Whac-a-mole In Chinese

James Lee
• Saturday, 27 November, 2021
• 17 min read

In Japan, (yogurt tail, “Mole Buster”) is a popular arcade game invented in 1975 by Kazoo Yamaha of TOGO, based on ten of the designer's pencil sketches from 1974, licensed to Banzai in 1977. A typical Whac-A-Mole machine consists of a waist-level cabinet with a play area and display screen, and a large, soft, black mallet.

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Five holes in the play area top are filled with small plastic moles, which pop up at random. The mallet is usually attached to the game by a rope in order to prevent anyone from walking away with it.

Home versions, as distributed by Bob's Space Racers, include one display to show the current score. If the player does not strike a mole within a certain time or with enough force, it will eventually sink back into its hole with no score.

In this version, there is a large bank of individual Whac-A-Mole games linked together, and the goal is to be the first player to reach a designated score, rather than hit the most moles within a certain time. Game play options have become more adjustable, allowing the operator and/or owner to selectively alter the high score, hits points, rate of progressive speed as well as the game time.

The timing of the moles was originally controlled by tones from an audio tape which then drove an air cylinder system. The term Whac-a-mole (or “Whack-a-mole”) is used colloquially to depict a situation characterized by a series of repetitious and futile tasks, where the successful completion of one just yields another popping up elsewhere.

In computer programming /debugging it refers to the prospect of fixing a bug causing a new one to appear as a result. In an Internet context, it refers to the challenge of fending off recurring spammers, vandals, pop-up ads, malware, ransomware, and other distractions, annoyances, and harm.

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That improbable goal is now in ashes, when Patent's lawyers couldn't even track down the companies they were suing to serve them court papers. The legal obstacles are unlikely to be removed soon, although China has pledged to curb its mounting trade surpluses with the United States and has carried out a nationwide campaign to improve product quality and safety.

Current obstacles arise because the targets of lawsuits are often companies that are partly owned by the Chinese government or army, or are allied with provincial governors, Bauer said. As a result, their clout can outweigh efforts by the trade ministry to adhere to international agreements.

In addition, he said, the Chinese government sometimes obstructs litigation to retaliate when it believes the United States or the European Union is “poking it with a stick.” Experts in international law say they know of no case in which Americans collected any money from a verdict or court order against a Chinese company, although some have been paid through settlements.

Patent founder Steven Patent said that the lawsuit persuaded some American companies to stop selling the Chinese -made knockoffs, but that China has failed to adhere to trade agreements and his company has barely survived a tenfold drop in sales since 2000. “My sense is, we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” said Michael Lyle, a lawyer in Washington who represents companies in product liability and trade cases.

“There is no treaty between the United States and China that requires the enforcement of each other's judgments,” said Lyle, a former Clinton White House official. The expansion of Chinese companies into global markets, with offices and operations in the United States and elsewhere, could give them greater incentive to cooperate in legal proceedings, Lyle said.

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When an American scooter-maker lost patience with cheaper Chinese -made models flooding the United States market, it got some attention by filing an antitrust lawsuit. © Provided by Vancouver Sun Up in Smoke Cannabis Shop co-owner Matthew Greenwood.

When Harrison Stoker notices a big spike in daily sales volume at one of the 20 Dutch Love cannabis shops he oversees, he invariably gets the same explanation when he queries store staff: There was a raid that day at the illegal pot shop nearby. At Dutch Love’s Kitsilano location, for example, Stoker has noticed daily sales nearly double on days when there’s enforcement action at Anna Clinic, the long-running unlicensed pot shop on the next block.

When an illegal cannabis store is raided and its product confiscated, the operator usually restocks inventory and is reopened within hours, Stoker said. Other industry figures reported similar experiences, saying this provides a glimpse into how much the continued proliferation of illegal operators costs the government in lost tax revenue.

More than two years after cannabis legalization came into effect across Canada, illegal retailers remain a significant challenge, especially in B.C.’s most populous city, Photo said. Launched a new organization called the community safety unit, or CSU, to police illicit cannabis sales.

