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.

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Internet Traffic
3:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

Nuala O'Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology, testifies on net neutrality issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Now, we wait.

The window for the public to weigh in on how federal rule-makers should treat Internet traffic is closed, after a record 3.7 million comments arrived at the FCC. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the first 800,000 and found that fewer than 1 percent were opposed to net neutrality enforcement.

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All Tech Considered
5:37 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Tech Week: The Internet 'Slowdown' And Apple's New Crop

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Watch on Tuesday in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 10:57 am

Each week we take a look back at the week that was in tech news and headlines. And this one was chock-full with product news, with the reveal of Apple Watch β€” Apple's first new product line since 2010. Let's get to it ...

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Internet Slowdown Day
7:03 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Your Favorite Sites Will 'Slow Down' Today, For A Cause

Slow-loading messages will appear on some of your favorite sites Wednesday as part of a protest for net neutrality. But the sites won't actually be loading slower β€” the banners will be displayed just to make a point.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 10:41 am

You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.

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All Tech Considered
3:42 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

The Apple Watch Is Here And Another Tech Hype Cycle Commences

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:04 pm

Apple's big new product will live on your wrist. It's called the Apple Watch, in a notable move away from "i"-branded products, and it will be available in early 2015, starting at $349. It comes in two sizes and packed with all sorts of futuristic features, like being able to pay for products or wave open a hotel room with it. And send your heartbeat with it (not that I know what the use case is for that is unless you're a newborn).

"It's the next chapter in Apple's story," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the watch's unveiling.

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Technology
2:28 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Try This On For Size: Personal Styling That Comes In The Mail

A standard "trunk" from men's online styling service Trunk Club.
Colin Marshall NPR

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 11:43 am

These days, you don't have to be a model β€” or a real housewife of reality TV β€” to have a personal stylist. You can get one online, for a reasonable monthly fee. The services, in which clothes are picked out for you and sent in the mail, are catching on among the time-starved and the fashion-challenged. Like my editor, Uri Berliner.

"Most days I couldn't even tell you what clothes I have on, what color they are," he says.

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All Tech Considered
5:54 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Tech Week That Was: So Many Hacks, So Little Time

iStockphoto

If it feels like the big data breaches are unending, that's because they probably are. The shortened week, due to the Labor Day holiday, had no shortage of tech headlines because of one big breach after another. A look back:

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All Tech Considered
3:06 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

I Feel Nothing: The Home Depot Hack And Data Breach Fatigue

So many big data breaches β€” not to mention celebrity data hacks β€” have happened in the past year that we're reacting to hacks with a shrug.
GlebShabashnyi iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 10:33 am

How many megahacks have we consumers faced in recent memory?

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All Tech Considered
12:10 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Using Technology To Counter Police Mistrust Is Complicated

Members of the Ferguson Police Department wear their new body cameras during a rally Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:17 pm

Outfitting police officers with body cameras seems to be the most concrete solution to come out of the police misconduct accusations in Ferguson, Mo. And the push for cameras extends far beyond the suburban Missouri police department β€” more than 153,000 people have signed a "We the People" petition to create a "Mike Brown Law" that would require all police to wear cameras.

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All Tech Considered
4:45 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Uber's going the distance to try and crowd out its competition, like Lyft and its signature mustached vehicles.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:12 am

Each weekend, we look back on the tech week that was, which includes original content from NPR and the stories worth noting from across the Internet. Here we go...

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All Tech Considered
8:02 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Sad Desk Microwave For Your Sad Desk Lunch

When not in use, this desk oven can be stowed upright and can serve as a whiteboard.
Steve Gates

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 11:43 am

Too busy to walk all the way to the kitchen to heat up a meal? The prototype for the BrainWave desktop microwave is the answer. It's exactly what it sounds like: a phone book-size microwave to heat up your frozen lunch, at your desk.

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All Tech Considered
5:07 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Amazon Buys Twitch, Proving Gaming Live Streams Are Golden

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screen shot

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:10 pm

There's another billion-dollar buyout in tech today [OK, it's about $970 million, but close enough] and this time it's Amazon's purchase of the video game streaming service Twitch.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

A memorial sits at the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Any investigation into his shooting by a police officer is likely to take months.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Amid Continued Chaos In Ferguson, A Second Autopsy Is Released

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:18 pm

A preliminary, independent autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Requested by the family, the autopsy finds that Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot six times by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This news follows the most violent night of protests there since the shooting.

