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Recommended Reading: The secrets behind 'Madden's' player ratings

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

How Madden Ratings are Made
by Neil Paine
FiveThirtyEight

If you've ever played a Madden title, at some point, you've questioned how player ratings are compiled. Heck, players are even critical of their own scores. Well, the stats experts over at FiveThirtyEight dive deep on the matter, offering a load of background information and a method for compiling and grading your own abilities... or lack thereof.

Decoding the 2015 Oscars: The 'Birdman' Win and What it Tells Us About Hollywood
Mark Harris, Grantland

I've been a big fan of Grantland's Oscar coverage leading up to last weekend's event, and this wrap-up breaks down the winners, losers and what it all means.

A Big Bet on Choice: Motorola Will Soon Let You Build Your Own Smartwatch
by David Pierce, Wired

News surfaced this week that Motorola would soon allow buyers to customize a Moto 360 smartwatch in addition to a new Moto X. Wired's David Pierce offers a detailed look at the move toward even more customization.

The Graphic Designer Behind Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
by Anne Quito, Quartz

The Grand Budapest Hotel won its share at the Oscars, and further showcases Wes Anderson's knack for bold visuals. Quartz caught up with the designer tasked with creating some of the props that have to match the director's style.

Look at How Quickly the Values of Multi-Billion-Dollar Startups have Multiplied
by Nitasha Tiku, The Verge

Billion-dollar startups are growing at a ridiculous rate. And news ones are popping up regularly. The Verge examines how the likes of Snapchat, Xiaomi and others earned current values, and what it could mean for the near future.

[Photo credit: EA Sports]

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