Elise Hu

Elise Hu is an award-winning correspondent assigned to NPR's newest international bureau, in Seoul, South Korea. She's responsible for covering geopolitics, business and life in both Koreas and Japan. She previously covered the intersection of technology and culture for the network's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

Hu 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 at 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 has taught digital journalism at Northwestern University and Georgetown University's journalism schools and serves as a guest co-host for TWIT.tv's program, Tech News Today. 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.

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden will speak via videoconference to the attendees of South by Southwest Interactive later this morning, and you can bet a much wider audience than just those here in Austin will be watching.

Another hectic week in the technology space wraps up just as the massive festival for interactive geeks and the marketers who love them — South By Southwest — gets under way in Austin, Texas.

South by Southwest Interactive is the technology-driven part of the annual Austin-based festival for digital, film and music and it starts on Friday. An expected 30,000 people will take part in the interactive and film week that precedes music, and they love it for the spontaneity and the chaos. They also hate it because of the chaos — parties on every corner, marketing handouts at every turn and a sprawling program of panels, screenings and speakers that span at least a dozen city blocks in the heart of Texas.

For something that's become so ubiquitous in our lives, the World Wide Web is just a youngster. It was only 25 years ago that Tim Berners-Lee first created a rudimentary information retrieval system that relied on the Internet. It's since exploded into a primary means by which we learn, work and connect. (To put things in perspective, the film Die Hard is older than the World Wide Web.)

Facebook's foray into email ended Monday, when the social media giant quietly retired the email service that many users didn't even know existed. Users received a notice saying the @facebook.com email addresses they deployed are going away.

"We're making this change because most people haven't been using their Facebook email addresses, and we wanted to make it easier to view all your emails in one place," the message read.

If you are in the middle of a House of Cards binge, the news from Netflix over the weekend is good — video streaming quality will improve. After reports of declining performance in recent months, Netflix — which accounts for 30 percent of broadband traffic — cut a deal with Comcast to pay the cable provider for direct access to its systems.

With digital cameras and camera phones everywhere, there are few moments we don't document. But some designers still think we're missing the opportunity to capture some important, simple moments. The solution: the Narrative Clip, a wearable camera that automatically and silently snaps an image every 30 seconds.

No rest for weary tech reporters this President's Day week, as the news on this beat tumbled forth fast and furiously. A look back at some of the topics dominating conversation follows, with NPR coverage in the "in case you missed it" section, and largely curated coverage from elsewhere in "The Big Conversation" and "Curiosities."

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

The numbers on women in the tech industry are so out of whack that ladies register in the single digits: Women account for just 6 percent of the chief executives of the top 100 tech companies, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. And a New York Times count found that only 8 percent of venture-backed startups are founded by women.

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? Use this quick form.

While it's never been considered a "cool" company, Microsoft is still a force — worth $300 billion, and Windows operating systems still run on a big chunk of the world's computers. While the profile of founder and former CEO Bill Gates still looms large, outgoing leader Steve Ballmer took the reins in 2000. And Tuesday, the board chose an internal candidate — 46-year-old Indian-American engineer Satya Nadella — to head the company.

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? Use this quick form.

Viewership is declining. Washington seems increasingly dysfunctional and irrelevant to the daily lives of Americans. The presidency isn't the bully pulpit it used to be.

In an age of social media and divided audiences, the annual, constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech is beginning to look like a stuffy relic from a bygone era.

It's an institution in need of a makeover, which is precisely what the White House intends to do Tuesday night.

HealthCare.gov's infamous failure to launch has inspired some fresh legislation that aims to organize and streamline the currently scattered — and expensive — approach to multimillion-dollar technology projects built by the government and its contractors.

Class tensions in the San Francisco Bay Area got even hotter this weekend, over the public musings of Tom Perkins, a prominent venture capitalist and co-founder of the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

The holiday season data breach at Target that hit more than 70 million consumers was part of a wide and highly skilled international hacking campaign that's "almost certainly" based in Russia. That's according to a report prepared for federal and private investigators by Dallas-based cybersecurity firm iSight Partners.

And the fraudsters are so skilled that sources say at least a handful of other retailers have been compromised.

"The intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," the iSight report says.

In a landmark ruling Tuesday, a federal appeals court has struck down key parts of the Federal Communications Commission's open-Internet rules, effectively ruling that the federal government cannot enforce net neutrality. Put more simply, it can't require that Internet service providers treat all traffic equally.

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the agency's rules had no basis in federal law. A key passage:

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

It's 2014 and we're back to full team strength, which means we've returned with your guide to the week's previous tech coverage on NPR (in case you missed it) and from our friends at what seems like an ever-growing crop of tech journalism organizations.

ICYMI

Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.

Let's stipulate, for the purposes of this post, that you are looking for love. Thanks to our ever-connected devices, you can skip the bars or gyms or extracurricular activities to find a hookup. And even if you do meet someone the old-fashioned, analog way, romance and social media are so entwined that you can't escape getting ranked somewhere on an app.

This is the modern reality made possible by the two hot dating apps of 2013: Tinder and Lulu.

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