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
1:08 am
Thu November 14, 2013

How The Sharing Economy Is Changing The Places We Work

Co-workers at Denver's Galvanize, a tech hub in Colorado's capital.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:43 pm

This week, we've been reporting on the sharing economy — a term that describes the couch-surfing, car-sharing and community-garden-growing world where so many people are using their existing talents, space or tools.

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All Tech Considered
3:05 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 6:01 pm

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

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All Tech Considered
8:52 am
Wed November 13, 2013

This Device Lets You Order A Pizza With The Push Of A Button

Parts for the PiePal were 3-D printed.
Courtesy of iStrategyLabs

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:01 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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All Tech Considered
11:57 am
Mon November 11, 2013

A Few Places Where Government Tech Procurement Works

Kansas City is one of the cities making technology a bigger priority in its procurement processes.
Brent Flanders Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 3:52 pm

The botched start of HealthCare.gov is just the latest big federal tech system to fail at launch, but information technology research group Standish found that during the last decade, 94 percent of the large-scale federal IT projects have been similarly unsuccessful.

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All Tech Considered
1:11 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Tech Week: Twitter Takes Off, Audie Cornish In Silicon Valley

Will It Fly? The Twitter logo decorated a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

It's time for our Friday round-up of the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
1:04 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Third-Graders React To Video Games Tracking Their Play

Ms. James' class at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington, D.C. wrote in to Morning Edition with their reactions to a story.
Courtesy of Mary Beth James

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:17 am

Last week, as part of our kids and technology theme week, Steve Henn wrote about how video game makers are spending more time and money tracking players' behavior.

"As we play games, game designers are running tests on us and our kids. They're asking themselves what can they tweak to make us play just a bit longer," Henn wrote.

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All Tech Considered
6:18 am
Wed November 6, 2013

The Tech Team Podcast, Episode 1: Kids And Technology

Tech correspondents Laura Sydell and Steve Henn recording the first episode of our tech team podcast in a garage in Silicon Valley. (Naturally.)
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 8:02 am

As loyal readers and listeners know, your NPR tech reporters are organizing our enterprise reporting by exploring a single theme in technology over the course of a week. Our first theme week was on kids and technology and it aired last week. We featured stories about babies and screen time, teens and social media, the science behind video games and more.

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All Tech Considered
10:56 am
Tue November 5, 2013

One Reason Twitter's Confident About Its Ad Possibilities

Twitter announced that it has set a price range for its initial public offering between $17 and $20 per share and hopes to sell 70 million shares.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

One of the big questions facing social media giant Twitter ahead of its New York Stock Exchange debut this week is how much money it could actually make for investors.

"We have incurred significant operating losses in the past, and we may not be able to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability," the company writes, in its business prospectus.

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All Tech Considered
3:06 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

HealthCare.gov's Rocky First Month Leaves Plenty Of Questions

Suzanne Cloud on the first day the health exchange marketplace opened, Oct 1. Because of problems with the HealthCare.gov website, she's now planning to use a paper application.
Elana Gordon WHYY

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 4:49 pm

When the federal health exchange marketplace opened Oct. 1, we visited jazz musician Suzanne Cloud in Philadelphia. She tried to start an account early in the morning, but technology thwarted her plans.

She wasn't alone, as it became clear quickly that the unprecedented system for Americans in 36 states to shop and enroll for health insurance was broken in several places. A week into her failed attempts, Cloud stayed positive.

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All Tech Considered
1:10 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Kids And Screens, NSA And Our Data

A protester appears behind Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, at a hearing of the House intelligence committee this week in Washington.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 2:52 pm

Each week, we round up the tech and culture stories from NPR and beyond. Let's do this, folks.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Light Bulb That's Also A Flashlight

When charged, the Bulb Flashlight can stay on for three hours.
Courtesy of the MoMA Store

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:48 am

Each week, we highlight a design or product innovation that you might not have heard about yet. Many of them come through your submissions (here's the form), but this week's idea came to us from our NPR Two-Way blogger, Eyder Peralta, who thought this was pretty cool. We did, too.

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All Tech Considered
9:30 am
Tue October 29, 2013

How You Handle Screen, Technology Time With Your Kids

Among families with children age 8 and under, ownership of tablet devices has jumped fivefold since 2011, reports the nonprofit Common Sense Media.
Jeremy Hiebert Flickr

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 11:00 am

Smartphones and tablets. You can't miss them, and your kids can't resist them. Even the smallest children — 40 percent of kids 8 years old and under — have used their parents' mobile devices, according to a survey out this week by the nonprofit Common Sense Media.

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All Tech Considered
10:47 am
Mon October 28, 2013

What You Need To Know About Babies, Toddlers And Screen Time

Eva Hu-Stiles virtually interacts with her grandmother. iPad assist by Elise Hu-Stiles.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

This week, we're exploring the tech frontier through the eyes of our children. So we're starting with the littlest ones — babies. Can certain kinds of screen time help babies learn?

