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
3:14 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Diagram Of HealthCare.gov, Based On The People Who Built It

An attempt to draw out the various parts of HealthCare.gov's tech system, based on the testimony of its contractors.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:52 am

One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core

Mike Bracken is executive director of digital for the U.K. government.
Lisbon Council Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:43 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

The HealthCare.gov 'Tech Surge' Is Racing Against The Clock

HealthCare.gov has been plagued with problems since the health insurance exchange site opened Oct. 1.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

A "tech surge" is underway to help clean up the code of the error-plagued HealthCare.gov site.

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All Tech Considered
11:28 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Surveillance Scope, Apple's Retail Hire

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is moving to Apple, where she will head the company's retail division.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:59 pm

It's time for your Friday week in review, a look at the big headlines and conversation in the tech and culture space.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
9:08 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Health Site Stumbling, Twitter's Roots

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:53 am

It's Friday, which means we're rounding up the tech headlines and our NPR coverage of technology and culture this week.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
9:39 am
Thu October 10, 2013

New Numbers Back Up Our Obsession With Phones

You check your phone a lot, even when it's not ringing or buzzing. But just how much? New numbers say it's more than 100 times a day.
Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:06 am

How's this for a sign of our digitally addicted times: Users swipe their screens to unlock their phones an average of 110 times a day, according to data from the app company Locket.

"We don't think we are unlocking our phones that many times because we don't sit down and count," says Yunha Kim, CEO and co-founder of Locket.

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All Tech Considered
3:45 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Health Exchange Tech Problems Point To A Thornier Issue

"We can do better," says White House spokesman Jay Carney, of healthcare.gov's ongoing software problems and delays.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 5:24 pm

One week after its rocky rollout, the federal site to help you sign up for health insurance exchanges went down again overnight for additional software fixes. The Obama administration says the technology powering the marketplaces buckled under unexpectedly high traffic. But the ongoing software hiccups for healthcare.gov point to a much thornier problem: procurement processes.

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All Tech Considered
10:33 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Solved: The Minds Behind The 'NSA' Billboard Reveal Themselves

The reveal.
BitTorrent

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:32 pm

Someone's taken credit for the shadowy billboard on the 101 Freeway near San Francisco — a plain white sign with black text reading, "Your Data Should Belong To The NSA." We wondered about it last week and got some interesting theories in the comments.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Enter The Quiet Zone: Where Cell Service, Wi-Fi Are Banned

The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is protected from interference by federal and state laws.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 10:03 am

There are no physical signs you've entered the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area that covers the eastern half of West Virginia. But the silence gives you a signal. Somewhere around the Virginia-West Virginia state line, the periodic buzzes and pings of our smartphones stopped.

"Zero [service]. Searching," said photographer John Poole, who traveled with me to the zone.

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All Tech Considered
4:50 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

U.S. Shutdown May Be Driving Traffic To 'Sugar Daddy' Sites

A sugar daddy dating website says nearly 14,000 women have joined since Sept. 29, as the federal government prepared to shut down.
Cat London iStockPhoto.com

sugar daddy (noun): a well-to-do usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend, or boyfriend

The government shutdown may have become a boon for one kind of online dating site — those that help users find sugar daddies.

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All Tech Considered
10:55 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Bitcoin Bust, Twitter IPO, Siri Outed

A voice actor has come forward to say she is the voice behind Siri on American iPhones.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:25 pm

The tech news kept a-comin' this week, so we've got a lot to cover in our weekly roundup. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
1:50 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

What We Know About Ross Ulbricht, Or 'Dread Pirate Roberts'

The FBI alleges Ross Ulbricht ran the vast underground drug marketplace Silk Road for more than two years.
Google +

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:58 pm

When federal agents made their bust of Silk Road, the Internet's largest and most sophisticated underground illicit goods market, they unmasked its mastermind and owner, who went by the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts." According to the FBI, he is a 29-year-old Texan named Ross Ulbricht.

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All Tech Considered
1:02 am
Thu October 3, 2013

The Man Behind The Shadowy Illicit Drug Market, Silk Road

A screen grab from a December 2012 StoryCorps interview with Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the online marketplace known as Silk Road.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 10:53 am

It's not every day federal authorities get to bust a case like this. It involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet, in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down that site and arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, the man they say is its mastermind.

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All Tech Considered
1:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:35 am

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

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All Tech Considered
1:48 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Agency Websites Shut Down With The Government

The message users will get when they try to go to Census.gov during the shutdown.
Census.gov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 2:50 pm

If you or your child has a school report due tomorrow, the Census Bureau site will not be available to help. Census.gov and its affiliates, like American FactFinder and online surveys, are offline as part of the federal government's shutdown. The same goes for the Federal Trade Commission's site, the Agriculture Department's USDA.gov and the Library of Congress' site, which can also be a rich resource of reference information.

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All Tech Considered
12:58 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Online Comments, iPad Hacks And The ACC

What to do about trolls in comments sections? It's part of a big conversation in tech this week.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:12 pm

It's time for your NPR All Tech Week in Review! Here's a rundown, in case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the interwebs this week.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
12:09 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Phantom Phone Vibrations: So Common They've Changed Our Brains?

