Elise Hu

Elise Hu is a reporter who covers the intersection of technology and culture for NPR's on-air, online and multimedia platforms. Beginning in 2015, she will be assigned to the network's new bureau in Seoul, South Korea.

She joined NPR in 2011 to coordinate the digital development and editorial vision for the StateImpact network, a state government reporting project focused on member stations.

Before joining NPR, she was one of the founding reporters who helped launch The Texas Tribune, a non-profit digital news startup devoted to politics and public policy. While at the Tribune, Hu oversaw television partnerships and multimedia projects; contributed to The New York Times' expanded Texas coverage and pushed for editorial innovation across platforms.

An honors graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Journalism, she previously worked as the state political reporter for KVUE-TV in Austin, WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC, and reported from Asia for the Taipei Times.

Her work has earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism, a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video, beat reporting awards from the Texas Associated Press and The Austin Chronicle once dubiously named her the "Best TV Reporter Who Can Write."

Outside of work, Hu is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University and Georgetown University's journalism schools. She's also an adviser to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she keeps up with emerging media and technology as a panelist for the Knight News Challenge.

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5:37am

Sat September 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: The Internet 'Slowdown' And Apple's New Crop

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 10:57 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Watch on Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Each week we take a look back at the week that was in tech news and headlines. And this one was chock-full with product news, with the reveal of Apple Watch — Apple's first new product line since 2010. Let's get to it ...

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7:03am

Wed September 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Your Favorite Sites Will 'Slow Down' Today, For A Cause

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:41 am

Slow-loading messages will appear on some of your favorite sites Wednesday as part of a protest for net neutrality. But the sites won't actually be loading slower — the banners will be displayed just to make a point.
iStockphoto

You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.

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3:42pm

Tue September 9, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Apple Watch Is Here And Another Tech Hype Cycle Commences

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:04 pm

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Apple's big new product will live on your wrist. It's called the Apple Watch, in a notable move away from "i"-branded products, and it will be available in early 2015, starting at $349. It comes in two sizes and packed with all sorts of futuristic features, like being able to pay for products or wave open a hotel room with it. And send your heartbeat with it (not that I know what the use case is for that is unless you're a newborn).

"It's the next chapter in Apple's story," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the watch's unveiling.

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5:54am

Sat September 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: So Many Hacks, So Little Time

iStockphoto

If it feels like the big data breaches are unending, that's because they probably are. The shortened week, due to the Labor Day holiday, had no shortage of tech headlines because of one big breach after another. A look back:

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2:36pm

Wed September 3, 2014
All Tech Considered

I Feel Nothing: The Home Depot Hack And Data Breach Fatigue

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 10:33 am

So many big data breaches — not to mention celebrity data hacks — have happened in the past year that we're reacting to hacks with a shrug.
GlebShabashnyi iStockphoto

How many megahacks have we consumers faced in recent memory?

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12:10pm

Tue September 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

Using Technology To Counter Police Mistrust Is Complicated

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Members of the Ferguson Police Department wear their new body cameras during a rally Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Outfitting police officers with body cameras seems to be the most concrete solution to come out of the police misconduct accusations in Ferguson, Mo. And the push for cameras extends far beyond the suburban Missouri police department — more than 153,000 people have signed a "We the People" petition to create a "Mike Brown Law" that would require all police to wear cameras.

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4:45am

Sat August 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:12 am

Uber's going the distance to try and crowd out its competition, like Lyft and its signature mustached vehicles.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Each weekend, we look back on the tech week that was, which includes original content from NPR and the stories worth noting from across the Internet. Here we go...

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5:07pm

Mon August 25, 2014
All Tech Considered

Amazon Buys Twitch, Proving Gaming Live Streams Are Golden

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screen shot

There's another billion-dollar buyout in tech today [OK, it's about $970 million, but close enough] and this time it's Amazon's purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch.

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5:32pm

Wed August 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

A memorial sits at the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Any investigation into his shooting by a police officer is likely to take months.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

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5:00pm

Tue August 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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5:14pm

Mon August 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Amid Continued Chaos In Ferguson, A Second Autopsy Is Released

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:18 pm

A preliminary, independent autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Requested by the family, the autopsy finds that Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot six times by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This news follows the most violent night of protests there since the shooting.

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5:03pm

Sun August 17, 2014
The Two-Way

In Ferguson, Local Faith Leaders Call For 'Different Dialogue'

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:56 pm

Ferguson residents pass out "I heart Ferg" yard signs at a local coffee shop.
Elise Hu NPR

On a quiet morning after another difficult night in Ferguson, businesses along the streets put up signs in their windows reading "I Heart Ferg." Former Mayor Brian Fletcher is passing out more.

"We're going to raise $5,000 by tomorrow at noon for yard signs," Fletcher says.

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3:33pm

Wed August 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

On Net Neutrality, California Cares; Texas? Not So Much

NPR

When nearly 1.1 million net neutrality comments flooded the Federal Communications Commission this spring into the summer, they came from around the country. But the interest in open-Internet topics doesn't spread out evenly across the United States.

