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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12:57pm

Tue February 25, 2014
All Tech Considered

Facebook Shuts Down Its Email Service Since No One Used It

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:58 am

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

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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4:47pm

Mon February 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

4 Takes On Netflix's Streaming Deal With Comcast

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:25 pm

Netflix cut a deal with Comcast on Sunday to help boost streaming performance.
Elise Amendola AP

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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12:19pm

Fri February 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

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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12:23pm

Thu February 20, 2014
All Tech Considered

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:19 pm

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

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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1:44pm

Fri February 7, 2014
All Tech Considered

How The Meritocracy Myth Affects Women In Technology

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 12:40 pm

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

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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7:07am

Thu February 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:45 pm

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

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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9:31am

Tue February 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:30 pm

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

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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3:25pm

Wed January 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 11:58 am

The better boarding pass design.
Pete Smart

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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11:57am

Tue January 28, 2014
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 5:58 pm

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

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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10:50am

Tue January 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

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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4:16pm

Mon January 27, 2014
All Tech Considered

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:17 pm

In their effort to make their animations seem more realistic, the Next Media team models various facial expressions it will use in a piece. These are models of singer Leslie Cheung.
Elise Hu NPR

4:14pm

Sun January 26, 2014
All Tech Considered

Billionaire Compares Outrage Over Rich In SF To Kristallnacht

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:40 pm

"Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?" billionaire Tom Perkins asks.
Steve Jennings Getty Images

Class tensions in the San Francisco Bay Area got even hotter this weekend, over the public musings of Tom Perkins, a prominent venture capitalist and co-founder of the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

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3:42am

Thu January 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:01 pm

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

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1:38pm

Fri January 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

Analysts: Credit Card Hacking Goes Much Further Than Target

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:23 pm

Hackers use credit card scanning machines as part of their sophisticated campaign to steal credit card information and sell it.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The holiday season data breach at Target that hit more than 70 million consumers was part of a wide and highly skilled international hacking campaign that's "almost certainly" based in Russia. That's according to a report prepared for federal and private investigators by Dallas-based cybersecurity firm iSight Partners.

And the fraudsters are so skilled that sources say at least a handful of other retailers have been compromised.

"The intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," the iSight report says.

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12:20pm

Tue January 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Feds Can't Enforce Net Neutrality: What This Means For You

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:09 pm

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler says his agency will consider appealing a court ruling against the FCC's net neutrality policy.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission's open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can't require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency's rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:

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5:36pm

Mon January 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:14 pm

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

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3:11pm

Fri January 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: CES, T-Mobile CEO And Predictions For 2014

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:12 pm

John Legere, CEO and president of T-Mobile USA, crashed rival AT&T's Consumer Electronics Show party and won a slew of free publicity as a result.
John Moore Getty Images

It's 2014 and we're back to full team strength, which means we've returned with your guide to the week's previous tech coverage on NPR (in case you missed it) and from our friends at what seems like an ever-growing crop of tech journalism organizations.

ICYMI

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1:58pm

Thu January 9, 2014
All Tech Considered

Government Tech Problems: Blame The People Or The Process?

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:37 pm

HealthCare.gov's failures are prompting a closer look at the federal government's out-of-date technology.
iStockphoto

Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.

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1:31pm

Mon December 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

Quantified Men: Tinder, Lulu And The Fallacy Of Hot Dating Apps

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 10:18 pm

With the Tinder dating app, you swipe right if you want to meet someone, and swipe left if you don't.
Courtesy of Tinder

Let's stipulate, for the purposes of this post, that you are looking for love. Thanks to our ever-connected devices, you can skip the bars or gyms or extracurricular activities to find a hookup. And even if you do meet someone the old-fashioned, analog way, romance and social media are so entwined that you can't escape getting ranked somewhere on an app.

This is the modern reality made possible by the two hot dating apps of 2013: Tinder and Lulu.

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12:16pm

Mon December 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Team Podcast Episode 5: Inequality In The Bay Area

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:49 pm

This San Francisco man doesn't have a home, but he does have a laptop.
Laura Sydell NPR

It's time for our biweekly podcast, in which your NPR tech reporting team mashes together the themed reporting we do on a certain subject and produce one delightful, downloadable podcast.

This episode's theme is the changing economy and culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, thanks in large part to the latest tech boom there. We've explored it from several angles — housing, transportation and individual lives, and the stories are aggregated here, if you want to read them.

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5:14pm

Sat December 21, 2013
All Tech Considered

How An Obscure Government Code — 834 — Became Big In 2013

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Oregon is still using paper applications to enroll people in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto

Monday is the last day Americans in most states will be able to enroll in Affordable Care Act health exchanges if they want coverage to start in January. But technical problems have foiled sign-ups from the start, which led an otherwise obscure number to become a big deal in 2013.

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2:42pm

Fri December 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Week That Was: Bay Area Economy, NSA Ruling, Tech Execs In D.C.

President Obama and Vice President Biden met with tech executives at the White House on Wednesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Before we slow things down for the final two weeks of 2013 — you'll still get fresh stories and posts here, but at a slower clip — let's look back at tech in one of the last weeks of the year.

ICYMI

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4:45pm

Thu December 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Hackers Stole 40 Million Credit, Debit Card Numbers From Target

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.

3:04am

Thu December 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

Bay Area's Steep Housing Costs Spark Return To Communal Living

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Residents of the Embassy House, a communal home near San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, eat dinner together every Sunday.
Elise Hu NPR

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

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5:38pm

Tue December 17, 2013
All Tech Considered

How This Bay Area Tech Boom's Different From The Last One

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:22 pm

San Francisco's median home price hit $1 million this year.
Patrick Shyu Flickr

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

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5:03pm

Mon December 16, 2013
All Tech Considered

Here Are The Tech Execs Meeting With President Obama Tuesday

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:59 am

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo Inc., is on the RSVP list for a White House meeting on HealthCare.gov tomorrow. She's seen here headed to a previous White House meeting in 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Tech giants aren't on the best terms with the Obama administration lately, with the NSA's surveillance revelations getting more widespread by the day. But a lot of big tech names have agreed to visit the White House for a chat.

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4:54pm

Thu December 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

Take A Look At The Top Tweeted Moments Of The Year

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 5:02 pm

Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

We're preparing to bid adieu to 2013, which means it's time for the ever-reliable year-end lists. NPR's Book Concierge lets you explore the best books of the year. NPR Music chronicled the best albums. And Twitter is out with the biggest tweets and most-tweeted moments of 2013.

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2:48pm

Thu December 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Rush To Reconcile Health Enrollment Data, By Hand

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 6:44 pm

Affordable Care Act navigator Nini Hadwen helps Floridians shop for health insurance in October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With just a few weeks left before a deadline to get health coverage, lingering bugs lurk in the part of HealthCare.gov that you can't see. And since time is running out to get things right, health officials on Thursday urged insurance companies to cover some enrollees even if their premium checks haven't come in.

Under the law's guidelines, consumers have to sign up for a health insurance exchange — and pay their first month's premium — by the end of December if they want coverage in January.

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1:37pm

Wed December 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Health Exchange Enrollment By State, In 2 Charts

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 3:48 pm

HHS

Numbers released by the Obama administration show enrollment in health exchanges edged up in November, but the uptake remains far short of the administration's initial targets.

Roughly 264,000 people signed up for private insurance coverage last month through the federal and state exchanges, according to data from the Health and Human Services Department. That brings the total to about 364,000 for October and November.

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10:50am

Mon December 2, 2013
All Tech Considered

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:37 pm

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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