But while legal cannabis operators criticize the CSU for its apparent lack of enforcement, the unit has received public backlash on some rare occasions when they have taken action. NDP's government might feel that the potential blow back from cracking down on illegal dealers outweighs the public appetite for such enforcement, Photo said.

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City hall representatives this week from Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and North Vancouver said they were aware of zero unlicensed cannabis storefronts inside their borders. Matthew Greenwood’s licensed Mount Pleasant cannabis shop, Up in Smoke, had been running since 2014.

The licensing took almost two years, during which time Greenwood and his partners borrowed money from family members to stay afloat and keep paying rent to their landlord for the empty space. But during the 21 months Greenwood and his partners waited, an unlicensed storefront kept selling pot across the street.

That store, which was known as Herbs R Us until Toys R Us got a Federal Court order last year forcing them to change the name, is still running. Then, shortly after Greenwood’s shop was finally licensed last year and started selling legal weed, a second unlicensed competitor opened down the street.

Greenwood said the city has told him his $33,958 annual license fee helps cover enforcement and administration of cannabis bylaws, but his unlicensed competitors keep running. Greenwood, who’s also president of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers, believes his store could beat its illegal competitors on quality of product, value and customer experience, if only he were able to tell the world what he offers.

But those figures suggest that almost half of those visits did not prompt stores to stop selling illegal cannabis. That penalty was paid by Trees Cannabis in Victoria, which director Alex Rob described as a “gray market compassion club.” When Trees received the penalty in January 2020, Rob said, they were awaiting a provincial license, were in compliance with the City of Victoria’s bylaws, and had already been running for four years.

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After the penalty, Trees shut down, in the hopes of eventually entering the legal system, Rob said, and they recently obtained a provincial license. But while Trees was in the “gray market,” it paid taxes, Rob said, including PST and GST, even though it didn’t have a provincial cannabis retail license.

© Jason Payne Illegal cannabis store Herbs on West Broadway in Vancouver. Postmedia sent requests for comment this week to four of Vancouver’s unlicensed cannabis retailers, including Herbs and Anna Clinic, but no one replied by deadline.

David Brown, a cannabis policy adviser for Strata and former senior policy adviser with Health Canada’s cannabis branch, said: “We are seeing a new breed of illegal retailers who don’t necessarily operate by what were the standards of the old sort of activist dispensaries pre-legalization, and I think are likely just looking to take advantage of the gaps in the market right now.” The Vancouver Police Department, too, has for years consistently said cannabis is not a priority, and now it is in the CSU’s jurisdiction.

Although the CSU has conducted some raids, it seems the province is hesitant to really crack down with force on illegal retailers, Brown said. The government could make changes to help the legal operators compete, Brown said, including loosening restrictions around online sales and advertising.

The direction conflicts with local mandates, approved in several cities and counties, to wear masks in public places. Alabama in recent weeks has seen a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and the total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

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“While it can be ‘strongly recommended’ that an individual wear a mask, it cannot be required,” Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he told county election officials. “In our state, we will continue to see that the right for every eligible Alabamian to vote is protected.” Jefferson County Probate Judge Sherri Coleman Friday told al.com previously that the county’s health order requiring masks in public places would apply to polling places.

The district announced Thursday that in-person classes are expected to resume a five-day schedule after two and a half weeks of reopening, The Anchorage Daily News reports. Deputy superintendent Mark Stock said the shortened schedule calls for students at each school to be separated into two groups, or cohorts, attending on opposite days of the week.

Yuma: A man who was ejected from a frozen yogurt shop for not wearing a mask is facing charges for pulling out a gun in response. Yuma County Sheriff’s officials say the incident happened about 6:15 p.m. Thursday when 64-year-old Steven Covington entered Wiki Hut Frozen Yogurt.

