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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3:02am

Thu October 3, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Man Behind The Shadowy Illicit Drug Market, Silk Road

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

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

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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3:27am

Wed October 2, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 10:35 am

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

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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3:48pm

Tue October 1, 2013
All Tech Considered

Agency Websites Shut Down With The Government

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:50 pm

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

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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2:20pm

Fri September 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:12 pm

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

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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2:09pm

Fri September 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 10:09 pm

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

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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1:06pm

Thu September 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

What You Emailed Us About Using The 'ACC'

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:16 pm

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

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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7:18am

Thu September 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

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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4:52pm

Tue September 24, 2013
All Tech Considered

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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12:46pm

Fri September 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:47 pm

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

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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11:46am

Tue September 17, 2013
All Tech Considered

How Blogging And Twitter Are Making Us Smarter

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:41 pm

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

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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4:52pm

Mon September 16, 2013
All Tech Considered

Smartphone Boom Fuels A $1 Billion Fantasy Sports Industry

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 5:55 pm

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

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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1:06pm

Mon September 16, 2013
All Tech Considered

Whether Facebook Makes You Lonely Depends On How You Use It

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:20 pm

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

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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2:59pm

Fri September 13, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:11 pm

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

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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7:33am

Fri September 13, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:03 am

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

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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12:52pm

Thu September 12, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:33 pm

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

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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4:39pm

Wed September 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

Sexism In The Tech Industry Takes Center Stage

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 5:59 pm

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

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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12:00pm

Tue September 10, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:48 pm

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

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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2:26pm

Mon September 9, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 3:27 pm

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

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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1:51pm

Fri September 6, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Encryption Disrupted; Anonymity Online

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:09 pm

Circuit board
Marilyn Nieves iStockphoto.com

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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7:18am

Fri September 6, 2013
It's All Politics

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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12:10pm

Wed September 4, 2013
All Tech Considered

Data Marketers Know What You Bought Last Summer

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

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

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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2:11pm

Thu August 29, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Fast-Food Restaurants That Require Few Human Workers

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

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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12:28pm

Wed August 28, 2013
All Tech Considered

Microsoft Vs. Medium: A Tale Of Two Office Cultures

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 3:36 pm

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

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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6:12pm

Tue August 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

Outage Summer: What To Know About The Syrian Electronic Army

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

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

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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2:54pm

Tue August 27, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:22 pm

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

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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1:54pm

Mon August 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:58 pm

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

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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1:00pm

Fri August 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: National Security, Privacy And Ballmer

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:27 pm

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

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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3:25pm

Wed August 21, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 8:16 am

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

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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2:46pm

Mon August 19, 2013
All Tech Considered

The End Of Buttons: The New Gesture-Control Era

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:58 pm

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

1:12pm

Fri August 16, 2013
All Tech Considered

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

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:24 pm

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

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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