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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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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12:03am

Thu February 27, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Web At 25: Hugely Popular, And Viewed As A Positive Force

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:58 pm

A 1992 copy of the world's first Web page. British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

For something that's become so ubiquitous in our lives, the World Wide Web is just a youngster. It was only 25 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee first created a rudimentary information retrieval system that relied on the Internet. It's since exploded into a primary means by which we learn, work and connect. (To put things in perspective, the film Die Hard is older than the World Wide Web.)

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12:57pm

Tue February 25, 2014
All Tech Considered

Facebook Shuts Down Its Email Service Since No One Used It

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:58 am

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the 2010 event announcing Facebook's new email messaging system. This week, the company shuttered the service.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Facebook's foray into email ended Monday, when the social media giant quietly retired the email service that many users didn't even know existed. Users received a notice saying the @facebook.com email addresses they deployed are going away.

"We're making this change because most people haven't been using their Facebook email addresses, and we wanted to make it easier to view all your emails in one place," the message read.

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4:47pm

Mon February 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

4 Takes On Netflix's Streaming Deal With Comcast

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Netflix cut a deal with Comcast on Sunday to help boost streaming performance.
Elise Amendola AP

If you are in the middle of a House of Cards binge, the news from Netflix over the weekend is good — video streaming quality will improve. After reports of declining performance in recent months, Netflix — which accounts for 30 percent of broadband traffic — cut a deal with Comcast to pay the cable provider for direct access to its systems.

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3:40pm

Mon February 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

Cool Or Creepy? A Clip-On Camera Can Capture Every Moment

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 11:45 am

The Narrative clip is a lightweight wearable camera, capable of shooting 5-megapixel images. You clip it to your lapel and it shoots two photos a minute.
Jim Tuttle NPR

With digital cameras and camera phones everywhere, there are few moments we don't document. But some designers still think we're missing the opportunity to capture some important, simple moments. The solution: the Narrative Clip, a wearable camera that automatically and silently snaps an image every 30 seconds.

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12:19pm

Fri February 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Facebook's Bet, Streaming Fight, Google Maps Indoors

Verizon and Netflix are engaged in a feud over connection speeds.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

No rest for weary tech reporters this President's Day week, as the news on this beat tumbled forth fast and furiously. A look back at some of the topics dominating conversation follows, with NPR coverage in the "in case you missed it" section, and largely curated coverage from elsewhere in "The Big Conversation" and "Curiosities."

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12:23pm

Thu February 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:19 pm

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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1:44pm

Fri February 7, 2014
All Tech Considered

How The Meritocracy Myth Affects Women In Technology

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:40 pm

The gender gap in the tech industry will be the focus of a monthlong series on Tell Me More.
iStockphoto

The numbers on women in the tech industry are so out of whack that ladies register in the single digits: Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And a New York Times count found that only 8 percent of venture-backed startups are founded by women.

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7:07am

Thu February 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

Sensory Fiction: Books That Let You Feel What The Characters Do

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:45 pm

Changes in a book protagonist's emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in this wearable device.
MIT Media Lab

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? Use this quick form.

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9:24am

Tue February 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

8 Things Worth Knowing About Microsoft's New CEO, Satya Nadella

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:30 pm

Satya Nadella, the Indian-born, Wisconsin-educated Microsoft veteran, is now its big boss.
LeWeb13 Flickr

While it's never been considered a "cool" company, Microsoft is still a force — worth $300 billion, and Windows operating systems still run on a big chunk of the world's computers. While the profile of founder and former CEO Bill Gates still looms large, outgoing leader Steve Ballmer took the reins in 2000. And Tuesday, the board chose an internal candidate — 46-year-old Indian-American engineer Satya Nadella — to head the company.

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3:25pm

Wed January 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

A Boarding Pass Design That's So Much Better Than What We Have

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:58 am

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

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? Use this quick form.

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11:57am

Tue January 28, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama's State Of The Union, Playing On A Second Screen Near You

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:58 pm

A screen grab from last year's "enhanced State of the Union," which is also available Tuesday on WhiteHouse.gov.
Nathan Yau/Flowing Data

Viewership is declining. Washington seems increasingly dysfunctional and irrelevant to the daily lives of Americans. The presidency isn't the bully pulpit it used to be.

In an age of social media and divided audiences, the annual, constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech is beginning to look like a stuffy relic from a bygone era.

It's an institution in need of a makeover, which is precisely what the White House intends to do Tuesday night.

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10:50am

Tue January 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

One Way Lawmakers Are Trying To Prevent Government IT Disasters

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., is a co-sponsor of the new bill.
Charles Dharapak AP

HealthCare.gov's infamous failure to launch has inspired some fresh legislation that aims to organize and streamline the currently scattered — and expensive — approach to multimillion-dollar technology projects built by the government and its contractors.

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4:16pm

Mon January 27, 2014
All Tech Considered

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:17 pm

In their effort to make their animations seem more realistic, the Next Media team models various facial expressions it will use in a piece. These are models of singer Leslie Cheung.
Elise Hu NPR

4:14pm

Sun January 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Billionaire Compares Outrage Over Rich In SF To Kristallnacht

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:40 pm

"Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?" billionaire Tom Perkins asks.
Steve Jennings Getty Images

Class tensions in the San Francisco Bay Area got even hotter this weekend, over the public musings of Tom Perkins, a prominent venture capitalist and co-founder of the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

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3:42am

Thu January 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:01 pm

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

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1:38pm

Fri January 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

Analysts: Credit Card Hacking Goes Much Further Than Target

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:23 pm

Hackers use credit card scanning machines as part of their sophisticated campaign to steal credit card information and sell it.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The holiday season data breach at Target that hit more than 70 million consumers was part of a wide and highly skilled international hacking campaign that's "almost certainly" based in Russia. That's according to a report prepared for federal and private investigators by Dallas-based cybersecurity firm iSight Partners.

And the fraudsters are so skilled that sources say at least a handful of other retailers have been compromised.

"The intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," the iSight report says.

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12:20pm

Tue January 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Feds Can't Enforce Net Neutrality: What This Means For You

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:09 pm

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler says his agency will consider appealing a court ruling against the FCC's net neutrality policy.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission's open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can't require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency's rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:

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5:36pm

Mon January 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:14 pm

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

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