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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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Check Out This Underwear With Pockets So You Can Stash Stuff

These Speakeasy Briefs retail for $23.95.
Courtesy of Speakeasy Briefs

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:50 pm

It's a really simple concept — underwear with a special pocket in the front. But Speakeasy Briefs have taken off in the past year, becoming way more popular than their designers ever expected.

"It was a pretty crazy year, and after year one, we're finding our legs," says co-creator Dan Goldman, in an interview with NPR.

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All Tech Considered
9:49 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Wash And Deliver: Startups Aim To Solve First World Problems

Washio offers on-demand laundry pickup and delivery for $1.60 a pound.
Courtesy of Washio

Sick of doing the laundry? The latest hot Silicon Valley startup, Washio — the subject of a new profile in New York Magazine — lets you press a button on your phone and someone will come and pick up your laundry, or your dry cleaning.

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All Tech Considered
9:16 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Tech Week: Baby Photos Online, Facebook V. Shazam, Ebay's Fail

Hackers broke into a database containing customer information, auction site eBay said Wednesday. The company is based in San Jose, Calif.
Paul Sakuma AP

Each week, we take a look back at the headlines at the intersection of technology, business and culture. ICYMI features NPR reporting, the Big Conversation includes the larger conversations in the space and Curiosities are any links we thought you should see.

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All Tech Considered
12:58 am
Fri May 23, 2014

What Those Baby Photos On Social Media Can Teach Us About Moms

"People are grappling with identity when they become parents, and they're also grappling with identity in terms of who we are online," says psychologist Daphne de Marneffe (not pictured).
Jonathan Ross iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

You can't miss 'em. Baby pictures have flooded so many Instagram and Facebook feeds that an app is now available to block them, if you want. But as the newness of social media collides with an experience as old as time — motherhood — researchers are beginning to study its sociological and psychological impacts.

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All Tech Considered
3:19 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Deals: We Charted Billion-Dollar Tech Buyouts Since 2002

NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 12:25 pm

Lately, there have been so many billion-dollar tech acquisitions in the headlines that it's hard to keep them straight. We await Apple's buyout of Dr. Dre's Beats for $3.2 billion. YouTube is reportedly close to a purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch, for $1 billion.

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All Tech Considered
3:37 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Tech Week: The Right To Be Forgotten And The Open Internet

Protesters hold a rally to support net neutrality at the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

It's that time again! Just as we do every weekend, let's take a look back at the week's big technology headlines from NPR and beyond.

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All Tech Considered
10:34 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Big Questions Now That Europeans Can Edit Google Search Results

Attendees line up to enter the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco in May 2013.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 11:25 am

In case you missed it, Europe's highest court has set a new precedent: Individuals in 28 European countries can now request the removal of search results they consider harmful. Is this ruling a big win for the individual? Or does this break the Internet?

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All Tech Considered
4:07 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Tech Week: Target CEO Out, Drones In Question, Apple's Big Deal

Beats headphones are sold alongside iPods in an Apple store in New York City. Apple is reportedly considering buying Beats for more than $3 billion.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Another week in tech is wrapping up with talk of another multi-billion dollar buy. Let's get to it with our roundup, starting with the ICYMI section, which features stories we've been telling on air and online, the Big Conversations in tech and closing with our Curiosities — other fun links you should see.

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All Tech Considered
2:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drone Journalism Can't Fully Take Flight Until Regulators Act

Drone Journalism Lab researcher Ben Kreimer is limited to testing drones indoors.
Courtesy of Drone Journalism Lab

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:12 am

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All Tech Considered
3:36 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Tech Week: Egg Innovation, Twitter's Future, The FCC's Defense

Debate rages about the Federal Communications Commission's proposed net neutrality guidelines.
Jeremy Brooks Flickr

It's the weekend, which means it's time for your review of the technology and culture headlines from NPR and beyond.

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All Tech Considered
4:50 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Innovation: A Gadget That Scrambles The Egg Inside The Shell

The Golden Goose will retail for around $24.
Courtesy Y Line Product Design

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 3:08 pm

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? Submit with this form.

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All Tech Considered
11:24 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Check Out The Barefoot Wax Sculpture Of Mark Zuckerberg

The public will be able to see the life-size Mark Zuckerberg wax figure in San Francisco.
Kurt Wagner Courtesy of Mashable

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:14 pm

I don't know how I missed this (yes, yes I do) but the life-size wax figure of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was unveiled last week.

