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Old April 30, 2006, 12:10 AM   #1
Mike Irwin
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Why do some threads have so many weird characters in them?

This thread in particular...

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205313

I'm seeing a LOT of odd characters... TM symbols, pound sterling marks, copyright symbols, Euro symbols...

Things like this...

I’d

“aw-chit”

Denny’s

and so on...

In some cases entire words are virtually obliterated by strange characters.

I've also noticed this in older threads (as in years old) but the post above is laden with them.

Is it something others are seeing, or is it something going on on my end?
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Old April 30, 2006, 12:34 AM   #2
Glock 31
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I see it to. Either the poster thinks it makes him look mysterious and cool (maybe mysteriously retarded) or there is an error in the way the internet explorer (or whatever people use) translated the post. Depends on the poster's settings I guess.
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Old April 30, 2006, 12:37 AM   #3
gfen
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Munged escape codes or extended ASCII... I bet Erick wrote that in an offline editor then cut and pasted it into the post.
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Old April 30, 2006, 08:16 AM   #4
UniversalFrost
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happened to me

In my signature the last quote suddenly started appearing with the crzy characters you mentioned. I originally typed it with the "" marks, but somehow it end up looking screwy. Changed it back to "" the other day and it hasn't reverted back to the screwy characters.
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Old April 30, 2006, 09:10 AM   #5
Al Norris
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Quite often, when an article is cut from a website, then pasted into something like MS Word (which preserves much of the "style" of the original doc), where the person then includes their own comments, then cuts the entire thing and pastes it onto the posting box, you will see such characters.

Much better to use a simple text editor like notepad for such operations than a full blown word processor.
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Old April 30, 2006, 09:14 PM   #6
Mal H
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I think tyme probably has a better answer, but I believe a font got switched around a few weeks ago leaving a strange set of characters for apostrophes, etc. in the database.
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Old May 1, 2006, 10:22 AM   #7
tyme
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That's unicode.

Once upon a time, there was One True Character Set, which contained 256 characters. All standard letters (without accents/marks) were below 128. Fancy latin characters with extra marks, pound symbols, etc. resided between 128 and 255.

So, after various people with non-latin characters in their languages started using computers, a solution was necessary. That solution was UTF-8.

Characters below 128 are the same as usual.
A string of characters above 128 are part of a single multi-byte character... in english writing, usual suspects might be a longdash or fancy quotes or a single quote or a copyright/trademark symbol or something of that sort.

There was a glitch a few weeks ago where the database was converted between character sets or something.

How many of these posts have you noticed? It only happens on posts that contained high-ascii (generally not a good idea on the web) in the first place.
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Old May 1, 2006, 02:55 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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It's only a small percentage of the posts, and it seems to primarily affect posts that are older, although I have seen it in new posts, as well.
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Old May 2, 2006, 08:06 PM   #9
tyme
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Universal Frost, can you estimate when your signature got corrupted?
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“The egg hatched...” “...the egg hatched... and a hundred baby spiders came out...”
“Who are you?” “A friend. I'm here to prevent you from making a mistake.” “You have no idea what I'm doing here, friend.” “In specific terms, no, but I swore an oath to protect the world...”
“It's a goal you won't understand until later. Your job is to make sure he doesn't achieve the goal.”
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Old May 9, 2006, 09:18 PM   #10
UniversalFrost
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about the middle of april. Also I have noticed it recently in a couple of other guys signatures that weren't affected previously.
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