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.

Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:

Net neutrality has become a hot topic this summer, despite its snooze-inducing name. The principle governs that data on the Internet should be served to customers on a level playing field — at the same speeds — without priority for certain companies that might be able to pay for "fast lanes" for content.

So much tech news, so little time. Let's run down the highlights of our tech coverage this week.

Starbucks' latest innovation has nothing to do with coffee beans or breakfast, but it may lure the technologically dependent among us into its stores.

To see the speed of technological innovation, look no further than a street corner. Hailing a cab from the street is less common in cities with Uber, a service that lets you request a ride with the simple tap of a mobile phone app.

One running thread here at All Tech is smartphone distraction, and whether our increasing dependence on connecting through our devices is bringing us together — or tearing us apart.

It's time for your quick rundown of the week that was in technology and culture.

The days of the Cold War are long gone — no more zero-sum showdowns against communism, no duck-and-cover lessons in propaganda videos. But some scholars argue that something else has taken that conflict's place: a "cool war," pitting the U.S. against China.

That war is flaring up, and it's high stakes for American industry.

Times may be slowly a-changin' for the Y-chromosome-dominant technology sphere, where it's becoming a tougher environment to objectify women, at least publicly.

The consequences of a dearth of women in technology are showing up again, this time in a show of sexism at a tech conference in Berlin. (See update at end of post.)

Things are running smoothly now, but the Federal Communications Commission's public commenting system was so waylaid by people writing in on Monday that the agency had to send out a few tweets saying "technical difficulties" due to heavy traffic affected its servers.

Into the quickly crowding field of automated home gadgets and appliances comes Apple, which announced HomeKit at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday. HomeKit is its entrance into a nascent, fragmented market for home automation, aka the Internet of Things.

The evidence of a lack of gender parity in technology keeps stacking up; this week we saw the fraternity-day emails of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and the diversity and gender breakdowns that Google's been reluctant to share. Let's get right into your week in review:

When it finally published a demographic breakdown of its workforce this week, tech giant Google admitted, "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues."

This is what the numbers showed: Google's staff is made up of 70 percent men, is 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, and all other races and ethnicities don't register above 5 percent.

We are in the midst of a realignment in the global economy, a new machine age in which technology is disrupting nearly every industry in the world. And who are the hot young stars of this great realignment?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

When we asked you about the changing norms for smartphone use in public spaces, hundreds of stories poured in.

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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