Elise Hu

Elise Hu is a reporter who covers the intersection of technology and culture for NPR's on-air, online and multimedia platforms. Beginning in 2015, she will be assigned to the network's new bureau in Seoul, South Korea.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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

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."

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

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:

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Advertising for feminine hygiene products was traditionally so cheesy that it invited mockery far and wide. There was something so laughable and incongruent about maxi pad commercials that featured blue liquid and girls dancing on beaches.

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.

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."

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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