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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All Tech Considered
5:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

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

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

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Of the 780,000 comments submitted to the FCC, 100,000 came on Tuesday alone, which the FCC's outdated electronic comment filing system was not capable of handling.

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All Tech Considered
9:53 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

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

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:38 pm

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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All Tech Considered
11:16 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

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

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:49 pm

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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All Tech Considered
3:36 am
Sat July 12, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
2:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 8:41 am

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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All Tech Considered
4:38 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

When there's no bun involved, is it a sandwich? The KFC Double Down is bacon and cheese sandwiched between two pieces of chicken.
Sandra Mu Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:08 am

When you slap some meat inside two slices of bread, you have a sandwich, at least according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the safety and labeling of meat and poultry.

"We're talking about a traditional closed-face sandwich," says Mark Wheeler, who works in food safety at the USDA. "A sandwich is a meat or poultry filling between two slices of bread, a bun or a biscuit."

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All Tech Considered
7:58 am
Thu July 3, 2014

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

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 9:04 am

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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All Tech Considered
3:13 am
Sat June 28, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
2:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 10:35 am

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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All Tech Considered
8:57 am
Thu June 26, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 1:42 pm

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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All Tech Considered
7:56 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Tech Week: Yo, The Amazon Fire Phone And Apple's iWatch?

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos presents the company's first smartphone, the Fire Phone in Seattle on Wednesday.
David Ryder Getty Images

It was a big week for product news in the tech world, a topic we typically reserve for your weekly round-ups. Here we go ...

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All Tech Considered
8:49 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Yo Is The Buzzy App Of The Moment, Whether Yo Like It Or Not

justyo.co

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 12:41 pm

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

How Yahoo's Diversity Numbers Compare With Google's

Yahoo is famously led by a woman, CEO Marissa Mayer. But its workforce, like most tech companies, is dominated by men.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:05 pm

Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:

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All Tech Considered
10:02 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Democrats Unveil A Bill To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

The bill is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:52 am

Net neutrality has become a hot topic this summer, despite its snooze-inducing name. The principle governs that data on the Internet should be served to customers on a level playing field — at the same speeds — without priority for certain companies that might be able to pay for "fast lanes" for content.

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All Tech Considered
3:46 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Tech Week: Snooping On Steve, Uber Battles, 3-D Nutella Printing

Our cellphones are constantly sending out data, and it's easier to get than we thought.
Krocky Meschkin Flickr

So much tech news, so little time. Let's run down the highlights of our tech coverage this week.

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All Tech Considered
2:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Starbucks Makes Itself More Addictive With Wireless Phone Charging

Soon, you'll be able to recharge at Starbucks, and charge your device.
Courtesy of Duracell Powermat

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:11 am

Starbucks' latest innovation has nothing to do with coffee beans or breakfast, but it may lure the technologically dependent among us into its stores.

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All Tech Considered
1:15 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Uber's Rapid Growth Pits Innovation Against Existing Laws

Taxi drivers gather in Berlin before joining an anti-Uber protest through the city. It coincided with similar protests in cities across Europe.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 9:53 am

To see the speed of technological innovation, look no further than a street corner. Hailing a cab from the street is less common in cities with Uber, a service that lets you request a ride with the simple tap of a mobile phone app.

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All Tech Considered
10:11 am
Mon June 9, 2014

'Digital Deadly Sins': The Morality Of Our Digital Obsessions

A new interactive asks us to take a break from our endless stream of tweets and comments to examine who we are — morally — in the 21st century.
Courtesy of NFB Canada

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:42 am

One running thread here at All Tech is smartphone distraction, and whether our increasing dependence on connecting through our devices is bringing us together — or tearing us apart.

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All Tech Considered
8:46 am
Sat June 7, 2014

Tech Week: Apple In Homes, Snowden Anniversary, Sexism Flare-Ups

Apple's Craig Federighi introduces the company's Home Kit platform during the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's time for your quick rundown of the week that was in technology and culture.

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Parallels
2:19 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The 'Cool War' With China Is Unseen, But Comes With Consequences

Chinese paramilitary police march at Tiananmen Square in Beijing during winter 2014.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:13 am

The days of the Cold War are long gone — no more zero-sum showdowns against communism, no duck-and-cover lessons in propaganda videos. But some scholars argue that something else has taken that conflict's place: a "cool war," pitting the U.S. against China.

That war is flaring up, and it's high stakes for American industry.

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Chicago Conference Is The Latest In Tech Sexism Hall Of Shame

The Chicago tech community balked at this Techweek Chicago invite, which the event has now apologized for.
Courtesy of Techweek Chicago

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:39 am

Times may be slowly a-changin' for the Y-chromosome-dominant technology sphere, where it's becoming a tougher environment to objectify women, at least publicly.

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All Tech Considered
2:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Girlfriend 'Complains A Lot ... Interrupts,' Developer Tells Conference

A slide from a presentation at a tech conference in Berlin.
Courtesy of Markos Saha

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:16 am

The consequences of a dearth of women in technology are showing up again, this time in a show of sexism at a tech conference in Berlin. (See update at end of post.)

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All Tech Considered
9:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

John Oliver Helps Rally 45,000 Net Neutrality Comments To FCC

Comedian John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:53 pm

Things are running smoothly now, but the Federal Communications Commission's public commenting system was so waylaid by people writing in on Monday that the agency had to send out a few tweets saying "technical difficulties" due to heavy traffic affected its servers.

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All Tech Considered
2:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Apple Makes A Play For 'Smart Homes' By Connecting Appliances

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 6:57 am

Into the quickly crowding field of automated home gadgets and appliances comes Apple, which announced HomeKit at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday. HomeKit is its entrance into a nascent, fragmented market for home automation, aka the Internet of Things.

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All Tech Considered
3:20 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Tech Week: C-E-Bros, Diversity Numbers And The Beats Deal

Rapper Dr. Dre is an executive at Apple, now.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images for BET

The evidence of a lack of gender parity in technology keeps stacking up; this week we saw the fraternity-day emails of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and the diversity and gender breakdowns that Google's been reluctant to share. Let's get right into your week in review:

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All Tech Considered
10:37 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Google's White Male-Heavy Staff Underlines Tech's Diversity Problem

A long line for a men's room at a 2009 tech conference in Omaha, Neb. Photos of this situation have now inspired a Twitter feed.
SleepyJeanne Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:38 pm

When it finally published a demographic breakdown of its workforce this week, tech giant Google admitted, "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues."

This is what the numbers showed: Google's staff is made up of 70 percent men, is 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, and all other races and ethnicities don't register above 5 percent.

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All Tech Considered
2:02 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:19 pm

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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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Check Out This Underwear With Pockets So You Can Stash Stuff

These Speakeasy Briefs retail for $23.95.
Courtesy of Speakeasy Briefs

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:50 pm

It's a really simple concept — underwear with a special pocket in the front. But Speakeasy Briefs have taken off in the past year, becoming way more popular than their designers ever expected.

"It was a pretty crazy year, and after year one, we're finding our legs," says co-creator Dan Goldman, in an interview with NPR.

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All Tech Considered
9:49 am
Mon May 26, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
9:16 am
Sat May 24, 2014

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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