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
3:48 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Agency Websites Shut Down With The Government

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
2:59 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
7:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
6:16 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Coming Soon: A Jolt Of Caffeine You Can Spray On Your Skin

Sprayable Energy will be on sale in November, says its creator, Ben Yu.
Courtesy of Sprayable Energy

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? Use this quick form.

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All Tech Considered
7:48 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Tailgaters Rejoice! This Cooler Keeps Beers Cold Without Ice

The Case Coolie weighs 1.5 pounds and promises to keep beverages cold for 10 hours.
Courtesy of Case Coolie

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 12:47 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? Use this quick form. That's how we found this week's pick!

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All Tech Considered
1:45 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

The Fast-Food Restaurants That Require Few Human Workers

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

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:11 pm

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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All Tech Considered
4:32 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Outage Summer: What To Know About The Syrian Electronic Army

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
4:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Inside The 'Bossless' Office, Where The Team Takes Charge

The headquarters of Menlo Innovations, a software design firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. At Menlo, there are no cubicles, few walls and no offices.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:44 pm

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

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All Tech Considered
1:54 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
3:25 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

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

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

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

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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All Tech Considered
11:40 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Facebook Makes Us Sadder And Less Satisfied, Study Finds

Researchers say Facebook use can lead to a decline in happiness and satisfaction.
Joerg Koch AP

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 10:17 am

Facebook's mission "to make the world more open and connected" is a familiar refrain among company leaders. But the latest research shows connecting 1.1 billion users around the world may come at a psychological cost.

A new University of Michigan study on college-aged adults finds that the more they used Facebook, the worse they felt. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The End Of Buttons: The New Gesture-Control Era

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

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

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All Tech Considered
4:45 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'The New York Times' Site, Apps Return After Two-Hour Outage

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

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:40 am

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:

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All Tech Considered
3:03 am
Tue August 13, 2013

A Closer Look At Elon Musk's Much-Hyped Hyperloop

A rendering of a Hyperloop pod.
Courtesy of Elon Musk

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

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.

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