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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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Weekly Innovation: Better Luggage Checking ... And Tracking

Coming in December: the eTrack and the eTag, from Air France and KLM. The innovations let you drop off your bags without checking them, and track them throughout your journey.
Courtesy of FastTrack Co.

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 12:14 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:27 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 8:43 am

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

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All Tech Considered
8:49 am
Sat April 12, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:50 am

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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All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

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

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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All Tech Considered
3:37 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

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

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 9:27 am

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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All Tech Considered
9:16 am
Tue April 8, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 10:59 am

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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All Tech Considered
3:17 am
Sun April 6, 2014

What Silicon Valley's Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture

Cast and crew on the set of HBO's Silicon Valley (from left): Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani.
Jaimie Trueblood Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on

Sunday night, HBO's new comedy, Silicon Valley premieres, and as a Slate review notes of the titular place, "Rarely has a show had to do so little to find so much to mock."

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Tech Week: Amazon Fire, The Mozilla Debate, Nest's Recall

Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It's the weekend, which means it's time to look back on the tech week that was. It wasn't a slow week, so here we go:

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All Tech Considered
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:28 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

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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Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

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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All Tech Considered
4:57 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:25 am

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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All Tech Considered
5:40 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Tech Week: Smartphones And You, Virtual Reality, NPR Plays

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is now part of Facebook's empire.
Jeff Chiu AP

The tech news cycle didn't stop churning this week, with the fairy tale story of the Kickstarter-backed Oculus VR getting purchased by Facebook for $2 billion, the flop of a Candy Crush IPO and Turkey banning YouTube after already

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All Tech Considered
9:38 am
Mon March 24, 2014

What To Do With Your Smartphone While You're Having Dinner

Where do you draw the line on smartphone use?
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 2:33 pm

There was a time when checking your smartphone at the dinner table was considered offensive. But social norms and behaviors change as we adapt to technologies. Heck, that's the whole central theme of this blog.

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All Tech Considered
11:45 am
Sat March 22, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
9:55 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Gender Disparities In Tech Flare Up Again: A Reading Guide

An open laptop at the GitHub office.
Dave Fayram Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 12:42 pm

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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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Weekly Innovation: Paper Notebooks That Become Digital Files

Mod Notebooks sell for $25 each, which includes a prepaid envelope and digitization.
Courtesy of Mod Notebooks

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:14 am

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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Expect Labs' MindMeld app uses predictive computing to push information to us, instead of us having to ask.
Courtesy of Expect Labs

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:14 am

We're already giving voice instructions to virtual personal assistants, like Apple's Siri. But artificial intelligence is getting even smarter. The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.

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All Tech Considered
11:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

SXSW: Tech Industry Inspires New Shows From HBO, AMC

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

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 8:41 am

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All Tech Considered
3:23 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

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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All Tech Considered
1:29 am
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Snowden Speech Has Conference Buzzing, Congressman Stewing

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
4:40 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

SXSW Diary: Aereo, The Supreme Court And TV's Future

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

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:16 pm

The crowds are so thick in Austin, Texas, that locals are using an Avoid Humans app to find some peace and quiet, and the warning at the convention center of South By Southwest Interactive goes something like this: "Only one person per escalator step OR YOU WILL BREAK IT!"

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All Tech Considered
3:19 am
Sat March 8, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:15 am

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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All Tech Considered
10:03 am
Thu March 6, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
10:54 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Tech Week: Bitcoin, Everywhere Camera And A Big Anniversary

Apparently Not: A protester holds a placard Tuesday during a demonstration in front of the offices of Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Tokyo. On Friday, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:04 pm

It's time for your weekly look back at technology and culture coverage from NPR and beyond. A quick guide, for first-time readers: Our NPR interviews or stories are in the ICYMI section, links to the broader conversations in tech this week are in "The Big Conversation" and links we loved are in "Curiosities."

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All Tech Considered
12:55 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

'Rent It Out': Portlandia Spoofs The Sharing Economy

In one episode of Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen started a grass-roots campaign to prevent the Olympics from ever coming to Portland.
IFC

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 3:16 pm

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All Tech Considered
10:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:58 am

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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All Tech Considered
10:57 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Facebook Shuts Down Its Email Service Since No One Used It

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

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 6:58 am

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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All Tech Considered
2:47 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

4 Takes On Netflix's Streaming Deal With Comcast

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

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:25 pm

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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All Tech Considered
1:40 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:45 am

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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