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 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.

Follow her on Twitter @elisewho.

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All Tech Considered
7:03 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Weekly Innovation: Better Luggage Checking ... And Tracking

Coming in December: the eTrack and the eTag, from Air France and KLM. The innovations let you drop off your bags without checking them, and track them throughout your journey.
Courtesy of FastTrack Co.

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 2:14 pm

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All Tech Considered
4:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Restaurants: The Modern-Day Lab For Our Smartphone-Obsessed Ways

Courtney Cranch tends bar at The Red Hen in Washington, D.C., where she estimates at least half her customers have smartphones out at mealtime.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 10:43 am

When we asked you about the changing norms for smartphone use in public spaces, hundreds of stories poured in.

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All Tech Considered
10:49 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Tech Week: Heartbleed, The Latest Bubble And Windows XP Retires

Each new billion-dollar IPO is raising the speculation that another tech bubble will soon burst.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Site administrators were sent scrambling this week when researchers disclosed the potentially catastrophic Heartbleed bug, a coding error that left much of the Internet vulnerable to data theft since March 2012. Here's our look back at Heartbleed coverage — and more.

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All Tech Considered
5:32 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

One-Day Sale: Google Glass Will Be Available For A Cool $1,500

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in February 2013.
Jeff Chiu AP

Google Glass, the computer and camera you wear on your face, can be yours starting next Tuesday. Google has been rolling out Glass to a select group of "Explorers" since early 2013, but soon, anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 plus tax can get a headset at this link.

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All Tech Considered
9:03 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

The Heartbleed bug has exposed up to two-thirds of the Internet to a security vulnerability.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:27 am

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

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All Tech Considered
3:35 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

This Packing Tape Innovation Takes The Hassle Out Of Unboxing

The Rip Cord
Courtesy of Quirky.com

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:26 am

Our "Weekly Innovation" blog series explores 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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All Tech Considered
5:17 am
Sun April 6, 2014

What Silicon Valley's Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture

Cast and crew on the set of HBO's Silicon Valley (from left): Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani.
Jaimie Trueblood Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on

Sunday night, HBO's new comedy, Silicon Valley premieres, and as a Slate review notes of the titular place, "Rarely has a show had to do so little to find so much to mock."

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All Tech Considered
11:07 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Pay Attention: Your Frustration Over Smartphone Distraction

Our conversation about smartphone addiction continues.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 2:55 pm

Smartphones are so prevalent in our lives that they're interrupting everything from meals to movies. And engaging with them is sometimes taking precedence over enjoying the real, live human beings seated next to us.

So what should be the norms around smartphone use? Is it completely situational — OK for some places or times, but not others? How does the ubiquity of smartphones affect interpersonal contact?

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All Tech Considered
4:11 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

What To Do With Your Smartphone While You're Having Dinner

Where do you draw the line on smartphone use?
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:33 pm

There was a time when checking your smartphone at the dinner table was considered offensive. But social norms and behaviors change as we adapt to technologies. Heck, that's the whole central theme of this blog.

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All Tech Considered
3:26 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Computers That Know What You Need, Before You Ask

Expect Labs' MindMeld app uses predictive computing to push information to us, instead of us having to ask.
Courtesy of Expect Labs

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 12:14 pm

We're already giving voice instructions to virtual personal assistants, like Apple's Siri. But artificial intelligence is getting even smarter. The next wave of behavior-changing computing is a technology called anticipatory computing — systems that learn to predict what you need, even before you ask.

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All Tech Considered
5:14 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Software, Apps Still Rule But A Hardware Resurgence Is On

A set of littleBits comes with more than 40 different types of electronic pieces that connect with magnets.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 pm

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

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All Tech Considered
3:29 am
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Snowden Speech Has Conference Buzzing, Congressman Stewing

SXSW Interactive Festival attendees crowd the Austin Convention Center at the 2013 event. The festival's typically sprawling range of topics this year took a turn toward online privacy and surveillance implications.
Jack Plunkett AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:59 am

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will speak via videoconference to the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive later this morning, and you can bet a much wider audience than just those here in Austin will be watching.

