Innovation ended in the 1970s, PayPal founders say

Max Levchin and Peter Thiel are not ones to mince words: “Innovation in this country is somewhere between dire straits and dead,” Levchin said at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference today.
PayPal’s co-founders are collaborating on a book with Russian grand chestmaster Garry Kasparov calledThe Blueprint about what they see as a slow decline of innovation in the U.S.

“If you look outside the computer and the internet, there has been 40 years of stagnation,” said Thiel, who pointed to one of his favorite examples: transportation. “We are no longer moving faster,” Thiel noted. Transportation speeds, which accelerated across history, peaked with the debut of the Concord in 1976. One decade after 9/11, Thiel says, we are back to the travel speeds of the 1960s.

More at Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nicoleperlroth/2011/09/12/paypal-founders-innova tion-is-dead/

Ryanair launches own prepay card as only way for customers to avoid fee

Passengers flying with Ryanair will have to use the airline’s own MasterCard to avoid paying booking fees from early October.

The airline currently charges anyone paying with a debit, credit or Visa Electron card an "admin fee" of £6 per one-way flight that can only be avoided by using a Mastercard prepaid debit card.

But the airline has announced it is launching its own prepaid MasterCard, the Ryanair Cash Passport, on 4 October and only passengers using that card will avoid the £6 fee. From 1 November, anyone using another brand of prepaid Mastercard will also be charged the £6.