As you can see here, the wax Zuckerberg is dressed in his signature hoodie, sitting barefoot with his legs crossed and his laptop in his lap. Mashable reports:

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All Tech Considered
3:28 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Tech Week: Look At The Cloud, Aereo In Court, Net Neutrality

Paul Hopkins of DuPont Fabros stands on the roof of company's newest Silicon Valley data center. "It's about the same size and length as a Nimitz aircraft carrier," he says.
Steve Henn NPR

It was another busy week in the technology and society space, so we'll dive right into your weekly roundup:

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All Tech Considered
10:53 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Volvo's inflatable car seat is a concept and not a marketable product right now.
Courtesy of Volvo

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 9:25 pm

Forget wearables, let's talk about inflatables.

Volvo's new child safety seat concept is a fully inflatable device designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

So compact is this prototype that it goes from a stylish-looking backpack into a rear-facing car seat in less than a minute. You can pump it in the car — the seat comes with its own pump — and it's Bluetooth-connected so you could pump it remotely.

When inflated, the seat weighs just under 11 pounds.

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All Tech Considered
2:33 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Price War Over The Cloud Has High Stakes For The Internet

A Google data center in Oklahoma is shown. Google recently slashed prices for its cloud services; Amazon responded by cutting its cloud prices.
Connie Zhou AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 6:02 am

This week, our tech reporting team is exploring cloud computing — the big business of providing computing power and data storage that companies need, but which happens out of sight, as if it's "in the cloud."

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All Tech Considered
11:19 am
Mon April 21, 2014

America's Less Religious: Study Puts Some Blame On The Internet

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:03 am

America is less religious than ever before. The number of Americans who reported no religious affiliation has been growing rapidly, doubling since 1990. That kind of rapid change matches another societal trend — growth in Internet use. The percentage of Americans who say they used the Internet went from nearly zero in 1990 to 87 percent this year.

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All Tech Considered
3:08 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Tech Week: Earnings, A Heartbleed Arrest And Digital Distraction

Google and other tech companies reported earnings this week, amid fears of another tech bubble bursting.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There was really only one tech story last week — the potentially disastrous Heartbleed bug. This week, we return to more of a panoply of tech-related news, starting with NPR stories in the ICYMI section, the broader topics in the industry in The Big Conversation and fun links you shouldn't miss in Curiosities.

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All Tech Considered
5:03 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 12:14 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:15 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 Wed April 30, 2014 12:30 pm

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
8:49 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 11:50 am

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
3:32 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
3:37 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 9:27 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
9:16 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Windows XP Users, It's Time To Upgrade. Here's How

Microsoft is ending its support for the 12-year-old Windows XP software Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 10:59 am

Microsoft is ending support Tuesday for Windows XP, which means the company won't be fixing any fresh problems that crop up with the 12-year-old operating system. "PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be truly protected," says a company statement.

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All Tech Considered
3:17 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
9:28 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Tech Week: Amazon Fire, The Mozilla Debate, Nest's Recall

Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

It's the weekend, which means it's time to look back on the tech week that was. It wasn't a slow week, so here we go:

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All Tech Considered
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

It's Complicated: When A CEO's Personal Position Becomes Public

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

The Mozilla controversy that played out over the past two weeks bursts with ironies. And this one is perhaps the most prominent: The free speech that Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich spent his life's work defending and enabling — and an open-Web revolution Eich helped lead — drove his unseating. It raises questions about how a company leader's personal convictions should be judged.

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All Tech Considered
2:26 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

A Week Into His New Job, Controversy Forces Mozilla CEO To Resign

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich in 2010.
Drew McLellan Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:22 am

Brendan Eich, embattled co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has stepped down from his new role as CEO of Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
2:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Cycling's Catching On In Texas, For A Very Texas Reason

Bicycles and pedicabs along a dedicated bike lane in Austin, Texas.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 7:54 pm

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.

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All Tech Considered
4:57 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The New Mozilla CEO's Political Past Is Imperiling His Present

Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, pictured in 2009.
Casey Dunn Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 8:25 am

For the Internet community, the principles of free speech and equal rights are foundational. But in recent days, those issues are clashing at Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

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All Tech Considered
5:40 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Tech Week: Smartphones And You, Virtual Reality, NPR Plays

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is now part of Facebook's empire.
Jeff Chiu AP

The tech news cycle didn't stop churning this week, with the fairy tale story of the Kickstarter-backed Oculus VR getting purchased by Facebook for $2 billion, the flop of a Candy Crush IPO and Turkey banning YouTube after already

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