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
9:36 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Gotta Be Honest, We're Not That Geeked About Apple's Reveal

Apple is expected to unveil new iPhones on Tuesday.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:48 pm

Leaks to tech industry sites give us a sense of what to expect from Apple's coming product announcement: Not one, but two new iPhone models. One will be more affordable, to reach international markets. The other, which we believe will be called the iPhone 5S, will come in gold or champagne colors.

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All Tech Considered
12:26 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Net Neutrality In Court: Here's What You Need To Know

The future of the Internet is at stake in a case before a D.C. court.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 1:27 pm

The beauty of the Internet — and the reason for its ubiquitous place in our lives — is that just about anyone can use it to offer services, products or information. But the link between what's out there on the Internet, how fast it gets to us and how much data can get to us is dependent on Internet service providers and the rules that govern them. That's where things get thorny for the principle of net neutrality.

If your eyes are already glazing over, consider this: This debate could affect the speed, quality and cost of your Hulu or Netflix binge-viewing.

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All Tech Considered
11:51 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Encryption Disrupted; Anonymity Online

Circuit board
Marilyn Nieves iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 2:09 pm

Monday's Labor Day holiday shortened our week, but there was no shortage of news in the tech space. Herewith, our weekly roundup to help catch you up.

ICYMI

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It's All Politics
5:18 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Q&A: How To Do Political Coverage Better In The Twitter Age

Reporters watch the final minutes of the presidential debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney last October in Denver.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Curious about how social media sped up news cycles, amplified trivial events on the trail and enabled Washington's "worst tendencies" during the 2012 presidential race, one of the nation's top young political reporters decided to take a deeper look.

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All Tech Considered
3:10 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Curious Craigslist Market For Empty Phone, Laptop Boxes

Boxes of the new iPhone 5 are displayed at an Apple Store. On Craigslist, used, empty boxes are offered for at least $10.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 3:27 pm

A quick scan of Craigslist reveals a curious market for not just smartphones and computers but the empty packaging of smartphones and computers. On my local Craigslist, a MacBook Pro box — "box only," as the sales pitches read — goes for $19. A MacBook Air box will cost you $15. And a Samsung Galaxy S4 box sells for $10.

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All Tech Considered
10:10 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Data Marketers Know What You Bought Last Summer

The online purchases you make help form a data profile that marketers use to sell you more stuff. A new site lets you see what data the marketers have on you.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:09 pm

If you've ever wondered just how much marketing companies know about you, whether it's your education or income or purchase preferences, today you can see for yourself.

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All Tech Considered
5:48 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Tailgaters Rejoice! This Cooler Keeps Beers Cold Without Ice

The Case Coolie weighs 1.5 pounds and promises to keep beverages cold for 10 hours.
Courtesy of Case Coolie

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 10:47 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. That's how we found this week's pick!

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Syrian Hackers And Google Intrigue

A cyberattack, reportedly by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, forced The New York Times offline this week.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:44 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers across the Internet.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
11:45 am
Thu August 29, 2013

The Fast-Food Restaurants That Require Few Human Workers

The Febo snack bar is open all night.
Adam Jackson Flickr

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:11 pm

In perhaps the largest nationwide fast-food strike in history, the employees who make your 99-cent burgers and tacos were planning strikes in 50 U.S. cities Thursday. Workers are calling for a $15 minimum wage and hoping to raise attention to the fast-food industry's low pay and limited prospects. The current federal minimum wage standard is $7.25 per hour.

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All Tech Considered
10:28 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Microsoft Vs. Medium: A Tale Of Two Office Cultures

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer oversaw a system called "stack ranking," which employees have called toxic.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 1:36 pm

In the flood of stories about Steve Ballmer's time at the helm of Microsoft, a troubling symbol of the company's office culture keeps emerging. It's called "stack ranking," a system that had corrosive effects on Microsoft employees by encouraging workers to play office politics at the expense of focusing on creative, substantive work.

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All Tech Considered
4:12 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Outage Summer: What To Know About The Syrian Electronic Army

The New York Times headquarters building in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:39 pm

In the latest hacking that brought down The New York Times on Tuesday, evidence points to the activist group of hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army. This group also took out The Washington Post briefly last week and has used phishing attacks to take control of NPR.org and other national news organizations in previous months. The Washington Post notes:

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All Tech Considered
12:54 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Facebook: U.S. Wanted Data On 20,000 Of Its Users This Year

Facebook has issued a report on government requests for its user data.
Flickr Scott Beale

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:22 pm

In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.

Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.

Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Inside The 'Bossless' Office, Where The Team Takes Charge

The headquarters of Menlo Innovations, a software design firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. At Menlo, there are no cubicles, few walls and no offices.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:44 pm

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

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All Tech Considered
11:54 am
Mon August 26, 2013

'I'd Tap That' And Other NSA Pickup Lines Are All The Rage

An anti-NSA protester in Washington, DC.
Steve Rhodes Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:58 pm

News that National Security Agency officers sometimes abuse domestic intelligence gathering practices to monitor potential love interests has led to a sweeping, satirical response by The People of The Internet. On Tumblr and Twitter, the #NSAPickupLines and #NSALovePoems hashtags have sparked all sorts of creativity from users poking fun at the potential intrusion of the NSA into our personal lives.

