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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5:29pm

Tue November 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Misery Of Holiday Travel, In One Real-Time Map

The FlightAware Misery Map combines weather and flight data into a live map.
FlightAware

As I write this, snowstorms are swirling over the East Coast, threatening Thanksgiving holiday travel plans for millions of travelers. How much time in the purgatory of airports will this mean for you? Check out FlightAware's MiseryMap, which combines weather and flight data into a live map that lists which airports are being struck by storms, the number of delays and cancellations, and graphs that show flight destinations and the chances they'll actually make it on time.

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3:23am

Thu November 21, 2013
All Tech Considered

How HealthCare.gov Is Giving A Once-Obscure Bill A Boost

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 10:42 am

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. (right) reacts to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., at a May hearing. The two are co-authors of a federal IT reform bill.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

As federal tech launches go, it's not just HealthCare.gov that didn't take off. A report from IT research firm the Standish Group finds that 94 percent of federal IT projects come in late, over budget or get scrapped completely.

President Obama focused on the issue of procuring technology for the federal government in a recent interview.

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12:12pm

Tue November 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

This Slide Shows Why HealthCare.gov Wouldn't Work At Launch

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 9:07 am

A slide from McKinsey & Co.'s outside review of HealthCare.gov, in the spring.
House Energy and Commerce Committee

This is a story of contrast between two popular methods of software development. One is called "waterfall," the other, "agile."

Waterfall development favors listing a huge set of requirements for a system up front, letting developers go away for months (if not longer) and expecting a huge software product in the end.

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3:45pm

Fri November 15, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Sharing Economy, The New PS4 And Snapchat

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 6:27 pm

The sharing economy was the feature of our All Tech theme week.
Are You Gonna Eat That Flickr

It's time for your week in review. In case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the Internet this week, here's a look back:

ICYMI

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12:34pm

Fri November 15, 2013
All Tech Considered

Internal Emails Reveal Warnings HealthCare.gov Wasn't Ready

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 4:42 pm

Henry Chao, the project manager of HealthCare.gov, is sworn in to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

HealthCare.gov could barely function on the day the health insurance marketplace debuted, and internal emails show at least some top health officials could see the failure coming.

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3:08am

Thu November 14, 2013
All Tech Considered

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:43 pm

Co-workers at Denver's Galvanize, a tech hub in Colorado's capital.
Elise Hu NPR

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

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5:34pm

Wed November 13, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 8:01 pm

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

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10:52am

Wed November 13, 2013
All Tech Considered

This Device Lets You Order A Pizza With The Push Of A Button

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 11:01 pm

Parts for the PiePal were 3-D printed.
Courtesy of iStrategyLabs

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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1:57pm

Mon November 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Few Places Where Government Tech Procurement Works

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 5:52 pm

Kansas City is one of the cities making technology a bigger priority in its procurement processes.
Brent Flanders Flickr

The botched start of HealthCare.gov is just the latest big federal tech system to fail at launch, but information technology research group Standish found that during the last decade, 94 percent of the large-scale federal IT projects have been similarly unsuccessful.

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3:11pm

Fri November 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Twitter Takes Off, Audie Cornish In Silicon Valley

Will It Fly? The Twitter logo decorated a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

It's time for our Friday round-up of the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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3:04am

Fri November 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

Third-Graders React To Video Games Tracking Their Play

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:17 am

Ms. James' class at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. wrote in to Morning Edition with their reactions to a story.
Courtesy of Mary Beth James

Last week, as part of our kids and technology theme week, Steve Henn wrote about how video game makers are spending more time and money tracking players' behavior.

"As we play games, game designers are running tests on us and our kids. They're asking themselves what can they tweak to make us play just a bit longer," Henn wrote.

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8:18am

Wed November 6, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Tech Team Podcast, Episode 1: Kids And Technology

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:02 am

Tech correspondents Laura Sydell and Steve Henn recording the first episode of our tech team podcast in a garage in Silicon Valley. (Naturally.)
Cindy Carpien NPR

As loyal readers and listeners know, your NPR tech reporters are organizing our enterprise reporting by exploring a single theme in technology over the course of a week. Our first theme week was on kids and technology and it aired last week. We featured stories about babies and screen time, teens and social media, the science behind video games and more.

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12:56pm

Tue November 5, 2013
All Tech Considered

One Reason Twitter's Confident About Its Ad Possibilities

Twitter announced that it has set a price range for its initial public offering between $17 and $20 per share and hopes to sell 70 million shares.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

One of the big questions facing social media giant Twitter ahead of its New York Stock Exchange debut this week is how much money it could actually make for investors.

"We have incurred significant operating losses in the past, and we may not be able to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability," the company writes, in its business prospectus.

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4:44pm

Fri November 1, 2013
All Tech Considered

HealthCare.gov's Rocky First Month Leaves Plenty Of Questions

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Suzanne Cloud on the first day the health exchange marketplace opened, Oct 1. Because of problems with the HealthCare.gov website, she's now planning to use a paper application.
Elana Gordon WHYY

When the federal health exchange marketplace opened Oct. 1, we visited jazz musician Suzanne Cloud in Philadelphia. She tried to start an account early in the morning, but technology thwarted her plans.

She wasn't alone, as it became clear quickly that the unprecedented system for Americans in 36 states to shop and enroll for health insurance was broken in several places. A week into her failed attempts, Cloud stayed positive.

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3:10pm

Fri November 1, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:52 pm

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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7:03am

Wed October 30, 2013
All Tech Considered

Weekly Innovation: A Light Bulb That's Also A Flashlight

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 9:48 am

When charged, the Bulb Flashlight can stay on for three hours.
Courtesy of the MoMA Store

Each week, we highlight a design or product innovation that you might not have heard about yet. Many of them come through your submissions (here's the form), but this week's idea came to us from our NPR Two-Way blogger, Eyder Peralta, who thought this was pretty cool. We did, too.

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10:53am

Tue October 29, 2013
All Tech Considered

How You Handle Screen, Technology Time With Your Kids

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:00 pm

Among families with children age 8 and under, ownership of tablet devices has jumped fivefold since 2011, reports the nonprofit Common Sense Media.
Jeremy Hiebert Flickr

Smartphones and tablets. You can't miss them, and your kids can't resist them. Even the smallest children — 40 percent of kids 8 years old and under — have used their parents' mobile devices, according to a survey out this week by the nonprofit Common Sense Media.

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12:47pm

Mon October 28, 2013
All Tech Considered

What You Need To Know About Babies, Toddlers And Screen Time

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:15 pm

Eva Hu-Stiles virtually interacts with her grandmother. iPad assist by Elise Hu-Stiles.
John W. Poole NPR

This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?

To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.

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12:07pm

Fri October 25, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: U.S. Spying, Health Site Blame Game And New iPads

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 2:02 pm

An attendee looks at the new Mac Pro during an Apple announcement event in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

"Too big to succeed."

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5:14pm

Thu October 24, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:52 pm

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

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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6:00pm

Wed October 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:43 pm

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

4:37pm

Mon October 21, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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

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1:28pm

Fri October 18, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:59 pm

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

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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11:08am

Fri October 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 11:53 am

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

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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12:06pm

Thu October 10, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

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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4:36pm

Tue October 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

Health Exchange Tech Problems Point To A Thornier Issue

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

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

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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12:33pm

Tue October 8, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:32 pm

The reveal.
BitTorrent

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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6:50pm

Sat October 5, 2013
All Tech Considered

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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12:55pm

Fri October 4, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:25 pm

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

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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3:50pm

Thu October 3, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 5:58 pm

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

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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