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'Idol' Judge Search Could Delay Show Production

by Kim Masters

Producers consider Harry Connick Jr. for the slot left open by Dr. Luke after the veteran producer offered Sony Music half his $12 million fee in an unsuccessful plea to let him take a judge's chair, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The collapse of songwriter and producer Dr. Luke’s deal to judge American Idol was a tough setback for Fox, Fremantle and the show's producers that has left little time to fill a judge’s slot before the show begins taping, which originally was set for next Tuesday but could be delayed.

At this point, it appears that Harry Connick Jr. is likely to join the panel, though sources say Fox had hoped to add an industry professional to the mix rather than another celebrity. While Fox was said to be somewhat cool to the Connick idea, sources say there is reluctance to add another woman to the mix given friction last season between Mariah Carey andNicki Minaj, which didn’t play well with the show’s key older female demographic. Fox declined to comment on any aspect of Idol business.
Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez reportedly have committed to judging this Idol season.
Luke's deal unraveled Friday, Aug. 23. Initially, Luke’s camp said he had come to a realization that Idol would demand too much of his time given his commitment to his label at Sony Music. (Luke’s Kemosabe imprint is home to songwriter-turned-solo artist Bonnie McKee, rapper Juicy J and pop-urban act Becky G.)
But sources say Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, remained so interested in becoming an Idol judge that he continued to plead this week with Sony Music CEO Doug Morris to allow him to appear on the show. An insider says Luke offered Sony Music half his Idol fee, said to be about $12 million -- close to the $15 million Lopez is set to receive (and more than Urban earns).  For Luke, the sacrifice would not be great as he is said to earn more than $30 million a year from his music business.
But Morris did not relent, because Sony's competitor, Universal Music Group, holds the exclusive rights to American Idol recordings, and he did not want Luke, in effect, to help his bitter rival. A source says Morris, having allowed Luke to produce Katy Perry’s latest album for Universal, was unwilling to yield on this.
Meanwhile, sources say Fox and Idol producers are upset with CAA -- which collects millions in packaging fees on Idol -- for assuring them that Luke’s contract would allow him to take the job. When Fox attorneys examined the deal with Sony Music, they found that Luke was not free after all. CAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. Family in Accident After Rally at Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr.'s family just got into an auto accident while leaving the rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his "I have a dream" speech ... TMZ has learned.

According to sources on the scene ... several of MLK Jr.'s siblings and grandchildren were on a charter bus leaving the rally when a van ran a red light ... forcing the bus driver to slam on the brakes to dodge the vehicle.


MLK's sister -- Christine King Farris -- was on the bus at the time of the accident. Earlier in the day, the 85-year-old placed a wreath on the MLK Jr. Memorial.

Farris was joined at the wreath ceremony by MLK's daughter Bernice King.

We're told Bernice was not on the bus at the time of the accident.

We're told Omarosa Manigault was on the bus with the family ... and hit her head on the seat in front of her, but she's okay.

We're told the bus driver was transported to a nearby hospital.

Omarosa tweeted after the crash -- "Yikes just got banged up a lil bit on bus- I am ok! #HitMyHead ouch"

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/08/28/martin-luther-king-jr-family-in-car-accident/#ixzz2dJ0wekBQ
Visit Fishwrapper: http://www.fishwrapper.com

USA Swimming Faces Lingering Doubts Over Sexual Abuse

Attorney Robert Allard, seen here with former swimmer Jancy Thompson in 2010, says USA Swimming still needs to improve its handling of sexual abuse claims. The organization is also facing congressional scrutiny.

There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.

The sport's governing body in this country, USA Swimming, responded by creating Safe Sport. The enhanced sex abuse prevention program featured new rules and regulations, as well as training and education and an emphasis on reporting behavior from harassment to criminal misconduct.

But three years in, some say Safe Sport isn't doing the job. California lawyer Bob Allard has been one of the harshest critics. He calls Safe Sport a "media ploy." Allard says that since 2010, various stories have trickled in from Colorado to Idaho to other parts of the country, "where USA Swimming members set forth to USA Swimming clear violations to the new rules, and USA Swimming manifested a complete disinterest in helping those people."