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1:24pm

Tue August 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

A Fascinating Look Inside Those 1.1 Million Open-Internet Comments

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Quid

When the Federal Communications Commission asked for public comments about the issue of keeping the Internet free and open, the response was huge.

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8:08am

Sat August 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: The CIA Apologizes, Twitter Soars, Foursquare Swarm

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. welcomes CIA Director John Brennan on Capitol Hill in 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

We know you don't miss a single NPR headline, but just in case you did, here's our weekly look back at what we covered in digital culture, and what we recommend from our friends across the mediascape.

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1:12pm

Wed July 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Some Loyal Foursquare Users Are Checking Out After Swarm Spinoff

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:33 pm

Foursquare is about to unveil its new Yelp-like app, which meant moving the users who liked it for checking in to a new app, Swarm.
Courtesy of Foursquare

11:54am

Tue July 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 4:06 pm

SpeedSpot is a free app that lets you test the speed of Wi-Fi networks in hotels and share the test results instantly.
Courtesy of SpeedSpot

You know how it feels. You're a moderately frequent business traveler and trying to get some work done from your hotel. But you're slowed — and sometimes stalled — by an intermittent Internet connection. Your hotel Wi-Fi has the download speeds of an early 1990s dial-up connection.

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4:56pm

Mon July 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:33 pm

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker's shop in New York City.
Elise Hu NPR

Fast-rising mobile technology is making buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever, and shifting the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first — shops that last for a limited time only.

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.

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4:54pm

Mon July 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter?

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 10:02 pm

Complaints about Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show performance of 2004 led to a record number of public interactions with the Federal Communications Commission. This year's net neutrality comments come in second.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.

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3:37am

Fri July 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:13 am

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service.
Shashi Bellamkonda Flickr

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering — a simple request to cancel his service was repeatedly beaten back by the employee on the other end of the line. It was a familiar feeling for a lot of us, which perhaps explains why more than 4 million people have listened to it in less than a week.

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2:32pm

Wed July 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:12 pm

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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7:40pm

Tue July 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:32 am

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

A flood of comments about net neutrality crashed the Federal Communications Commission's commenting site on Tuesday, the original deadline for public comments on the controversial Internet proposal. But the tech problems are buying those who want to weigh in some extra time — the deadline for public commenting is now Friday at midnight.

Of the 780,000 comments submitted to the FCC, 100,000 came on Tuesday alone, which the FCC's outdated electronic comment filing system was not capable of handling.

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11:53am

Tue July 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:38 pm

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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1:16pm

Mon July 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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5:36am

Sat July 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Amazon, led by CEO Jeff Bezos, faces a federal lawsuit over unauthorized in-app purchases by children.
David Ryder Getty Images

Summertime in the tech world has made us eager for some lighter news, which you can find below. But the weightier legal battles in technology continue, as highlighted in our Big Conversation section. And links we think you should see are filed under Curiosities. Have a great weekend, readers.

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4:22pm

Fri July 11, 2014
All Tech Considered

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:41 am

Celebrity Internet cat Lil' Bub, who ranks No. 4 on the cat influencer list.
Dave Kotinsky Getty Images

For reasons I can't fully understand, the Internet loves its cats. Keyboard Cat and Grumpy Cat are household names, I Can Haz Cheezeburger is a digital empire, and my real-life cats are on a social networking site called Catster (this is not a joke).

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9:58am

Thu July 3, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Future Internet Is Not So Free Or Open, In Pew's New Survey

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 11:04 am

iStockphoto

What we know as the World Wide Web — the main way by which most of us access the Internet — just turned 25 this year. Its existence has allowed for all kinds of learning and free expression, coding and making, rule-breaking and platform-making.

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5:13am

Sat June 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Google's Plans, Aereo's Loss And Occupied Stalls

An attendee wears a Google Android Mascot hat during the Google I/O Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Stephen Lam Getty Images

It's officially summer, but there's no slowdown on the technology news front. Here's your weekly roundup of notable stories in tech, from the team at NPR and beyond.

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4:20pm

Thu June 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Binge-Watch Before The Purge, Now That Aereo Is Likely Done

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:35 pm

Chet Kanojia is the founder and CEO of Aereo, which is fighting big broadcasters over its tiny antenna.
Elise Hu NPR

The Supreme Court gave broadcasters a big win this week in their battle against the startup service Aereo. Subscribers in select cities have been watching and recording live broadcast TV with Aereo, at a cost of $8 to $12 a month. But what happens to consumers now that the service is illegal?

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10:57am

Thu June 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Facebook's Diversity Numbers Are Out, And They're What You Expect

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 3:42 pm

Numbers out Wednesday show almost 7 out of 10 Facebook staffers are male.
Photo Illustration: Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

The summer of tech company demographic data dumps continues apace. Facebook is the latest big firm to share its staff's racial and gender breakdowns, following similar releases from Google and Yahoo. Other tech firms NPR has reached out to say they are having conversations about whether they will do the same.

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