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All Tech Considered
6:40 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

SXSW Diary: Aereo, The Supreme Court And TV's Future

Chet Kanojia is the founder and CEO of Aereo, which is fighting big broadcasters over its tiny antenna.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:16 am

The crowds are so thick in Austin, Texas, that locals are using an Avoid Humans app to find some peace and quiet, and the warning at the convention center of South By Southwest Interactive goes something like this: "Only one person per escalator step OR YOU WILL BREAK IT!"

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All Tech Considered
5:19 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Tech Week That Was: Women In Tech, Bitcoin's Man And SXSW Begins

A Bitcoin sign at a shop in Hong Kong.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:15 am

Another hectic week in the technology space wraps up just as the massive festival for interactive geeks and the marketers who love them — South By Southwest — gets under way in Austin, Texas.

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All Tech Considered
12:03 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Web At 25: Hugely Popular, And Viewed As A Positive Force

A 1992 copy of the world's first Web page. British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:58 pm

For something that's become so ubiquitous in our lives, the World Wide Web is just a youngster. It was only 25 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee first created a rudimentary information retrieval system that relied on the Internet. It's since exploded into a primary means by which we learn, work and connect. (To put things in perspective, the film Die Hard is older than the World Wide Web.)

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All Tech Considered
8:36 am
Tue February 25, 2014

4 Takes On Netflix's Streaming Deal With Comcast

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

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

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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It's All Politics
11:57 am
Tue January 28, 2014

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
10:50 am
Tue January 28, 2014

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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All Tech Considered
9:12 am
Tue January 28, 2014

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

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

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

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All Tech Considered
8:55 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Tech Leader Quasi-Apologizes For His Nazi Rampage Analogy

Tom Perkins is a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist and the author of the novel, Sex and the Single Zillionaire.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Multi-millionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins tried to apologize — kind of — for comparing the protests against the techno-affluent to Kristallnacht, the 1938 Nazi rampage that led to 91 killings and 30,000 Jews sent to concentration camps.

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All Tech Considered
3:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:14 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Analysts: Credit Card Hacking Goes Much Further Than Target

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Innovation: A Charger That Keeps Your Phone Germ-Free

PhoneSoap uses UV-C light to clean your phone while it charges.
Courtesy of PhoneSoap

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:10 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:43 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:32 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
5:33 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Here Are The Tech Execs Meeting With President Obama Tuesday

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:11 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Exploring Economic Inequality From The Heart Of The Tech Boom

Last Monday, protesters blocked a bus that transports San Francisco Google employees to Silicon Valley.
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez Courtesy of San Francisco Bay Guardian

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:19 am

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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All Tech Considered
12:29 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Microsoft Not Developing A Bra To Stop Overeating, After All

Researchers developed a prototype for a bra sensing system that would read users' emotions, but Microsoft says it won't be developing this product.
Courtesy of Microsoft Research

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 1:14 pm

The new reality with the light-speed pace of online news sharing is that news doesn't have to be true for it to go superviral. Sometimes stories are too good to verify, too fun not to share. The New York Times delved into this with a much-tweeted piece this morning.

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All Tech Considered
10:03 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Tech Team Podcast, Episode 4: HealthCare.gov's Epic Fail

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 7:08 pm

The disastrous rollout of the Obama administration's storefront for buying health coverage is now in a new phase — a slow recovery. But the questions about how something like this could happen and how a $600 billion technological failure can be prevented in the future made for dozens — dozens — of stories over the past 2 1/2 months.

For our latest episode of the tech team podcast, aka "Our So-Called Digital Lives," we take you through the failure of HealthCare.gov and explore the possibilities of how to prevent it from happening again.

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All Tech Considered
10:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

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

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

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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