Little Rock: The state reported a record 1,061 new cases of the new coronavirus Saturday, but no new deaths related to the virus. Arkansas’ virus cases have dramatically risen since May, when the state began allowing businesses to reopen.

Asa Hutchinson on Thursday delayed the start of school by nearly two weeks to give districts more time to prepare for the changes needed because of the virus. Denver: The state is experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations as it gradually reopens its economy, health officials said Friday.

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Dr. Rachel Healthy, the state epidemiologist, said about 4% of people being tested have the coronavirus, and those who have the disease caused by the virus infect about one other person on average. The number of positive cases peaked in mid- to late-April and declined as health officials encouraged people to wear face coverings and to maintain social distancing.

Meanwhile, traffic has picked up as people return to work, even though there are still fewer drivers on the roads than before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The strategy stems from a partnership between New Castle County Public Works and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup called Biobot Analytics, which searches wastewater samples for fragments of COVID-19 to estimate how many people in an area have the virus.

The NHL season was put on pause four months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, instead heading straight into 24-team format for the post-season. Twenty-four teams qualified for the extended Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL commissioner Gary Batsman said.

Holly Hill: The maker of the popular Whac-a-Mole arcade game hopes its newest offering will help users smash a new target: the coronavirus pandemic. Holly Hill-based Bob’s Space Racers recently rolled out its new line of “Hands-Free Sanitizer Stations” in response to the growing COVID-19 outbreak.

Retail prices for the company’s new sanitizer stations range from $595 for a base model to $850 for one that comes with custom art that can include the name and logo of the business. MARTA, the main public transit system serving Atlanta and nearby suburbs, will require that riders wear masks on trains and buses beginning Monday.

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This prompted lawmakers to raid the rainy day emergency fund, authorize the governor to borrow money from the federal government and look for savings by eliminating vacant job positions. They also faced social and economic crises as the pandemic shut down hotels and other businesses, pushing the state’s unemployment rate up to 22.6%, the second-highest in the nation after Nevada.

Little’s plan would send $200 million to participating cities and counties to cover public health personnel salaries on the condition that savings are passed to property taxpayers as a credit on their 2021 tax bill. An additional 24 people have died of COVID-19, according to the state’s Saturday update, bringing the total number to 7,168 since the start of the pandemic.

The distribution amounts were determined using the Emergency Food Assistance Program fair share percentage, which captures poverty and unemployment levels in each county. Des Moines: The state on Friday registered its largest daily jump in coronavirus cases since May, leading health officials in the worst-affected parts of Iowa to warn people to take the threat more seriously and to stop congregating in bars and other places in large numbers.

Scott County also may have seen increased traffic from Illinois residents crossing the Mississippi River to go to bars and restaurants because they weren’t yet able. Wichita: Draft safety guidelines for school this fall from the Kansas State Department of Education say students, teachers and staff should wear masks, but students up to fifth or sixth grade shouldn’t be required to wear them unless local officials mandate it, The Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle report.

We must act now.” Beshear on Friday said a new requirement for Kentuckians to wear face masks in public has taken effect, despite a county court’s restraining order related to pandemic restrictions. John Bel Edwards on Saturday ratcheted up Louisiana’s restrictions to combat the coronavirus’ spread, saying he’s instituting a statewide mask mandate, putting tougher limits on group gatherings and shuttering bars.

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Janet Mills released safety protocols for casinos and short-term rentals that want to participate in the state’s latest phase of reopening. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration’s decision to make international students leave the U.S. if they intend to take classes entirely online starting this fall during an ongoing pandemic.

ICE notified colleges last week that international students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer if their schools operate entirely online this fall. The guidance says international students won’t be exempt even if an outbreak forces their schools online during the fall term.

Boston: The city’s Housing Authority is extending its moratorium on nonessential evictions through the end of the year to give thousands of lower-income residents relief during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Marty Walsh said Friday. The Democrat said the moratorium, which was originally put in place in March, will also help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus through court hearings on eviction cases.