Phantom Vibration Syndrome: That phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating when it's not.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Phantom vibration — that phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating but it's not — has been around only since the mobile age. And five years ago, when its wider existence became recognized, news organizations, including ours, covered the "syndrome" as a sign of the digital encroachment in our lives. Today, it's so common that researchers have devoted studies to it.

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All Tech Considered
11:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

What You Emailed Us About Using The 'ACC'

We're still combing through all your emails about the acc.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:16 pm

This morning, I griped about the acc, our newly coined name for the practice of copying a third party on an existing email chain to undermine or pull rank on the original recipient. (The A can stand for angry, awkward, annoying ... or other A-words you might be thinking of ...)

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All Tech Considered
5:18 am
Thu September 26, 2013

The Worst Kind Of Email CC: Not A BCC, But An A(nnoying)CC

Consider your motivations before you add someone to the cc: field of an email.
Baris Onal iStockphoto.com

A middle school jab goes something like this: "We're having an A-B conversation, so you can C your way out." I bring this up because there's a workplace parallel to this that doesn't seem to have a name. It's when you're having an A-B email conversation and one party suddenly copies your boss, manager or someone more senior, in order to get an advantage in the discussion at hand.

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All Tech Considered
2:52 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Mystery Of $600 Million Traded In The Blink Of An Eye

A television monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision the Federal Reserve made on Sept. 18, 2013.
Richard Drew AP

Here's a mystery involving physics, technology and the markets that meant the difference between nothing and millions of dollars.

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All Tech Considered
10:46 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Tech Week That Was: New iOS Design And Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto V raked in more than $800 million in sales in its first 24 hours on the shelves.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 11:47 am

It's time for the weekly roundup of what happened here on All Tech and on our airwaves, and a look back at the big conversations in technology.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
10:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

This Board Game Aims To Teach Preschoolers How To Code

Robot Turtles is for future programmers ages 3 to 8.
Courtesy of Robot Turtles

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 11:01 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
9:51 am
Tue September 17, 2013

How Blogging And Twitter Are Making Us Smarter

Students studying on their laptops in Berlin. Writer Clive Thompson says that actively engaging with computers is making students better writers.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:41 pm

Scanning the Internet today, I found a pair of pieces by writer and columnist Clive Thompson — one, for The Globe and Mail, another, for Wired magazine, that focus on how our brains get a boost when we're using social media and blogging.

"The fact that so many of us are writing has changed the way we think," he writes in Wired. "Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public."

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All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Smartphone Boom Fuels A $1 Billion Fantasy Sports Industry

Steve Covino and Rich Davis attend Sirius XM's Annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft in New York in 2012.
Cindy Ord Getty Images for Sirius XM Radio

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:55 pm

The whole beauty of fantasy sports is that you can manage teams of pro athletes without ever leaving your couch. The process of drafting teams, betting on the success of individual players and trash-talking with your similarly obsessed friends takes place on Web and mobile platforms, and that makes the fantasy sports pastime about more than just bragging rights. It's become a billion-dollar business.

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All Tech Considered
11:36 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Whether Facebook Makes You Lonely Depends On How You Use It

Does Facebook make you sadder? It depends on how you use it.
Facebook

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 1:20 pm

Not long ago, we reported on a new University of Michigan study that found the more young people used Facebook, the worse they felt. According to the research, Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.

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All Tech Considered
12:59 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Brogrammers, New iPhones, Twitter IPO

Twitter announced by tweet Thursday that it plans to go public.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:11 pm

Not a slow news week in the world of technology and culture. But as we do each Friday, we've collected the stories you might have missed from NPR and our friends in the tech reporting universe.

We usually separate the week's big conversations from what you might have missed on NPR, but since we covered the major topics of conversation, here's one big roundup:

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All Tech Considered
5:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

A Few Takes On How To Fix The Tech Industry's 'Bro' Problem

Hackers pose at Disrupt Hackathon in 2011.
Araya Diaz Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:03 am

The tech industry's sometimes sexist "brogrammer" culture came into focus at least twice this week, making it as good a time as any to highlight the running conversation about how to constructively change the systemic, entrenched issues that allow for offensive apps like Titstare, which was presented at a tech industry hackathon.

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All Tech Considered
10:52 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The $7 Billion Tech Acquisition You Haven't Heard Of

Molex makes the four-prong connector you see at left.
Taylor Bennett Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:33 am

While most of us were distracted waiting for a gold iPhone — gold! — the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers quietly made a deal to acquire an electronics company for $7.2 billion. The company they bought? Molex.

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All Tech Considered
4:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Coming Soon: A Jolt Of Caffeine You Can Spray On Your Skin

Sprayable Energy will be on sale in November, says its creator, Ben Yu.
Courtesy of Sprayable Energy

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
3:13 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Sexism In The Tech Industry Takes Center Stage

TechCrunch's Disrupt 2012 conference in San Francisco. This year, two hackathon presentations ignited a firestorm.
Max Morse Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:59 pm

For women struggling to make inroads in the male-dominated tech industry, a few stunning situations this week have provided some extreme examples of what they're up against.

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