When a remake is not a remake

Director Ridley Scott plans a new Blade Runner movie, but promises it won't be a mere remake, which confuses at least one reader. Other letters cover Box Appeal, Balochistan, city rankings, wireless phones and solar energy.

Harrison Ford in a scene from the original 1982 Blade Runner. Now Ridley Scott, the director, is promising a new version he says will not be a remake. A reader asks: Then why call it the same thing? Courtesy Warner Bros.
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I refer to your editorial Charity made easy (August 30).

Purchasing a number of items, all of which can be bought in a supermarket during a regular shopping trip, and filling a box with those same items takes too much time?

Yes, giving money is easy and yes, everyone has a busy life these days, but most charities appreciate time as well as money.

While it would take organisers many hours to buy for and fill 10,000 boxes, an individual could fill a box in an hour. Are we really so busy that we cannot afford to give an hour to a charitable cause?

The one area of Box Appeal that could be improved upon is the availability of the empty boxes. Perhaps they could be made available in shopping malls. It would be possible to collect and fill a box on one visit to the supermarket.

PG, Abu Dhabi

Phone users want price competition

Your story Mobile broadband starts to come of age (August 31) starts with this assertion: "As the mobile broadband market becomes increasingly competitive, differentiation has become the name of the game."

But the story barely mentions pricing strategy, and for most phone users - consumers - price is, or should be, a major point.

I wish companies would compete on price, not on confusing, hard-to-compare "service packages".

Bud Rochester, Dubai

China's foes back separatist effort

I was interested in Shaukat Qadir's column Military threats will bind Pakistan and China together (August 31).

I believe Pakistan's current troubles with India and the US have their roots in its all-weather friendship with China.

Those who want to keep China away from taking advantage of Pakistan's geostrategic location to become the leading global power are willing to try anything.

Recent efforts to promote a so-called Free Balochistan State have, I believe, been fanned and funded to take Balochistan, and the port of Gwadar, away from Chinese influence.

Ben Randle, UK

Future still bright for solar energy

Your story Economic downturn takes solar winds out of green energy's sails (August 30) may have been unduly pessimistic. The growth of renewable energy didn't slow down in the 2008 recession. I hope it will keep growing through today's economic troubles, too. There are lots of really exciting new energy technologies emerging all the time, including ocean thermal energy conversion.

Expanding and applying such new technologies could revamp economies around the world, as well as being good for the environment.

Mike Straub, US

Not a sequel? Use a new name

I was encouraged to see that Ridley Scott, a director I respect, has promised that his new version of his classic 1982 film Blade Runner will not be just a cheap knock-off ('No remake' promise for new Blade Runner film, August 30).

But I'm wondering; if it's going to be so different why call it Blade Runner at all? Surely the set decoration, as discussed in your article, can't be enough.

Years ago some half-joking movie reviewer in the US argued that the way to make a profitable sequel is to make the same movie over again, with as few changes as you can get away with.

There's a grain of truth in that cynicism. Surely Hollywood has some originality left.

Bruce Bailey, Abu Dhabi

Short-term pain for long-term gain

The story Gulf cities slip down the rankings (August 31) makes the point that Arab Spring unrest has decreased the quality of life in cities such as Cairo, Tunis and of course Tripoli.

This is, we can all hope, what they call "short-term pain for long-term gain". That is, if these revolutions lead to better governance, with more justice, more opportunity for all and new economic vitality, all the cities touched by the Arab Spring will be better off, and all the people, too.

John Crosbie, Abu Dhabi

Metro problems were frustrating

The Dubai transit chaos Tuesday (Holiday travel chaos for Metro passengers, August 31) should have been averted.

Even during a holiday season, important systems in any city need "fail-safe" capability. Nothing human is perfect, but this failure was a terrible frustration for many thousands of us.

VJ Gupta, Dubai