Last week, USA Swimming announced a prominent expert on the prevention of child abuse, Victor Vieth of the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, will conduct an independent examination of Safe Sport. USA Swimming says Vieth will begin his review on Sept. 10. The results will be made public, most likely in January of next year.

Chuck Wielgus, who's now in his 17th year as USA Swimming's executive director, says the review is not a concession that there are major problems with Safe Sport. He says it's just an effort by the governing body to improve the program, at a time between Summer Olympics.

"We have a little bit more time on our hands," says Wielgus, "and it just seemed like a good point to pause and take a hard look."

But it also coincides with increased scrutiny by Congress. Two months ago, Rep. George Miller of California, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, asked the General Accountability Office to investigate how USA Swimming and other youth sports organizations handle child abuse allegations.

And Wednesday morning, members of Miller's staff are slated to meet with Safe Sport's director and U.S. Olympic Committee officials.

Chuck Wielgus insists the Safe Sport review is not a reaction to congressional interest in the subject.

"We're not doing this in response to that, " he says.

But attorney Bob Allard, whose client list includes a number of swimmers who say they've been sexually abused by coaches, is skeptical.

"USA Swimming is about to meet with Congress," Allard says, "and it's desperately trying to portray itself as an organization that cares.

Since 2010, it's been Allard's contention that USA Swimming doesn't care. And he says there are plenty of former and current cases of unpunished sexual misconduct by coaches to prove it. He also says there are also less dramatic, albeit significant, cases of USA Swimming turning away valid complaints and reports of rules violations.

USA Swimming denies accusations of covering up cases of misconduct and not taking the issue of sexual abuse seriously.

"This is something we've worked very, very hard at," says Wielgus, adding, "I'm very proud of where USA Swimming is today in its efforts. We've made enormous progress and the program will continue to get better as we go."

A USA Swimming spokesperson says that since Safe Sport's inception, there's been a dramatic increase in communication with USA Swimming members — an estimated 400,000 athletes, officials, volunteers and coaches — and an increase in reporting bad behavior.

The spokesperson says that in the past three years alone, 34 individuals have been banned by USA Swimming for sexual misconduct; 45 were banned in the prior 19 years.

Steve Jobs’s 6 Pillars of Design Philosophy

by Cliff Kuang

Everyone who cares, even modestly, about design can name a few decisive events that set them on that path. Steve Jobs was no different, but he was also extraordinarily lucky: The formative design lessons he got were so far ahead of their time that they would lay the groundwork for Apple’s success with the Macintosh, the iMac, iPhone, and the iPad. Here’s six of the defining design lessons that Jobs learned, and which imbued every product he created.

Under Jobs, Apple became famous for a level of craft that seemed almost gratuitous: For example, on the "Sunflower" Macintosh of a few years ago, there was an exquisitely fine, laser-etched Apple logo. As an owner, you might see that logo only once a year, when moving the computer. But it mattered, because that single time made an impression. In the same way, Jobs spent a lot of time making the circuit boards of the first Macintosh beautiful--he wanted their architecture to be clean and orderly. Who cared about that? But again, that level of detail would have made a deep impression on the few people that would have seen the inner guts.

[One of the high points of Apple’s attention to craft: The phenomenal fit and finish of the iPhone 4]
So in a way, it’s not a surprise that this level of craft was one of the first design lessons that Jobs ever got, and he learned at the hands of his father. Quoting Isaacson:
Fifty years later the fence still surrounds the back and side yards of the house in Mountain View. As Jobs showed it off to me, he caressed the stockade panels and recalled a lesson that his father implanted deeply in him. It was important, his father said, to craft the backs of cabinets and fences properly, even though they were hidden. …In an interview a few years later, after the Macintosh came out, Jobs again reiterated that lesson from his father: "When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood in the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."


