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.

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.

Google Glass, the computer and camera you wear on your face, can be yours starting next Tuesday. Google has been rolling out Glass to a select group of "Explorers" since early 2013, but soon, anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 plus tax can get a headset at this link.

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

Microsoft is ending support Tuesday for Windows XP, which means the company won't be fixing any fresh problems that crop up with the 12-year-old operating system. "PCs running Windows XP after April 8, 2014, should not be considered to be truly protected," says a company statement.

The Mozilla controversy that played out over the past two weeks bursts with ironies. And this one is perhaps the most prominent: The free speech that Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich spent his life's work defending and enabling — and an open-Web revolution Eich helped lead — drove his unseating. It raises questions about how a company leader's personal convictions should be judged.

Brendan Eich, embattled co-founder of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, has stepped down from his new role as CEO of Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.

For the Internet community, the principles of free speech and equal rights are foundational. But in recent days, those issues are clashing at Mozilla, the nonprofit foundation and tech company behind the Firefox browser.

Happy weekend! If you've missed our tech coverage and the larger conversation at the intersection of technology and culture this week, here's your look back. ICYMI is what we reported on NPR, The Big Conversation includes news from all sorts of places, and Curiosities are important or fun links we think you should check out.

What was on your radar? What should we look out for next week? Tell us in the comment section below. We do read them, you know.

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