To find some answers, I employed the help of my 1-year-old daughter, Eva. She's still a wobbly walker and the sum total of her speaking skills sound like gibberish. But she has no problem activating Siri, the virtual assistant on my iPhone. Her 16-month-old friend, Lily, is even savvier with the gadgets.

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All Tech Considered
10:07 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Tech Week: U.S. Spying, Health Site Blame Game And New iPads

An attendee looks at the new Mac Pro during an Apple announcement event in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 12:02 pm

"Too big to succeed."

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All Tech Considered
3:14 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Diagram Of HealthCare.gov, Based On The People Who Built It

An attempt to draw out the various parts of HealthCare.gov's tech system, based on the testimony of its contractors.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:52 am

One of the major issues that's emerged since the failed rollout of HealthCare.gov is that there was no lead contractor on the project. (CGI Federal was the biggest contractor — awarded the most expensive contract — but says it did not have oversight over the other parts of the system.) Instead, the quarterbacking was left to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of the Department of Health and Human Services.

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All Tech Considered
3:17 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core

Mike Bracken is executive director of digital for the U.K. government.
Lisbon Council Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:43 pm

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All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

The HealthCare.gov 'Tech Surge' Is Racing Against The Clock

HealthCare.gov has been plagued with problems since the health insurance exchange site opened Oct. 1.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 8:10 am

A "tech surge" is underway to help clean up the code of the error-plagued HealthCare.gov site.

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All Tech Considered
11:28 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Surveillance Scope, Apple's Retail Hire

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is moving to Apple, where she will head the company's retail division.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:59 pm

It's time for your Friday week in review, a look at the big headlines and conversation in the tech and culture space.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
9:08 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Health Site Stumbling, Twitter's Roots

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:53 am

It's Friday, which means we're rounding up the tech headlines and our NPR coverage of technology and culture this week.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
10:33 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Solved: The Minds Behind The 'NSA' Billboard Reveal Themselves

The reveal.
BitTorrent

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:32 pm

Someone's taken credit for the shadowy billboard on the 101 Freeway near San Francisco — a plain white sign with black text reading, "Your Data Should Belong To The NSA." We wondered about it last week and got some interesting theories in the comments.

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All Tech Considered
4:50 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

U.S. Shutdown May Be Driving Traffic To 'Sugar Daddy' Sites

A sugar daddy dating website says nearly 14,000 women have joined since Sept. 29, as the federal government prepared to shut down.
Cat London iStockPhoto.com

sugar daddy (noun): a well-to-do usually older man who supports or spends lavishly on a mistress, girlfriend, or boyfriend

The government shutdown may have become a boon for one kind of online dating site — those that help users find sugar daddies.

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All Tech Considered
10:55 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Bitcoin Bust, Twitter IPO, Siri Outed

A voice actor has come forward to say she is the voice behind Siri on American iPhones.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 1:25 pm

The tech news kept a-comin' this week, so we've got a lot to cover in our weekly roundup. Here we go ...

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
1:50 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

What We Know About Ross Ulbricht, Or 'Dread Pirate Roberts'

The FBI alleges Ross Ulbricht ran the vast underground drug marketplace Silk Road for more than two years.
Google +

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:58 pm

When federal agents made their bust of Silk Road, the Internet's largest and most sophisticated underground illicit goods market, they unmasked its mastermind and owner, who went by the alias "Dread Pirate Roberts." According to the FBI, he is a 29-year-old Texan named Ross Ulbricht.

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All Tech Considered
1:02 am
Thu October 3, 2013

The Man Behind The Shadowy Illicit Drug Market, Silk Road

A screen grab from a December 2012 StoryCorps interview with Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind of the online marketplace known as Silk Road.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 10:53 am

It's not every day federal authorities get to bust a case like this. It involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet, in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down that site and arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, the man they say is its mastermind.

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All Tech Considered
1:27 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Tech Problems Plague First Day Of Health Exchange Rollout

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges on Tuesday.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 8:35 am

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

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All Tech Considered
1:48 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 2:50 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
12:58 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Online Comments, iPad Hacks And The ACC

What to do about trolls in comments sections? It's part of a big conversation in tech this week.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:12 pm

It's time for your NPR All Tech Week in Review! Here's a rundown, in case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the interwebs this week.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
12:09 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 8:09 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
11:06 am
Thu September 26, 2013

What You Emailed Us About Using The 'ACC'

We're still combing through all your emails about the acc.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:16 pm

This morning, I griped about the acc, our newly coined name for the practice of copying a third party on an existing email chain to undermine or pull rank on the original recipient. (The A can stand for angry, awkward, annoying ... or other A-words you might be thinking of ...)

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All Tech Considered
5:18 am
Thu September 26, 2013

The Worst Kind Of Email CC: Not A BCC, But An A(nnoying)CC

Consider your motivations before you add someone to the cc: field of an email.
Baris Onal iStockphoto.com

A middle school jab goes something like this: "We're having an A-B conversation, so you can C your way out." I bring this up because there's a workplace parallel to this that doesn't seem to have a name. It's when you're having an A-B email conversation and one party suddenly copies your boss, manager or someone more senior, in order to get an advantage in the discussion at hand.

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