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 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.

Follow her on Twitter @elisewho.

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12:04pm

Tue July 9, 2013
All Tech Considered

The 'Sink-Urinal' Saves Water, Encourages Men To Wash Hands

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:53 pm

The design, called Stand, is already in use in several European countries.
Ingus Bajars Courtesy of Kaspar Jursons

In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. (Have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)

A Latvian designer named Kaspars Jursons is trying to help solve European water shortages by redesigning the men's restroom. His new urinal design includes a tap and sink right over it.

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3:06pm

Mon July 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

Arrest Caught On Google Glass Reignites Privacy Debate

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

Filmmaker Chris Barrett wearing his Google Glass. He is among the first 1,000 nondeveloper testers of the product.
Jennifer Rubinovitz Courtesy of Chris Barrett

12:36pm

Mon July 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

When Social Sharing Goes Wrong: Regretting The Facebook Post

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:33 pm

A model poses for photos next to a life-size makeshift Facebook browser in the Philippines.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

We've been following the case of Justin Carter, the Texas teen who's been jailed near San Antonio since February. It started when he posted a Facebook message saying he would go "shoot up a kindergarten." Austin Police arrested him and seized his computer and a grand jury indicted him in April on a charge of making a terroristic threat.

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11:08am

Fri July 5, 2013
It's All Politics

A Lively Political Press In A State Where Everything's Bigger

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:22 pm

Texas reporters surround state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, on Monday.
Todd Wiseman Courtesy of Todd Wiseman

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country. We take a closer look at the local journalists covering the coming changes, in this part of the series.

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3:46am

Wed July 3, 2013
All Tech Considered

Father: Teen Jailed For Facebook Comment Beaten Up Behind Bars

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:32 pm

An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.
Courtesy Jack Carter

The family of Justin Carter, the 19-year-old Texas gamer who made offensive Facebook comments that landed him in jail, is working with new urgency to get his $500,000 bail reduced because they say he's getting beat up behind bars.

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3:01pm

Mon July 1, 2013
All Tech Considered

Texas Teen Jailed For Sarcastic Facebook Comment

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:33 pm

Justin Carter at home before his arrest. The 19-year-old has been in the Comal County, Texas, jail since March.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

A Texas teen faces up to eight years in prison after making a comment on Facebook about shooting up "a school full of kids." Deputies in Comal County, Texas, charged then-18-year-old Justin Carter with making "terroristic threats" — a third-degree felony — in March. According to the Comal County Jail, he's been behind bars since March 27, unable to make his $500,000 bail. Austin-based KVUE-TV reports:

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3:00am

Mon July 1, 2013
It's All Politics

In Houston, America's Diverse Future Has Already Arrived

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:16 am

Glenda Joe, a seventh-generation Chinese-Houstonian.
Elise Hu NPR

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

Read more

7:18am

Sun June 30, 2013
All Tech Considered

Q&A: On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:01 pm

Google is shutting down the Google Reader on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

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3:01pm

Thu June 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

What You Suggested For Our Tech Blog Reboot

An old innovation: the printing press.
Flickr: Mattack

In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.

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4:24am

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Clock Runs Out On Controversial Texas Abortion Bill

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:38 am

The Texas Capitol rotunda filled with supporters of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who filibustered a controversial abortion bill.
Eric Gay AP

The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.

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2:14am

Wed June 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Texas Lawmaker's 11-Hour Filibuster Ended On A Technicality

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:42 am

State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, dons pink tennis shoes during a Tuesday filibuster.
Eric Gay AP

By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)

"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.

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7:38am

Thu June 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Will Video Ruin Instagram's Appeal?

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:31 pm

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has announced a new video feature.
Ramsey Mohsen via Flickr/Creative Commons

UPDATE on Thursday at 1:44 p.m. ET: Instagram For Video Arrives

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3:05am

Tue June 18, 2013
Around the Nation

Why Buy A House When You Can Buy A Mountain?

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:55 pm

Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, in front of Powzilla, an open-top Suburban turned rock crawler.
Elise Hu NPR

It's not your everyday real estate deal. A team of young entrepreneurs persuaded about 50 deep-pocketed investors to help them purchase a mountain. The deal just closed in April, and development on Utah's nearly 10,000-acre Powder Mountain is now underway.

"When we made those first phone calls, everybody's like, what? That being said, they know that we aren't kidding," says Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, the group that led the purchase of the peak.

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7:03am

Sat June 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Illinois Pension Crisis: This Is What Rock Bottom Looks Like

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called members of the Legislature back to work for a special session to help resolve the pension crisis.
Seth Perlman AP

Lawmakers in Illinois are headed back to work next week to address the state's $100 billion pension crisis, the worst unfunded pension liability in the nation. While almost all states faced pension funding issues during the recession, none of them are looking at a predicament as severe as in Illinois. Every day it doesn't get fixed, the burden on taxpayers grows larger.

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9:35am

Wed June 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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5:13pm

Mon June 10, 2013
All Tech Considered

What You Need To Know About Changes Coming From Apple

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:54 pm

Apple unveiled its new mobile operating system, iOS 7.
Apple

If you opt for the upgrade, changes are coming to your iPhone experience this fall. And if you want to shell out some cash right away, the latest line of MacBook Air computers boasts a lot more power and battery life, and the machines are available to ship today.

