Since William Gibson abandoned his blog back in July 2009, in favour of his Great Dismal identity on Twitter, it is very easy to miss clues and hints about his work in progress novel Zero History.
The Signal to Noise ratio of Twitter, and the use of opaque, inhuman URL shortening services, is a real hinderence to communication.
None of the Twitter specific add ons or search engines are of any help, when we are on the look out for new stuff, which, by definition does not have a previous history of existing keywords or meta data e.g. a new term like "Bigendmobile":
Only a tiny minority of recent Tweets are probably relevant to the Zero History novel in progress, and the ideas they represent may, or may not actually end up in the finished novel:
Thu Dec 10 17:47:35 +0000 2009:
RT @bittersweetdb: The latest Bigendmobile is a Jankel-armored Toyota HiLux pickup, "cartel grade".
"Bigend" is a reference to the major character in the previous two novels Pattern recognition and Spook Country - Hubertus Bigend
Jankel are based at Hamm Court Farm, Weybridge, Surrey, just south west of London, UK, but they also manufacture armoured Toyota Landcruisers in Jordan.
There are some (stupidly file locked .PDF) brochures about the range of armoured Toyota Landcruisers from the Jankel website
There are some Jankel sales videos on YouTube e.g. Jankel Armoured Toyota 76 LandCruiser
The vehicle is armoured using proven armour materials and installation methods to include substantial overlaps and splash returns on all door apertures to ensure the passenger compartment is ballistically sealed.
The standard level of ballistic protection is NATO Level B6 (7.62 x 51 NATO Ball) with ugrades available for other selected rounds if required. The standard level of fragmentation protection is STANAG 2920 / 2 x DM51 hand-grenades with upgrades available for increased levels of protection.
They also claim to protect against bullet rounds such as:
• 7.62 x 39 mm, FJ/PB/SCP, AK 47 (Kalashnikov) , OBR-43 PS
• 5.45 x 39,5 mm AP, FJ/PB/SCP, AKS 74 (Kalashnikov), OBR- 7 4
• 5.56 x 45 mm, FJ/PB/SC, US rifle M16 A2, SS-109/M-855
• 7.62 x 51 mm, FJ/PB/SC, "FAL" NATO rifle
and against hand grenades but not against Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG )type anti-tank weapons:
• STANAG 2920 V50, 1.1 gram FSP @ 500mps, this has equivalency to DM51 hand grenades.
An upgrade is available to provide 1.1gram FSP protection at 600mps.
Given that manual or electric windows add complexity and weakness to an armoured vehicle, one interesting optional feature offered is a:
Ballistically Sound Door Document Slot :
A slot in the drivers door to enable the safe passing of papers at checkpoints, used in conjunction with the intercom.
Surely this is not usable with urban multi-storey car park ticket machines, so either the door has to be opened, or a manual or electric window fitted ?
Jankel Armouring hide behind
PO Box 1,
KT13 8XR, UK
but they can be tracked down via the web via the Companies House WebCheck and Local Council planning applications :