In the early 1980s, design was a niche profession, and "design thinking," a process that emphasized empathy with user needs, hadn’t been fully articulated yet. But Mike Markkula--one of the first investors in Apple, one of the first grown-ups to work there, and another father figure to Jobs--managed to anticipate lessons that were decades away from being in common circulation. He was the one that wrote "The Apple Marketing Philosophy," a memo that you can think of as the fundamental DNA of Apple over three decades:

Markkula wrote his principles in a one-page paper titled "The Apple Marketing Philosophy" that stressed three points. The first wasempathy, an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer: "We will truly understand their needs better than any other company." The second was focus: "In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities." The third and equally important principle, awkwardly named, was impute. It emphasized that people form an opinion about a company or product based on the signals that it conveys. "People DO judge a book by its cover," he wrote. "We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software, etc; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; it we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities."
In the context of the time, the idea of consumer empathy is truly remarkable. Keep in mind: If you wanted to find superb consumer electronics, you mostly looked to Japan. There, the attitude that prevailed for so many decades was that devices shouldn’t be designed for consumers; if they didn’t get them, it was their fault. It was that idea that led to so many bloated and weird Sony and Panasonic products over the years. Another thing to remember: Markkula is talking about consumer empathy before Apple even really has consumers! This is before the Macintosh, before the graphic user interface, and before the mouse. This was during a time when the people who used computers were freakishly engaged hobbyists. Their threshold for accepting a products quirks and flaws was enormous, and most computer makers took that for granted.
Not Markkula, not Apple, and not Jobs. The idea of understanding a consumer’s needs before they actually needed what Apple was making has remained a hallmark of the company throughout its history. The idea of empathizing with a consumer before a market was even developed set Apple on the path of perpetually looking forward to find how people would behave.

[The first iMac: A masterpiece of friendliness that set Apple on it’s path to dominance]


Maybe the biggest conceptual leap that Steve Jobs made in the early days of Apple was to recognize that high-tech devices could be friendly. Think back to the smiling Mac icon; compare it to the forbidding intensity of the IBM ThinkPad, which was designed by Richard Sapper for decades. Flash forward and compare the chipper polish of the iOS to the hard edges of Android. Throughout the years, Apple has made cutting-edge devices seem friendly, and that’s a design strategy specifically intended to appeal to novice consumers and anyone overwhelmed by the capabilities of a computer.
The funny thing is, Jobs learned that lesson, apparently, from household appliances:
One weekend Jobs went to Macy’s in Palo Alto and again spent time studying appliances, especially the Cuisinart. He came bounding into the Mac office that Monday, asked the design team to go buy one, and made a raft of new suggestions based on its lines, curves, and bevels. 
Jobs kept insisting that the [first Macintosh] should look friendly. As a result, it evolved to resemble a human face. With the disk drive below the screen, the unit was taller and narrower than most computers, suggesting a head…"Even though Steve didn’t draw any of the links, his ideas and inspiration made the design what it is," Oyama later said. "To be honest, we didn’t know what it meant for a computer to be 'friendly’ until Steve told us."

[Some of Richard Sapper’s IBM ThinkPads. Not so friendly]


As Isaacson writes on p.127:
Jobs felt that design simplicity should be linked to making products easy to use. Those goals do not always go together. Sometimes a design can be so sleek and simple that a user finds it intimidating or unfriendly to navigate. "The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious," Jobs told [a] crowd of design mavens. For example, he extolled the desktop metaphor he was creating for the Macintosh. "People know how to deal with a desktop intuitively. If you walk into an office, there are papers on the desk. The one on top is the most important. People know how to switch priority. Part of the reason we model our computers on metaphors like the desktop is that we can leverage this experience that we already have.
There’s so much going on in that passage that it’s easy to skip over. The most obvious thing is that Jobs wanted his products to be simple above all else. But Jobs realized early on that for them to be simple and easy to use, they had to be based on things that people alreadyunderstood. (Design geeks have since given this idea a clunky name: so-called skeuomorphic user interfaces.) What was true of the first Macintosh graphical interface is true of the iPhone and iPad--the range of physical metaphors, and, eventually, the physical gestures that control them, map directly with what we already do in the real world. That’s the true key to creating an intuitive interface, and Jobs realized it before computers could really even render the real world with much fidelity at all.

