Halloween-themed, 3D follow-up to the 2D arcade game Rollercoaster Rush. Like its predecessor, Haunted 3D Rollercoaster Rush has you controlling roller coaster cars on a series of architecturally outrageous tracks, over jumps, curves, loop-the-loops, and increasingly vertiginous drops.

The interface gives you two options for controlling your cars: you can tilt your device right or left to accelerate or brake, or you can use a touch slider to meter your speed. In each level's Play Track mode, you earn from one to three … Read more

Versatile cribbage

Cribbage is a British card game dating back to the 17th century, so it must be doing something right to turn up in its current incarnation as a 21st century computer game. This version of cribbage stays true to the original concept of the game while adding some more modern touches.

The game's interface is not particularly attractive--it could stand to be a little more sleek--but it is well-organized. While the rules of cribbage are not at all intuitive, this interface is, with easily-navigated menus and icons. The built-in Help file contains a well-written explanation of cribbage's history … Read more

The first drop is a doozy!

Rollercoaster Rush Free is a free seven-level preview of Rollercoaster Rush, a fast-paced arcade game in which you pilot roller-coaster cars on a series of precipitous tracks through jumps, loop-the-loops, and other obstacles. The game lets you brake, accelerate, or (by doing neither) let the cars roll on their own, and the interface gives you two choices for control: either pressing the left or right side of the screen to brake or accelerate, or using your iPhone or iPod Touch's accelerometer for right and left tilt controls. Your brave passengers like a fast ride, which earns you smiley-face "… Read more

Report: Redstone to sell Midway Games stake

National Amusements, a media and entertainment company controlled by Sumner Redstone, is expected to announce on Monday that it sold its majority stake in Midway Games, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Redstone reportedly sold the 87 percent stake to investor Mark Thomas, in exchange for $100,000 and the assumption of $70 million in secured and unsecured debt.

The transaction, while expected to result in a loss in excess of $800 million for Redstone, is expected to yield a substantial tax break for the media and entertainment investor, according to the Journal.

And for Redstone, that … Read more