Lansing: The state’s health department is urging that children be caught up on their vaccines as soon as possible after a drop in immunizations due to the cancellation of appointments during the coronavirus pandemic. Health care providers are putting in place safety procedures to ensure patients can come in for well visits and immunizations, she said.

Minneapolis: The state reported its highest daily COVID-19 case count since May on Saturday as 806 people were confirmed to have the virus. His order, issued Friday, said elective procedures can be done only under “extraordinary circumstance” and “must be accompanied by an extensive and compelling justification.” Gov.

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Tate Reeves announced Thursday that he would set restrictions that take effect Monday in 13 counties with high levels of virus transmission: Claiborne, DeSoto, Grenada, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Quit man, Rankin, Sunflower, Washington and Wayne. O’Fallon: The rapidly rising number of confirmed new coronavirus cases has prompted facial-covering requirements in several areas of Missouri, including the state’s largest city.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas on Friday extended the requirement to wear a facial covering through at least Aug. 15. Earlier this month, St. Louis city and county both began requiring face coverings when inside businesses and other public places, as well as outside when social distancing is not possible.

St. Joseph Mayor Bill Murray on Thursday issued an order requiring facial coverings in large retail stores. All but four residents of the facility have now tested positive for the virus, according to River Stone Health Vice President Barbara Sherman.

Lincoln: The number of people hospitalized for the coronavirus in the state has fallen to its lowest level since mid-April, but residents still need to exercise caution to keep the virus from spreading, officials said Friday. Carson City: Someone who works in the state legislative building has tested positive for the coronavirus as lawmakers debate emergency measures involving the pandemic, an official said Friday.

The announcement by Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erodes came as statehouses throughout the country are confronting outbreaks. Staffers cordoned off couches, set up hand sanitizer stations and erected plastic barriers to separate lawmakers from each other.

The Legislature does not intend to recess or transition to remotely voting, but alternative arrangements will be made for lawmakers who feel at risk. “This is the single largest fundraiser for snowmobiling in New Hampshire and the impact to club budgets will be substantial,” the association said in a news release.

Fewer than 90 people were said to be on ventilators as of Saturday, a day after Murphy said the number had dropped below 100 for the first time in “many, many weeks, maybe months.” Meanwhile, Murphy and the state’s Democrat-controlled Legislature have agreed on a measure that would allow the state to borrow up to roughly $10 billion to address the financial crisis caused by the pandemic. Republican lawmakers have vowed to sue, arguing such a borrowing plan would lead to statewide property tax hikes, a charge Murphy has dismissed.

Las Cruces: State authorities have ordered a Walmart Supercenter to close after four employees tested positive for the coronavirus in a three-week span. The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau posted a notice of “imminent and substantial endangerment to employees and the public” at the store Saturday.

Health officials said the store’s management hasn’t taken the actions necessary to prevent spread of COVID-19, including ceasing operations to disinfect the establishment and testing staff to ensure additional employees are not infected. The Environment Department is urging customers who visited the Las Cruces location since June 22 to get tested for the virus.

New York: The number of New Yorkers hospitalized with the coronavirus fell to the lowest point in nearly four months, state officials said Saturday. “You can’t have it all across the country and not come back.” The governor acknowledged the limitations in enforcing quarantine rules for travelers returning from states with rising rates of transmission.

Raleigh: A state senator on Friday said he’s contracted COVID-19, marking the first known public case for a General Assembly member. Sen. Danny Britt, R-Robeson County, 41, was on the Senate floor Wednesday as the chamber debated bills and cast votes.

Many legislators, especially Democrats, have sought more restrictions and criticized colleagues who have declined to wear face coverings indoors to discourage the virus’s spread. Britt, a National Guard officer, said he’s not always worn a mask on the Senate floor because doing so makes breathing difficult due to a condition stemming from his military service in Iraq and Kuwait.

