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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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).

What we know as the World Wide Web — the main way by which most of us access the Internet — just turned 25 this year. Its existence has allowed for all kinds of learning and free expression, coding and making, rule-breaking and platform-making.

It's officially summer, but there's no slowdown on the technology news front. Here's your weekly roundup of notable stories in tech, from the team at NPR and beyond.

The Supreme Court gave broadcasters a big win this week in their battle against the startup service Aereo. Subscribers in select cities have been watching and recording live broadcast TV with Aereo, at a cost of $8 to $12 a month. But what happens to consumers now that the service is illegal?

The summer of tech company demographic data dumps continues apace. Facebook is the latest big firm to share its staff's racial and gender breakdowns, following similar releases from Google and Yahoo. Other tech firms NPR has reached out to say they are having conversations about whether they will do the same.

It was a big week for product news in the tech world, a topic we typically reserve for your weekly round-ups. Here we go ...

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.

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:

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