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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5:36am

Sat October 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Egg Freezing, Gamergate And Online Giving

Apple and Facebook's decisions to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs sparked a lively debate on the message it sends to women.
iStockphoto

How will technology and gaming need to change to be welcoming for women? We've been exploring the issue for years. This week, the debate rages anew with a development out of Silicon Valley, and a new chapter in the still raging Gamergate controversy.

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1:34pm

Tue October 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Snapchat And Dropbox Breaches Are Really Third-Party-App Breaches

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 5:33 pm

Snapchat's logo.
Carl Raether Flickr

What can get lost in a flurry of news about Dropbox and Snapchat getting hacked is that the companies themselves deny they were hacked at all.

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4:31pm

Mon October 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

How Millennials Are Reshaping Charity And Online Giving

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 11:28 am

The Manhattan-based headquarters of Charity: Water.
Elise Hu NPR

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Millennials are spending — and giving away their cash — a lot differently than previous generations, and that's changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it.

Scott Harrison's group, Charity: Water, is a prime example. Harrison's story starts in New York's hottest nightclubs, promoting the proverbial "models and bottles."

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5:49am

Sat October 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Who's Offline, How Hong Kong Connects, How Google Works

Protesters rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Sept. 29. They're using old and new forms of tech to stay connected.
Xaume Olleros AFP/Getty Images

Another week whizzed by with no shortage of tech news and headlines. Here's a look back and what we were up to here at NPR and some notable coverage from our friends in the media and blogosphere.

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2:39pm

Thu October 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Cycling Desk: Work Out And Charge Your Phone During A Trip

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:35 pm

The WeBike cycling desk can be found at airports and train stations across in Western Europe.
WeWatt

Amsterdam is famous for its laissez-faire attitude about extracurricular activities, its beautiful canals and of course, its bicycles. Now, even if you only have a layover at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, you can get in some pedaling, and power your phone and other devices at the same time.

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5:06pm

Tue September 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

EBay Spins Off PayPal Into Fast-Changing World Of Mobile Payments

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:46 pm

EBay announced it will split from the payments service PayPal, forming two independently traded companies beginning in 2015.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

A big breakup is happening in the business world. Online retailing giant eBay is splitting up with its payments operation, PayPal, sometime in 2015. The move comes at a prime opportunity for PayPal, as the future of online payments is still being charted.

When PayPal first came on the scene in the late 1990s, it simplified making online purchases in a way that users adopted, fast.

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12:57pm

Mon September 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

How Hong Kong Protesters Are Connecting, Without Cell Or Wi-Fi Networks

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 4:59 pm

People check their phones at a pro-democracy demonstration in Hong Kong on Monday.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

As throngs of pro-democracy protesters continue to organize in Hong Kong's central business district, many of them are messaging one another through a network that doesn't require cell towers or Wi-Fi nodes. They're using an app called FireChat that launched in March and is underpinned by mesh networking, which lets phones unite to form a temporary Internet.

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7:58am

Sat September 27, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Apple's Gaffes, Shellshock And Hello Ello

Apple CEO Tim Cook walks off stage after speaking during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's time for your weekly look back at the tech headlines from NPR and beyond. Let's get to it ...

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7:30pm

Fri September 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Shellshock Bug's Impact Could Be Huge, But It's Unclear For Now

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 3:21 pm

Mac OS and Linux operating systems are most at risk for the Shellshock bug.
iStockphoto

Hundreds of millions of computers and networks are at risk after a bug called Shellshock was found this week. It turns out it's actually been around for a while — it took 22 years to discover this bug. If exploited by hackers, the impact could be huge.

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5:12am

Sat September 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma celebrates as the Alibaba stock goes live on Friday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It was a big Friday for Alibaba, which opened trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the wildly high $92.70 per share. But that wasn't the only tech news this week, so let's get to our roundup.

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12:18pm

Thu September 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Apple: iOS 8 Prevents Cooperation With Police Unlocking Requests

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:16 pm

Apple, which unveiled iOS 8 at June's Worldwide Developers Conference, says it will be technologically unfeasible for police to extract data from its new operating system.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Apple's latest mobile operating system — iOS 8 — is now available, and with it, a new technical hurdle for law enforcement. The company says it will be technologically impossible to access data on phones and iPads running iOS 8, because it won't allow user pass codes to be bypassed.

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3:12pm

Wed September 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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5:37am

Sat September 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: The Internet 'Slowdown' And Apple's New Crop

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 10:57 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Watch on Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Each week we take a look back at the week that was in tech news and headlines. And this one was chock-full with product news, with the reveal of Apple Watch — Apple's first new product line since 2010. Let's get to it ...

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7:03am

Wed September 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Your Favorite Sites Will 'Slow Down' Today, For A Cause

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:41 am

Slow-loading messages will appear on some of your favorite sites Wednesday as part of a protest for net neutrality. But the sites won't actually be loading slower — the banners will be displayed just to make a point.
iStockphoto

You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.

