Special Feature
Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: 2021: What's Next for Business Technology

New Year Tech: The Jasons declare their 2021 resolutions

My Jason Squared co-host, Jason Cipriani, and I will be doing a few new and different things this year with our technology and our lives. Here’s what we both have planned.

New Year tech: New projects, new resolutions
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Perlow: Install Solar Power and Backup Battery

Last year, I put off our plans to install solar cells and a backup battery for many different reasons. But, this year, I am committed to getting it done because I intend to replace both of my cars with electric vehicles over the next several years, and I want to take advantage of all the sunlight we get in South Florida and put it to work for me.

Also: Going solar in the Sunshine State: Why the investment makes sense

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Perlow: Move to M-series Macs

I initially held off getting a new Mac because I wanted the 16GB Mini. I still am not sure if I want that 16GB model or something with more RAM, but whether I do it at the beginning of the year or toward the end when more models are likely to become available, I am taking the plunge. And, while I am at it, I am getting my wife on the Mac platform as well. I don't want to support Windows machines in this household anymore if I can get away with it. It's not that I hate Microsoft; I like many of the things it does, but I don't feel like being an IT administrator in my own home anymore.

Also: What's inside Perlow's office? 15 years of working from home

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Cipriani: Going all-in on HomeKit 

Nearly a year ago, I talked about tearing all my smart home gadgets out, because I was tired of all the hubs and competing platforms. I recently spent a week off, going all-in on Apple's HomeKit platform. I even set up a Raspberry Pi with Homebridge to add HomeKit support to devices that otherwise wouldn't have it, like my Ring cameras. Now, I plan to continue adding more devices to my home, learning more about automation and shortcuts capabilities. 

Also: What's inside Cipriani's home office? A dedicated space and 8 years of continuous tweaks

Perlow: Re-evaluate all my subscription services

Last year, we had a lot of service fragmentation occur with the various streaming services, with the rights to different content strewn all over the place. I also got quite a few redundant subscription services on my mobile devices for things that I probably do not need. I'm going to go through the list of these and see if I can get them pared to what we actually use most often.

Also: Best TV streaming services in 2021

Cipriani: Getting more digitally organized

Whether it's my Apple Music library or my password manager, I no longer use all the accounts. I have this habit of ignoring my messy password manager or music library. I've been doing it for years, and every once in a while, I think I should probably take some time to get it better organized. But, instead of doing that, I keep ignoring it. 

Also: Best password managers in 2021

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Perlow: Think more about network and account security

In 2021, I will take more of my own advice on securing my home network and handling security on my various accounts on different services. I've begun transitioning over to Wi-F 6 for devices that support it and WPA3, but I will also VLAN out my IoT devices that are still using older versions and segment them off my internal network. I'm also going to re-evaluate all the accounts I have on all the internet services that exist out there and make sure I am using 2FA on all of them, and delete the accounts on the services I am not using. 

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Cipriani: In the same vein, I'm looking at privacy

Part of my inspiration to finally adopt a smart home platform was my recent switch to HomePods. After receiving a push alert from the Amazon app when my kids asked a very basic question of Alexa, I ripped all Echos and Google Home devices out of my home. I don't want my info, or my children's information, used for ads. I plan on slowly making the switch to services that are known for privacy, like using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine, and Safari as my main browser. It's going to be a struggle, no doubt, but I'm over being the product

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Perlow: Be more physically active

I spent a lot of last year sitting on my rear. I know I need to get out more and be more active. I don't know if I will be a Fitness Plus addict like my wife, but I plan to use the activity tracking more, and I'm going to use the bicycle that has been collecting dust in my garage and get out in the open air.

Also: Best Peloton alternative: Top smart exercise bikes

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Perlow: Get the vaccine

Regardless of which vaccine becomes available when I am eligible, I am getting one. It doesn't matter if it is an mRNA/DNA vaccine like the Moderna or the Pfizer one or more traditional adenovirus-based or attenuated virus vaccines coming later. Regardless, I'm getting one, and the earlier, the better. Until then, and probably even after then, I will exercise social distancing and use masks in public spaces.

Also: Be warned: COVID-19 vaccine scams are now appearing

What are your New Year tech resolutions? Talk Back and Let Me Know.