Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 1/14/2014 3:38 pm

Google is making another big bet on hardware. The search giant announced it's buying connected device maker Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash. Nest is led by former Apple designer Tony Fadell. It develops "smart" home appliances like thermostats and smoke detectors that can program themselves and communicate with smartphones. Google took a big step into the hardware business back in 2012, when it closed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. That purchase helped lay the groundwork for devices like the Moto X smartphone.

Early birds will find deep discounts now on software from H and R Block, Turbo Tax and Tax Act. That's according to which also reports the majority of early filers get money back. The tax filing season opens January 31. Later than in previous years. That's due to the government shutdown in October.

And AT&T is getting into the music subscription service. AT&T is teaming up with Beats Music to offer unlimited streaming music and downloads for listening offline to their customers who are on a multiline account. The streaming music deal will work for up to five family members on ten devices. AT&T's $14.99 a month offer of Beats Music also comes with the first 90 days free and individual AT&T wireless customers can get the same access across three devices for $9.99 a month with the first 30 days free. Beats Music will be available for download on nearly all major platforms or from a PC beginning January 21. Beats Music will be available in AT&T stores and online at on January 24.
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