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3:42pm

Tue September 9, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Apple Watch Is Here And Another Tech Hype Cycle Commences

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:04 pm

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Apple's big new product will live on your wrist. It's called the Apple Watch, in a notable move away from "i"-branded products, and it will be available in early 2015, starting at $349. It comes in two sizes and packed with all sorts of futuristic features, like being able to pay for products or wave open a hotel room with it. And send your heartbeat with it (not that I know what the use case is for that is unless you're a newborn).

"It's the next chapter in Apple's story," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the watch's unveiling.

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5:54am

Sat September 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: So Many Hacks, So Little Time

iStockphoto

If it feels like the big data breaches are unending, that's because they probably are. The shortened week, due to the Labor Day holiday, had no shortage of tech headlines because of one big breach after another. A look back:

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3:09pm

Wed September 3, 2014
All Tech Considered

I Feel Nothing: The Home Depot Hack And Data Breach Fatigue

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 10:33 am

So many big data breaches — not to mention celebrity data hacks — have happened in the past year that we're reacting to hacks with a shrug.
GlebShabashnyi iStockphoto

How many megahacks have we consumers faced in recent memory?

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12:10pm

Tue September 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

Using Technology To Counter Police Mistrust Is Complicated

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Members of the Ferguson Police Department wear their new body cameras during a rally Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Outfitting police officers with body cameras seems to be the most concrete solution to come out of the police misconduct accusations in Ferguson, Mo. And the push for cameras extends far beyond the suburban Missouri police department — more than 153,000 people have signed a "We the People" petition to create a "Mike Brown Law" that would require all police to wear cameras.

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4:45am

Sat August 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:12 am

Uber's going the distance to try and crowd out its competition, like Lyft and its signature mustached vehicles.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Each weekend, we look back on the tech week that was, which includes original content from NPR and the stories worth noting from across the Internet. Here we go...

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5:07pm

Mon August 25, 2014
All Tech Considered

Amazon Buys Twitch, Proving Gaming Live Streams Are Golden

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screen shot

There's another billion-dollar buyout in tech today [OK, it's about $970 million, but close enough] and this time it's Amazon's purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch.

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5:38pm

Wed August 20, 2014
The Two-Way

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

A memorial sits at the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Any investigation into his shooting by a police officer is likely to take months.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

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5:00pm

Tue August 19, 2014
The Two-Way

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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5:14pm

Mon August 18, 2014
Around the Nation

Amid Continued Chaos In Ferguson, A Second Autopsy Is Released

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:18 pm

A preliminary, independent autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Requested by the family, the autopsy finds that Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot six times by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This news follows the most violent night of protests there since the shooting.

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5:03pm

Sun August 17, 2014
The Two-Way

In Ferguson, Local Faith Leaders Call For 'Different Dialogue'

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:56 pm

Ferguson residents pass out "I heart Ferg" yard signs at a local coffee shop.
Elise Hu NPR

On a quiet morning after another difficult night in Ferguson, businesses along the streets put up signs in their windows reading "I Heart Ferg." Former Mayor Brian Fletcher is passing out more.

"We're going to raise $5,000 by tomorrow at noon for yard signs," Fletcher says.

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3:33pm

Wed August 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

On Net Neutrality, California Cares; Texas? Not So Much

NPR

When nearly 1.1 million net neutrality comments flooded the Federal Communications Commission this spring into the summer, they came from around the country. But the interest in open-Internet topics doesn't spread out evenly across the United States.

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1:24pm

Tue August 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

A Fascinating Look Inside Those 1.1 Million Open-Internet Comments

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Quid

When the Federal Communications Commission asked for public comments about the issue of keeping the Internet free and open, the response was huge.

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8:08am

Sat August 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: The CIA Apologizes, Twitter Soars, Foursquare Swarm

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. welcomes CIA Director John Brennan on Capitol Hill in 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

We know you don't miss a single NPR headline, but just in case you did, here's our weekly look back at what we covered in digital culture, and what we recommend from our friends across the mediascape.

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1:12pm

Wed July 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Some Loyal Foursquare Users Are Checking Out After Swarm Spinoff

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:33 pm

Foursquare is about to unveil its new Yelp-like app, which meant moving the users who liked it for checking in to a new app, Swarm.
Courtesy of Foursquare

11:54am

Tue July 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 4:06 pm

SpeedSpot is a free app that lets you test the speed of Wi-Fi networks in hotels and share the test results instantly.
Courtesy of SpeedSpot

You know how it feels. You're a moderately frequent business traveler and trying to get some work done from your hotel. But you're slowed — and sometimes stalled — by an intermittent Internet connection. Your hotel Wi-Fi has the download speeds of an early 1990s dial-up connection.

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5:05pm

Mon July 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:33 pm

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker's shop in New York City.
Elise Hu NPR

Fast-rising mobile technology is making buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever, and shifting the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first — shops that last for a limited time only.

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.

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