Roy Cooper issued an executive order two weeks ago requiring people to wear face coverings in public places, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to government agencies that aren’t under his control. On Friday, he signed into law a bill that makes permanent a health exception to the state’s face mask ban that otherwise would expire Aug. 1.

The increase in cases comes as the state makes mass testing available while it lifts state-mandated business closures. The businesses, the Sports Page bar and the Butter horn restaurant, are testing their employees for COVID-19, according to their social media posts.

The new numbers bring the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s total counts since tracking of the outbreak began in March to 20,235 reported cases and 422 fatalities. The actual number of cases is likely much higher because many people haven’t been tested, and some who get the disease don’t show symptoms.

Oklahoma passed the viral milestone after a week that saw the pandemic surge nationally and the state report its two highest daily counts of confirmed cases: 687 Saturday and 858 Tuesday. New projections by the Oregon Health Authority predict that if transmission of COVID-19 continues at the current pace, the estimated number of new daily, confirmed infections could reach anywhere from 1,100 to 3,600.

Officials said people who have traveled to Delaware, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Pennsylvania. The state earlier issued the recommendation for self-quarantine for people returning to the commonwealth from 15 other states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

The Safe Harbor program administered by the United Way of Rhode Island will help tenants and landlords reach a new payment plan for past-due rent in order to avoid the court eviction process. Qualifying households will be eligible for legal representation, as well as financial assistance for rent payments accumulated on or after March 1.

The effort is being funded through the state’s share of the $2 trillion federal stimulus bill to address the coronavirus pandemic. Sioux Falls: As bull riders attempted to hang on for eight seconds Friday night, they were encouraged by something they hadn’t heard in months: the cheers of a crowd.

A little more than a thousand fans were on hand in the 9,000-seat arena to watch one of the first indoor professional sporting events since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Professional Bull Riders event ended a monthlong competition that until Friday has played out before silent stands.

It’s a cautious step toward giving sports fans who have been cooped up for months a chance to leave their homes and watch a bull attempt to throw a man from its back as the rider tries to hold on. Cal fee said in a statement that he has told legislative administration in Nashville, “so they can take any additional precautions to maintain a safe working environment for all within the Cordell Hull Building,” where the Tennessee General Assembly meets.

Austin: The new coronavirus continues to cut its record-setting swath through the state as officials reported a record 10,351 new cases for the day Saturday. That brought the total cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, to just over a quarter-million dating to the start of tracking in early March.

Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has asked all its members in Utah to wear face coverings when in public, a request that comes as confirmed infections in the state increase. “Now we ask all Latter-day Saints in the Utah Area to be good citizens by wearing face coverings when in public,” the email said.

Montpelier: Statistics show the average age of people becoming infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is declining in the state, officials said Friday. In March and April, the average age of people testing positive was between 50 and 55, said Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Piecing, who has been overseeing the collection of data about the COVID-19 pandemic in Vermont.

“The regional jail expense decreased by $275,000 due to the COVID-19 shutdown of the court system,” County Administrator Eric Young said. That money will be used to fulfill a pledge to county students who attend the college to pay their tuition this summer and through the fall semester.

Board of Supervisors Chair Charlie Stacy said last month that the county will have to pick up the cost for this year and search for money to extend the program into 2021, or end it if funding is not found. Ralph Northam’s biennium budget, which kicked on Wednesday, does not include money for the free tuition program because of state revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency said its taxpayer service centers are accepting appointment-only visits at offices in Wheeling, Clarksburg, Charleston, Beckley, Martinsburg and Parkersburg. A news release from the tax department said face masks will be required, and visitors will have to answer screening questions and get their temperature taken before they are allowed inside.

Madison: The state hit another high Saturday in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, breaking the record for the third day in a row. Casper: An employee at the University of Wyoming has contracted the coronavirus, the school says, marking the first time someone living or working on campus has tested positive.

Officials told the Casper Star-Tribune that “there is little campus exposure risk.” According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, Wyoming on Saturday had 1,839 confirmed cases and 21 deaths due to the virus.

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