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All Tech Considered
11:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Tech Week That Was: National Security, Privacy And Ballmer

Glenn Greenwald is the blogger and journalist who broke the story about widespread surveillance by the National Security Agency. His partner, David Miranda, was detained at London's Heathrow Airport earlier this week.
Sergio Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:27 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
1:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Weekly Innovation: Hey, You're Taking Too Long In The Shower

The Uji shower head will be available for sale in early 2014. Its light turns from green to red as the shower progresses.
Courtesy of Brett Andler

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:16 am

This week's innovation pick is a shower head that reminds you you're taking too long. The Uji shower head gradually turns from green to red as users linger in the shower.

"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors, Brett Andler. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."

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All Tech Considered
9:40 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Facebook Makes Us Sadder And Less Satisfied, Study Finds

Researchers say Facebook use can lead to a decline in happiness and satisfaction.
Joerg Koch AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 8:17 am

Facebook's mission "to make the world more open and connected" is a familiar refrain among company leaders. But the latest research shows connecting 1.1 billion users around the world may come at a psychological cost.

A new University of Michigan study on college-aged adults finds that the more they used Facebook, the worse they felt. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.

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All Tech Considered
12:46 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The End Of Buttons: The New Gesture-Control Era

BlackBerry smartphones on a table during a "BlackBerry Brunch" in June in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

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All Tech Considered
11:12 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Hyperloop, The Next Blackout, Sites Down

A rendering of the proposed Hyperloop's passenger transport capsule.
Courtesy of Elon Musk

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 1:24 pm

Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog, and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
10:14 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'The New York Times' Site, Apps Return After Two-Hour Outage

The New York Times headquarters in New York City.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

One of the world's most trusted sources for news is back up, after an internal outage knocked it out for nearly two hours on Wednesday morning. The New York Times' main site and mobile app went down a little after 11 a.m. ET, when users who tried to visit received a "Service Unavailable" message.

The news organization's Twitter account sent this message, before the site returned:

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All Tech Considered
8:55 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Man Learns How Not To Launch A Site For Women

Bryan Goldberg is founder and CEO of Bustle.com, a new site targeting female audiences.
Courtesy of Bryan Goldberg

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:02 pm

Bustle.com is a new women's site staffed by editors and writers from traditionally female-oriented organizations like Glamour and Seventeen but founded and led by a man, Bryan Goldberg. His previous venture was the multimillion-dollar sports site Bleacher Report. In announcing the launch of his new lady-targeted venture Tuesday, he wrote:

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All Tech Considered
1:03 am
Tue August 13, 2013

A Closer Look At Elon Musk's Much-Hyped Hyperloop

A rendering of a Hyperloop pod.
Courtesy of Elon Musk

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:59 am

You can thank brainy billionaire Elon Musk's Hyperloop proposal for bringing electro-magnetic-powered transportation and the linear induction motor back into the public consciousness.

The Hyperloop is a system for really-really rapid transit. If built, Musk claims it can carry people about 800 miles per hour, which could get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes.

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All Tech Considered
2:05 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

The Biggest Twitter Moments Ever Feature Beyonce, Romney

At a peak of 268,000 tweets per minute, Beyonce's 2013 Super Bowl halftime performance was the biggest moment on Twitter, ever.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 6:14 pm

The conclusion of Beyonce's high-wattage Super Bowl spectacular — and the subsequent blackout in the New Orleans Superdome — are the first and second most tweeted-about moments in Twitter history, according to the social media giant.

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All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

In Bezos' Purchase Of 'Post,' Tech And Media Keep Melding

Jeff Bezos, a tech titan and Amazon founder, purchased a venerable newspaper, The Washington Post.
Richard Brain Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 9:46 am

The news spread with the speed of the Internet: The Washington Post, a newspaper that helped bring down a president, would be sold to Jeff Bezos, the tech titan who started Amazon.

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All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

The Hackable Japanese Toilet Comes With An App To Track Poop

A promotion for the My Satis app.
My Satis

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 1:45 pm

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All Tech Considered
11:03 am
Mon August 5, 2013

The Effort To Write Laws For Your Digital Life After Death

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 12:21 pm

Time was when the belongings you left behind after death were tangible — furniture, jewelry, letters — and financial property, which hundreds of years of experience have taught executors how to handle. Today, some of the most valuable keys to our lives and identities exist digitally, and are technically owned by companies like Google or Facebook.

For the digital assets stored on shared servers in the cloud, legal systems have yet to catch up to help decide who controls your data when you're dead. And uniform laws around control of these assets could help.

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All Tech Considered
2:44 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Digital Seen Surpassing TV In Capturing Our Time

A study shows digital media consumption will surpass TV viewing for the first time this year.
iStockphoto.com

It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.

The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Tampon Marketing Gets Real For The Social Media Age

"We just thought we were telling this endearing story women could relate to," says HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom.
Courtesy of HelloFlo

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 9:08 am

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All Tech Considered
11:01 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Better Travel Neck Pillow

The Nap Anywhere is a new, portable head-support pillow created by a Virginia-based physician.
Courtesy of Nap Anywhere

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Previously we've featured the sink-urinal and Smart Bedding.

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All Tech Considered
11:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Report: MIT Didn't Target Swartz; Missed 'Wider Background'

Internet activist Aaron Swartz at a rally in January 2012.
Daniel J. Sieradski Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 12:42 pm

In a long-awaited chronicle of its involvement in the prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology officials released a 180-page report saying administrators never "targeted" the programmer and committed no wrongdoing. But the report raises questions about existing university policies and whether MIT should have stepped in to actively support Swartz, rather than take its "position of neutrality."

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