The Aggregate: the B&F edit of the top stories from around the web 14.06.17

Business, Editor's Choice | Wed 14 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
Is it time to return to handwriting? Is your printer leaving a secret code behind on your documents?

B&F’s pick of the top stories from around the web, from vanishing Chinese executives, to the secret code printers leave on documents, and how your data could render you uninsurable.

CHINA: Crackdown on corruption

The New York Times reported yesterday on the latest ‘vanishing’ Chinese business executive. “Mr. Wu, who piloted Anbang’s rapid rise to global prominence with splashy purchases like the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, is the latest Chinese tycoon to be ensnared in an anti-corruption drive that has swept the country in recent years.”

Wu Xiaohui, the chairman of Anbang Insurance Group, was detained last Friday in Beijing. Notably, he dined with Jared Kushner in the Waldorf Astoria last November – a property deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars was being discussed.

Read more at The New York Times.

INSURANCE: Data privacy and the new uninsurables

How should insurers be allowed to use customers’ data?

“In the United States, there has been a backlash against biometric screening as part of corporate wellness programmes. Certainly there is a feeling that it is morally wrong to deny health insurance to individuals because of their predisposition to certain diseases. “Big data and the IoT can be used by the insurance industry as a force for good or a force for bad,” says Mark Williamson, a partner at law firm Clyde & Co,” writes Helen Yates on Raconteur.

Read more at Raconteur.

ENERGY: Is battery storage the next disruption in the power sector?

McKinsey reports that low-cost storage could change the power landscape and have profound implications. “Battery-pack costs are down to less than $230 per kilowatt-hour in 2016, compared with almost $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010…. At today’s lower prices, storage is starting to play a broader role in energy markets, moving from niche uses such as grid balancing to broader ones such as replacing conventional power generators for reliability, providing power-quality services, and supporting renewables integration.”

Read more at McKinsey.

PRIVACY: The secret code printers put on documents

“Anonymous publication and pamphlet culture is a tradition that’s existed in the English speaking world since the 1600s, he said. It’s part of our “constitutional tradition” that people can “publish something anonymously and you don’t have to put your name on it,” Seth Schoen, a technologist at digital rights advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, tells William Turton.

However Turton reveals that Schoen found a pattern of microdots on printouts, “a common feature in just about every commercial printer… So this secret code can help identify what printer you used to print a document, and the exact date and time you actually printed it.”

Read more at The Outline.

LEADERSHIP: Buffett, Branson and Gates all agree on this key skill

Take three billionaires and ask them the secret of their success. At Inc, Marcel Schwantes reveals, “Every single one of them agrees that communication, whether interpersonal or organizational, is a necessity for the success of their business.”

Fun fact from Warren Buffett: “The only diploma I hang in my office is the communications diploma I got from Dale Carnegie in 1952.” And a statistic from research by the Carnegie Institute of Technology backs up the importance: 15% of success is down to technical skill, 85% is down to effective communication, negotiation and leadership.

Read more on Inc.