Elise Hu

Elise Hu is a reporter who covers the intersection of technology and culture for NPR's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

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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4:02pm

Wed May 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

Snapchat CEO's Emails Didn't Disappear, Come Back To Shame Him

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:19 pm

Evan Spiegel of Snapchat attends TechCrunch Disrupt in September. Responding to the release this week of emails from his not-so-distant fraternity days, Spiegel says they "in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women."
Steve Jennings Getty Images

We are in the midst of a realignment in the global economy, a new machine age in which technology is disrupting nearly every industry in the world. And who are the hot young stars of this great realignment?

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11:49am

Mon May 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Wash And Deliver: Startups Aim To Solve First World Problems

Washio offers on-demand laundry pickup and delivery for $1.60 a pound.
Courtesy of Washio

Sick of doing the laundry? The latest hot Silicon Valley startup, Washio — the subject of a new profile in New York Magazine — lets you press a button on your phone and someone will come and pick up your laundry, or your dry cleaning.

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11:16am

Sat May 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Baby Photos Online, Facebook V. Shazam, Ebay's Fail

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Each week, we take a look back at the headlines at the intersection of technology, business and culture. ICYMI features NPR reporting, the Big Conversation includes the larger conversations in the space and Curiosities are any links we thought you should see.

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2:58am

Fri May 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

What Those Baby Photos On Social Media Can Teach Us About Moms

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:52 am

"People are grappling with identity when they become parents, and they're also grappling with identity in terms of who we are online," says psychologist Daphne de Marneffe (not pictured).
Jonathan Ross iStockphoto

You can't miss 'em. Baby pictures have flooded so many Instagram and Facebook feeds that an app is now available to block them, if you want. But as the newness of social media collides with an experience as old as time — motherhood — researchers are beginning to study its sociological and psychological impacts.

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12:34pm

Tue May 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Big Questions Now That Europeans Can Edit Google Search Results

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 1:25 pm

Attendees line up to enter the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco in May 2013.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In case you missed it, Europe's highest court has set a new precedent: Individuals in 28 European countries can now request the removal of search results they consider harmful. Is this ruling a big win for the individual? Or does this break the Internet?

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6:07am

Sat May 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Target CEO Out, Drones In Question, Apple's Big Deal

Beats headphones are sold alongside iPods in an Apple store in New York City. Apple is reportedly considering buying Beats for more than $3 billion.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Another week in tech is wrapping up with talk of another multi-billion dollar buy. Let's get to it with our roundup, starting with the ICYMI section, which features stories we've been telling on air and online, the Big Conversations in tech and closing with our Curiosities — other fun links you should see.

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4:40pm

Mon May 5, 2014
All Tech Considered

Drone Journalism Can't Fully Take Flight Until Regulators Act

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 11:12 am

Drone Journalism Lab researcher Ben Kreimer is limited to testing drones indoors.
Courtesy of Drone Journalism Lab

5:36am

Sat May 3, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Egg Innovation, Twitter's Future, The FCC's Defense

Debate rages about the Federal Communications Commission's proposed net neutrality guidelines.
Jeremy Brooks Flickr

It's the weekend, which means it's time for your review of the technology and culture headlines from NPR and beyond.

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6:50am

Wed April 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Innovation: A Gadget That Scrambles The Egg Inside The Shell

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:08 pm

The Golden Goose will retail for around $24.
Courtesy Y Line Product Design

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Submit with this form.

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5:28am

Sat April 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Look At The Cloud, Aereo In Court, Net Neutrality

Paul Hopkins of DuPont Fabros stands on the roof of company's newest Silicon Valley data center. "It's about the same size and length as a Nimitz aircraft carrier," he says.
Steve Henn NPR

It was another busy week in the technology and society space, so we'll dive right into your weekly roundup:

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12:53pm

Wed April 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:25 pm

Volvo's inflatable car seat is a concept and not a marketable product right now.
Courtesy of Volvo

Forget wearables, let's talk about inflatables.

Volvo's new child safety seat concept is a fully inflatable device designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

So compact is this prototype that it goes from a stylish-looking backpack into a rear-facing car seat in less than a minute. You can pump it in the car — the seat comes with its own pump — and it's Bluetooth-connected so you could pump it remotely.

When inflated, the seat weighs just under 11 pounds.

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4:33am

Wed April 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:02 am

A Google data center in Oklahoma is shown. Google recently slashed prices for its cloud services; Amazon responded by cutting its cloud prices.
Connie Zhou AP

This week, our tech reporting team is exploring cloud computing — the big business of providing computing power and data storage that companies need, but which happens out of sight, as if it's "in the cloud."

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1:19pm

Mon April 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

America's Less Religious: Study Puts Some Blame On The Internet

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:03 pm

iStockphoto

America is less religious than ever before. The number of Americans who reported no religious affiliation has been growing rapidly, doubling since 1990. That kind of rapid change matches another societal trend — growth in Internet use. The percentage of Americans who say they used the Internet went from nearly zero in 1990 to 87 percent this year.

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5:08am

Sat April 19, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Earnings, A Heartbleed Arrest And Digital Distraction

Google and other tech companies reported earnings this week, amid fears of another tech bubble bursting.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There was really only one tech story last week — the potentially disastrous Heartbleed bug. This week, we return to more of a panoply of tech-related news, starting with NPR stories in the ICYMI section, the broader topics in the industry in The Big Conversation and fun links you shouldn't miss in Curiosities.

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3:57pm

Mon April 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Restaurants: The Modern-Day Lab For Our Smartphone-Obsessed Ways

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:30 pm

Courtney Cranch tends bar at The Red Hen in Washington, D.C., where she estimates at least half her customers have smartphones out at mealtime.
Elise Hu NPR

When we asked you about the changing norms for smartphone use in public spaces, hundreds of stories poured in.

