Uber hits minicab firms – but helps disabled people | Letters

Ibrat Ali doubts many driving jobs would be lost, but Srin Madipalli and others fear problems for those with access problems

My company, Embassy Direct, which is based in Hanwell, west London, has been trading for 50 years in the private hire transport sector. It has been said that banning Uber (Report, 30 September) would put “40,000 people out of work”. But all this would do is give us, the independent private hire operators, our drivers back. Many companies’ doors have closed and those that are left have struggled just to stay afloat in this industry. I think there will be no drivers out of work; they would just go back to private hire operators.

It would also make customers’ safety better monitored, as was the case pre-Uber. All companies have had their own checks and procedures for many years, and that has worked. So why, after a few years of trading, can Uber say sorry, we were doing it a bit wrong and we will do it the correct way now that TfL wants to close us down. Private hire operators do not have the funds to take TfL to court as Uber has threatened. It’s just not fair.
Ibrat Ali
Embassy Direct, London

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There’s a copycat killer on the loose

Developers can’t copyright a game’s mechanics, as the team behind the phenomenally successful PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have learned to their cost

Part of the elemental appeal of zombie fiction is the permission it provides to imagine which household item, when pressed, you might use to stove in the face of a lunging, undead version of Mrs Brown from No 37. In the glare of such an apocalypse, familiar domestic items such as tea towels, cafetieres and loo brushes must be reappraised, their value now dependent on their ability to cause brain damage rather than efficiently dry a plate, deliver coffee, or clean the glum residue from a toilet bowl. Do you reach for the bread knife (rasping, noble), or the biro (intimate, cruel)?

The 17-year-old film Battle Royale further elevated the premise. In the film a busload of high school students are gassed and delivered to a remote island. There, they’re provided with a map, a pocketful of rations and a single weapon each, which range in efficiency from crossbows to paper fans. The class teacher, played by Takeshi Kitano, informs the class that they must, during the next three days, fight to the death till only one student remains. The structure is similar to that of a zombie film except your friends and colleagues are no longer the lumbering, insentient undead, but scheming, very much mortal enemies.

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