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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1:12pm

Wed July 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Some Loyal Foursquare Users Are Checking Out After Swarm Spinoff

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

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

11:54am

Tue July 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

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

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

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 — and sometimes stalled — by an intermittent Internet connection. Your hotel Wi-Fi has the download speeds of an early 1990s dial-up connection.

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5:05pm

Mon July 28, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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 — 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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4:54pm

Mon July 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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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3:37am

Fri July 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

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

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

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering — 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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2:32pm

Wed July 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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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7:40pm

Tue July 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

FCC Extending Net Neutrality Commenting Time After Site Buckles

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

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

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 — 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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11:53am

Tue July 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

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

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

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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1:16pm

Mon July 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

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

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

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

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5:36am

Sat July 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

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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