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10:40am

Sat April 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Heartbleed, The Latest Bubble And Windows XP Retires

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Each new billion-dollar IPO is raising the speculation that another tech bubble will soon burst.
iStockphoto

Site administrators were sent scrambling this week when researchers disclosed the potentially catastrophic Heartbleed bug, a coding error that left much of the Internet vulnerable to data theft since March 2012. Here's our look back at Heartbleed coverage — and more.

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5:00pm

Thu April 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

One-Day Sale: Google Glass Will Be Available For A Cool $1,500

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 5:32 pm

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in February 2013.
Jeff Chiu AP

Google Glass, the computer and camera you wear on your face, can be yours starting next Tuesday. Google has been rolling out Glass to a select group of "Explorers" since early 2013, but soon, anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 plus tax can get a headset at this link.

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5:37pm

Wed April 9, 2014
All Tech Considered

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:27 am

The Heartbleed bug has exposed up to two-thirds of the Internet to a security vulnerability.
iStockphoto

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

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11:11am

Tue April 8, 2014
All Tech Considered

Windows XP Users, It's Time To Upgrade. Here's How

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 12:59 pm

Microsoft is ending its support for the 12-year-old Windows XP software Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Microsoft is ending support Tuesday for Windows XP, which means the company won't be fixing any fresh problems that crop up with the 12-year-old operating system. "PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be truly protected," says a company statement.

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4:30pm

Fri April 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

It's Complicated: When A CEO's Personal Position Becomes Public

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:18 pm

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

The Mozilla controversy that played out over the past two weeks bursts with ironies. And this one is perhaps the most prominent: The free speech that Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich spent his life's work defending and enabling — and an open-Web revolution Eich helped lead — drove his unseating. It raises questions about how a company leader's personal convictions should be judged.

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4:38pm

Thu April 3, 2014
All Tech Considered

A Week Into His New Job, Controversy Forces Mozilla CEO To Resign

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 8:22 am

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

Brendan Eich, embattled co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has stepped down from his new role as CEO of Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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4:16pm

Wed April 2, 2014
Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas

Cycling's Catching On In Texas, For A Very Texas Reason

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 9:54 pm

Bicycles and pedicabs along a dedicated bike lane in Austin, Texas.
Elise Hu NPR

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.

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6:57pm

Mon March 31, 2014
All Tech Considered

The New Mozilla CEO's Political Past Is Imperiling His Present

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 10:25 am

Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, pictured in 2009.
Casey Dunn Flickr

For the Internet community, the principles of free speech and equal rights are foundational. But in recent days, those issues are clashing at Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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1:45pm

Sat March 22, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Robots, Turkish Twitter And A Frustrated Zuckerberg

A BigDog robot at Boston Dynamics in 2010.
Suzanne Kreiter Boston Globe via Getty Images

Happy weekend! If you've missed our tech coverage and the larger conversation at the intersection of technology and culture this week, here's your look back. ICYMI is what we reported on NPR, The Big Conversation includes news from all sorts of places, and Curiosities are important or fun links we think you should check out.

What was on your radar? What should we look out for next week? Tell us in the comment section below. We do read them, you know.

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11:55am

Thu March 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Gender Disparities In Tech Flare Up Again: A Reading Guide

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:42 pm

An open laptop at the GitHub office.
Dave Fayram Flickr

We are three weeks deep into an on-air exploration of women in technology through our midday show, Tell Me More. Host Michel Martin has led some really thoughtful conversations about the dearth of women in tech and the areas of notable improvement. Online, women leaders in the field have been tweeting a day in their lives since March 1, archived here if you want to check back.

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1:41pm

Wed March 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

SXSW: Tech Industry Inspires New Shows From HBO, AMC

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:41 am

Scoot McNairy (left) and Lee Pace star in AMC's upcoming show Halt and Catch Fire.
Tina Rowden AMC

Television show creators are peering into the geeky and moneyed world of computer programmers with a new comedy from HBO and a drama from AMC, both debuting this spring.

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5:34pm

Mon March 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

SXSW: Software, Apps Still Rule But A Hardware Resurgence Is On

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 pm

A set of littleBits comes with more than 40 different types of electronic pieces that connect with magnets.
NPR

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

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3:29am

Mon March 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

SXSW: Snowden Speech Has Conference Buzzing, Congressman Stewing

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:59 am

SXSW Interactive Festival attendees crowd the Austin Convention Center at the 2013 event. The festival's typically sprawling range of topics this year took a turn toward online privacy and surveillance implications.
Jack Plunkett AP

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will speak via videoconference to the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive later this morning, and you can bet a much wider audience than just those here in Austin will be watching.

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5:19am

Sat March 8, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Women In Tech, Bitcoin's Man And SXSW Begins

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:15 am

A Bitcoin sign at a shop in Hong Kong.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Another hectic week in the technology space wraps up just as the massive festival for interactive geeks and the marketers who love them — South By Southwest — gets under way in Austin, Texas.

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12:03pm

Thu March 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

SXSW Tech Preview: Snooping, Wearables And More 3-D Printing

Hugh Forrest, pictured here in 2009, is the director of South by Southwest Interactive.
Scott Beale Flickr

South by Southwest Interactive is the technology-driven part of the annual Austin-based festival for digital, film and music and it starts on Friday. An expected 30,000 people will take part in the interactive and film week that precedes music, and they love it for the spontaneity and the chaos. They also hate it because of the chaos — parties on every corner, marketing handouts at every turn and a sprawling program of panels, screenings and speakers that span at least a dozen city blocks in the heart of Texas.

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