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
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

Each week, we highlight an innovation you might not have heard of yet. This week's innovation is a twist on something invented thousands of years ago: paper.

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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

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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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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All Tech Considered
10:19 am
Fri February 21, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
10:23 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

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

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 11:19 am

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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All Tech Considered
10:35 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Tech Week: Love In Digital Times, Big Cable, Facebook Genders

Comcast announced a $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable this week.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweethearts. Since we saw that the holiday was falling on a Friday this year, our tech reporting team spent the week exploring love in the digital age. To go along with the theme week, our weekly innovation pick was Nothing. Emily Siner explains in the post.

What were you talking about this week? Be part of the conversation in our comment section below or tweet at us.

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All Tech Considered
12:01 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Niche Online Dating Promises A Different Site For Every Preference

The Sayles family on their farm in Michigan. Julie and Rick Sayles met through the site FarmersOnly.com five years ago.
Courtesy of Iryshe Photography

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:45 pm

The numbers show Americans are getting more comfortable with online dating — a recent Pew survey found at least 11 percent of us have tried to find a match on the Internet. And the places to cyberdate are proliferating. No fewer than 1,500 dating sites are available in the U.S. to help singles connect, many for a fee.

But these days, we're not just online dating; we're niche online dating, with specific sites for singles of all stripes.

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All Tech Considered
11:44 am
Fri February 7, 2014

How The Meritocracy Myth Affects Women In Technology

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

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:40 am

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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All Tech Considered
9:47 am
Fri February 7, 2014

A Much More Honest Version Of Those Facebook Anniversary Videos

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:46 am

This week, to coincide with Facebook's 10th anniversary, Facebook made all billion of its users a personalized look-back video. Using its sorta creepy algorithms, Facebook picked out 15 images and moments from each user's Facebook history to feature and set them to music. You can see your own by clicking this link.

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All Tech Considered
5:07 am
Thu February 6, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:45 am

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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All Tech Considered
7:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Lawmakers Look To Prevent More Target-Sized Data Breaches

Sen. Patrick Leahy chats with Sen. Mazie Hirono before hearing from retail company executives on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:40 am

The sheer size and frequency of the recent credit card data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other companies are prompting lawmakers to consider legislative options to keep sophisticated cyberthefts from happening.

"If anything, we've learned from this major, major breach that we can no longer do nothing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "We have to take action."

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All Tech Considered
7:31 am
Tue February 4, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:30 pm

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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All Tech Considered
1:25 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

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

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 9:58 am

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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It's All Politics
9:57 am
Tue January 28, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:58 pm

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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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Tue January 28, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
7:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

Tom Perkins is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist and the author of the novel, Sex and the Single Zillionaire.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:09 pm

Multi-millionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins tried to apologize — kind of — for comparing the protests against the techno-affluent to Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi rampage that led to 91 killings and 30,000 Jews sent to concentration camps.

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