Apple chiefs announced their latest products and improvements Monday as part of the keynote at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

We kept an eye on the two-hour presentation so you didn't have to. The highlights:

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1:23pm

Thu June 6, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Day In The Life Of The Relentlessly Tracked

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:45 pm

Today, every consumer click is an opportunity for companies to gather personal information.
David Goldman AP

Controversy is raging over a court order allowing the FBI and the National Security Agency to seize aggregate information of millions of Verizon customer phone calls.

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3:34pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Pop Culture

What Happens To Spelling Bee Kids? Years Later, The Prize Is Perspective

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:45 am

Srinivas Ayyagari onstage in 1992 (left); at right, Ayyagari today. "Seeing someone from ESPN commenting on your style and strategy was bizarre and weird. But it's the closest I'll ever come to being an athlete," Ayyagari says.
Srinivas Ayyagari

For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?

Lasting Memories

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4:29pm

Mon May 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Yahoo's Other Billion Dollar Bets: Where Are They Now?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:57 pm

GeoCities employees pose for a picture in 1999 after the Yahoo acquisition was announced. Yahoo quietly shut down GeoCities a decade later.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Yahoo's $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr could be considered a bargain compared with its other big-dollar bets. The company's history is dotted with pricey purchases of once-hot Web properties that had more promise than eventual purpose. A look back:

GeoCities, 1999: $3.7 Billion

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4:18pm

Thu April 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Mile-High Hack: An App That Could Remotely Hijack Planes

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:28 am

A German IT consultant's proof-of-concept software raises questions about efforts to secure global flight systems.
iStockphoto.com

The Federal Aviation Administration continues work on its multibillion-dollar upgrade to the nation's air traffic control system, but it may not be enough to stop hackers from taking control of airplanes with a smartphone.

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2:58pm

Sun March 24, 2013
The Two-Way

100 Hours On The Supreme Court's Sidewalk: Camping Out For A Seat To History

More than two dozen people bundled up to camp out before the U.S. Supreme Court for a seat to watch oral arguments in a same-sex marriage case on Tuesday.
Elise Hu NPR

Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.

"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."

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3:35pm

Wed March 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Scientists: 'No Options' To Stop Massive Asteroids On Collision Course

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:40 pm

Actor Bruce Willis on the surface of an asteroid from the movie Armageddon. Lawmakers are questioning the likelihood of the movie's plot becoming reality.
Frank Masi ASSOCIATED PRESS

Without "a few years" warning, humans currently have no capacity to stop an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, scientists told a Senate panel Wednesday.

"Right now we have no options," said former astronaut Ed Lu. "If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

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4:29am

Tue March 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 11:11 am

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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7:20am

Mon March 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Most Talked About Tech And Culture Trends At SXSW Interactive

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 8:40 pm

The feline known as Grumpy Cat.
Elise Hu NPR

Everywhere you walk in downtown Austin, Texas, new names compete for the attention of the tens of thousands wandering the SXSW Interactive festival. Which of this year's emerging ideas and brands — MakerBot, Leap Motion, Geomagic — will break into mainstream consciousness? Here's a quick rundown of the conversation topics in coffee lines, and some notes on appearances and panels that caught our attention:

Beyond The Keyboard And Mouse

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1:13pm

Mon February 25, 2013
All Tech Considered

Working From Home: The End Of Productivity Or The Future Of Work?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Feb. 20, 2013. Under Mayer, Yahoo is ending its remote work policy for employees.
Peter Kramer ASSOCIATED PRESS

In its bid to reshape itself for the future, Yahoo is returning to a workplace culture of the tech industry's past. The Internet giant has reportedly notified its employees they'll no longer be allowed to work from home.

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1:56pm

Sat February 23, 2013
Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 2:28 pm

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

2:05pm

Wed February 20, 2013
The Two-Way

Cash-Strapped Postal Service To Launch A New Clothing Line

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:32 pm

A mailman for the U.S. Postal Service delivers mail on November 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The U.S. Postal Service is getting creative in its search for new revenue after last year's $15.9 billion budget shortfall. The agency says it will debut a new clothing and accessories line called Rain Heat & Snow, inspired by its unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

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10:11am

Sat February 9, 2013
The Two-Way

The Blizzard 'Nemo' Highlights The Hype Cycle Of Storms

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 1:53 pm

Two women look for a taxi in New York's Times Square on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

If you've wondered why the blizzard dumping snow on the Northeast has a name, look no further than The Weather Channel. At the start of this storm season, the 24-hour-weather network announced, much to the chagrin of The National Weather Service, that it would give names to winter storms.

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11:00am

Tue October 2, 2012
Pop-Up Politics

Pop-Up Politics: Beyond The Speeches

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 12:55 pm

Pop-Up Politics
NPR

If you want a little background and perspective to what the presidential candidates are saying — as they're saying it — then our "Pop-Up Politics" videos are for you. As VH1 did with music videos, we've added pop-up bubbles and animation to stump speeches to give context to the candidates' statements on the war in Afghanistan, energy and the economy.

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6:58am

Sun September 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Presidential Debates Can Be Great Theater, But How Much Do They Matter?

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:52 am

In a 1988 debate against George H.W. Bush, Michael Dukakis's answer to a question about whether he would support the death penalty if his wife were raped and murdered is considered a huge stumble.
LENNOX MCLENDON ASSOCIATED PRESS

Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.

These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.

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