Steve Jobs’s talent lay in taking what he learned and absorbing it with a manic intensity, so that his principles didn’t just inform him; they consumed him. Jobs was both lucky and smart in that all of the lessons he got were additive--that is, you could fit them all together in a single, coherent design philosophy. Compare that to what happens when you engage with someone who has definite opinions about design, but no real philosophy behind it: It’s a maddening experience because the definition of what works and what doesn’t, what’s good and what’s not, can change so often in different circumstances. I’d argue that this has been the chief failing of most consumer electronics makers: There’s no deep-seated ideology behind their designs, so the products themselves never feel linked by what Jobs liked to call "soul."
In the coming years, I can’t help but wonder what the next era’s defining lessons of design will be. I can think of a few that might be worthwhile: For one, in the age of virtual design that’s evaluated at a glance, first impressions matter even while the length of time given to first impressions grows ever shorter.
But I think that these lessons that Jobs intuited will always be with the profession. For example, take lesson #6, about creating simple UI’s: Even today, Facebook keeps an analog printing lab, with the idea that they’ll find the best metaphors for computer interactions in the real world. And design will always be about getting the details right while never forgetting how consumers actually live.
As I’ve said before, Steve Jobs was the most consequential figure in the history of design. The ideals laid out above, which he managed to join with unprecedented clarity and intensity, are the reasons why.

Cliff was formerly design editor at Fast Company, where he oversaw design coverage in print and online. He was the founding editor of its spin-off, Co.Design, which in 2011 won the National Magazine Award for best online department and draws over 2 million readers a month. Recently, his work was collected in The Best Business Writing of 2012. Prior to Fast Company, he has been an editor at I.D. magazine and The Economist online. His work has also appeared regularly in WIRED, Popular Science and GOOD.

John Mellencamp's son practices with team after battery charges

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke coach David Cutcliffe says sophomore cornerback Hud Mellencamp will continue to practice with the football team while he deals with felony battery charges in Indiana.

Cutcliffe said Thursday the son of rocker John Mellencamp will remain active in practice and 

“we’ll let the legal due process occur.”

Hud Mellencamp, 19, is charged with punching and kicking a 19-year-old man last month.

Monroe County (Ind.) authorities say Mellencamp’s younger brother, 18-year-old Speck Mellencamp, entered the porch of a man’s home in Bloomington, Ind., and punched him in the face, believing that man had hit him earlier that evening.

Court documents say the brothers and another 19-year-old man “punched, kicked and stomped” the man who suffered facial injuries.

Hud Mellencamp surrendered for arrest earlier this week and was released on bond.

Lee Thompson Young, former Disney star, dead at 29


Lee Thompson Young, who starred in Disney’s “The Famous Jett Jackson” and most-recently in TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” committed suicide, his manager told FOX411. He was 29.

Young’s body was discovered by his landlord, according to TMZ, after his co-stars from “Rizzoli & Isles” requested someone check in on the actor when he did not show up for work.

"Everyone at Rizzoli & Isles is devastated by the news of the passing of Lee Thompson Young," a rep for the show said in statement. "We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man. He was truly a member of our family. Lee will be cherished and remembered by all who knew and loved him, both on- and offscreen, for his positive energy, infectious smile and soulful grace. We send our deepest condolences and thoughts to his family, to his friends and, most especially, to his beloved mother."

Law enforcement officials told FOX411 they could not yet comment on Young's death. 

“It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning," longtime manager Jonathan Baruch said in a statement. “Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.  We ask that you please respect the privacy of his family and friends as this very difficult time.”

The South Carolina native got his big break when he starred as the title character in “The Famous Jett Jackson” from 1998 to 2001. He then appeared in the Disney flick “Johnny Tsunami.”

Young also appeared on the TV shows “Smallville” and “Scrubs.”

He played detective Barry Frost on “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/08/19/rizzoli-isles-star-lee-thompson-young-reportedly-dead-at-2/#ixzz2cRsG0BF4