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FT

Blackstone seeks to use record war chest to capitalise on tech sell-off

Alternative asset manager on the lookout for opportunities after building its largest ever cash pile

Retail traders keep the faith during Wall Street’s turbulent January

Amateur investors have purchased US shares every day this year even as the market slides

Ackman/Netflix: pandemic’s canny trader says growth darling now a value play

At a low enough purchase price, hedge fund manager can afford to wait for streamer’s own subscriber growth to resume

Endgadget

Wyze will discontinue its first camera on February 1st

Almost five years since it released its first security camera, Wyze is putting the device out to pasture. The company says it will retire Wyze Cam v1 on February 1st, because the camera is unable to support a required security update.

Wyze told customers in an email that they'll still be able to use the camera after the end of this month, but it won't "sell, improve or maintain" it as of February 1st. The company added that "your continued use of the Wyze Cam v1 after February 1, 2022 carries increased risk, is discouraged by Wyze and is entirely at your own risk," though it didn't offer more details.

As a thank you for buying its first product, Wyze offered customers a coupon for $3 off their next camera. The Wyze Cam v3 typically costs $36.

Earlier this month, Wyze announced a pay-what-you-want plan for its cameras. Users will need to opt into the new Cam Plus Lite service (which they don't need to pay for) or the Cam Plus plan to retain access to cloud storage features as of February 15th. It's unclear whether this change played a role in the decision to retire Wyze Cam v1. 

Engadget has contacted Wyze for comment. 

Thanks, Scott!

The 2020 iPad Air is on sale for $539 right now

If you missed the sale earlier this month, you have another chance to get $60 off Apple's 2020 iPad Air. At the time of writing this, the green, silver and blue models are down to $539, which is 10 percent off and one of the best prices we've seen in months. We considered this to be the best iPad for most people when it first came out and it remains a great option for those that want a powerful, versatile tablet that won't break the bank.

Buy iPad Air at Amazon - $539

Yes, there are newer iPads available now — even the base 10.2-inch iPad Air received an update last year — but the Air still sits in the middle of Apple's lineup. It runs on the A14 Bionic chipset with a six-core CPU and a four-core GPU, and these discounted models have WiFi 6 support, 64GB of storage and a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display with True Tone. The updated, flat-edged design has a USB-C port for charging and a power button with a built-in fingerprint reader for extra security. The iPad Air also supports the second-generation Apple Pencil, so artists and those who prefer to take hand-written notes could use it as their main digital notebook.

While we suggest considering the M1 iPad Pros if you want a true laptop replacement, the iPad Air can act as one, too. It has speedy performance, a 12.5-hour battery life and it can connect to Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio and the Magic Keyboard, so you have a number of ways to turn it into a 2-in-1 machine. There are plenty of perks to the M1 iPad Pros when it comes to productivity, but you'll pay at least $200 more for one of those. So despite the fact that it is almost two years old, the iPad Air remains a good option if you want a tablet that can keep up with you on your busiest days.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

Strange Milky Way object sends radio bursts a minute at a time

Astronomers are still finding strange objects that defy expectations. According to BBC News, researchers from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have discovered a strange spinning Milky Way object about 4,000 light-years away. The repeating transient sent a giant burst of polarized radio energy for a full minute every 18 minutes, and was appearing and disappearing over the course of a few hours of observations — for context, a pulsar's burst lasts a few seconds or less.

The curiosity is smaller than the Sun, but is one of the brightest radio objects in the sky during its bursts. The disappearances were also unique, according to team lead Dr. Natasha Hurley-Walker. Curtin student Tyrone O'Doherty first spotted the object using the combination of Australia's Murchison Widefield Array and a new observation method.

There might be an existing explanation. Hurley-Walker said the data matched a predicted (but as-yet undiscovered) object known as an ultra-long period magnetar. That is, it's a neutron star spinning at a relatively lethargic pace. Even if that's the case, though, scientists want to know why the object is converting magnetic energy to radio waves at such an efficient rate. It could also be a white dwarf with an unusually strong magnetic field, or something else altogether.

The frenzy appears to have subsided, but Hurley-Walker is still tracking the object in case it exhibits the odd behavior again. She also plans to sift through the Murchison array's archives to learn if there were similar objects before. Whatever this entity might be, the findings are significant — they could shape our understanding of stars and the universe at large.

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