Missouri
3:46 am
Mon August 18, 2014

More Mayhem In Ferguson: Tear Gas, Riot Gear, Gunshots

As night fell Sunday in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street. Police attempted to push them back by firing tear gas.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 9:16 am

Updated 3:14 a.m ET.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is sending the National Guard to Ferguson to help restore order. He signed the executive order after another night of violence. In a statement, Nixon said the guard's help is needed to "restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson."

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

In Ferguson, Local Faith Leaders Call For 'Different Dialogue'

Ferguson residents pass out "I heart Ferg" yard signs at a local coffee shop.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:56 pm

On a quiet morning after another difficult night in Ferguson, businesses along the streets put up signs in their windows reading "I Heart Ferg." Former Mayor Brian Fletcher is passing out more.

"We're going to raise $5,000 by tomorrow at noon for yard signs," Fletcher says.

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All Tech Considered
3:33 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

On Net Neutrality, California Cares; Texas? Not So Much

NPR

When nearly 1.1 million net neutrality comments flooded the Federal Communications Commission this spring into the summer, they came from around the country. But the interest in open-Internet topics doesn't spread out evenly across the United States.

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All Tech Considered
1:24 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

A Fascinating Look Inside Those 1.1 Million Open-Internet Comments

Quid

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 3:38 pm

When the Federal Communications Commission asked for public comments about the issue of keeping the Internet free and open, the response was huge.

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All Tech Considered
8:08 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Tech Week: The CIA Apologizes, Twitter Soars, Foursquare Swarm

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. welcomes CIA Director John Brennan on Capitol Hill in 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am

We know you don't miss a single NPR headline, but just in case you did, here's our weekly look back at what we covered in digital culture, and what we recommend from our friends across the mediascape.

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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Some Loyal Foursquare Users Are Checking Out After Swarm Spinoff

Foursquare is about to unveil its new Yelp-like app, which meant moving the users who liked it for checking in to a new app, Swarm.
Courtesy of Foursquare

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:33 pm

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All Tech Considered
11:54 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

SpeedSpot is a free app that lets you test the speed of Wi-Fi networks in hotels and share the test results instantly.
Courtesy of SpeedSpot

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 4:06 pm

You know how it feels. You're a moderately frequent business traveler and trying to get some work done from your hotel. But you're slowed β€” and sometimes stalled β€” by an intermittent Internet connection. Your hotel Wi-Fi has the download speeds of an early 1990s dial-up connection.

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All Tech Considered
5:05 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker's shop in New York City.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:33 pm

Fast-rising mobile technology is making buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever, and shifting the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first β€” shops that last for a limited time only.

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.

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All Tech Considered
4:54 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

1 Million Net Neutrality Comments Filed, But Will They Matter?

Complaints about Janet Jackson's Super Bowl halftime show performance of 2004 led to a record number of public interactions with the Federal Communications Commission. This year's net neutrality comments come in second.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 10:02 pm

The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.

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All Tech Considered
3:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service.
Shashi Bellamkonda Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:13 am

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering β€” a simple request to cancel his service was repeatedly beaten back by the employee on the other end of the line. It was a familiar feeling for a lot of us, which perhaps explains why more than 4 million people have listened to it in less than a week.

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Customer Service
2:32 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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All Tech Considered
7:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:32 am

A flood of comments about net neutrality crashed the Federal Communications Commission's commenting site on Tuesday, the original deadline for public comments on the controversial Internet proposal. But the tech problems are buying those who want to weigh in some extra time β€” the deadline for public commenting is now Friday at midnight.

Of the 780,000 comments submitted to the FCC, 100,000 came on Tuesday alone, which the FCC's outdated electronic comment filing system was not capable of handling.

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Customer Service
1:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:38 pm

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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Internet Traffic
2:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies β€” Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others β€” have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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All Tech Considered
5:36 am
Sat July 12, 2014

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Amazon, led by CEO Jeff Bezos, faces a federal lawsuit over unauthorized in-app purchases by children.
David Ryder Getty Images

Summertime in the tech world has made us eager for some lighter news, which you can find below. But the weightier legal battles in technology continue, as highlighted in our Big Conversation section. And links we think you should see are filed under Curiosities. Have a great weekend, readers.

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All Tech Considered
4:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Friday Feline Fun: A Ranking Of The Most Famous Internet Cats

Celebrity Internet cat Lil' Bub, who ranks No. 4 on the cat influencer list.
Dave Kotinsky Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 10:41 am

For reasons I can't fully understand, the Internet loves its cats. Keyboard Cat and Grumpy Cat are household names, I Can Haz Cheezeburger is a digital empire, and my real-life cats are on a social networking site called Catster (this is not a joke).

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