Topic: issues with iconv

I'm using - ruby 1.8.6/rails 2.3.5/and flex builder (3.6) rails as a backend/ and flex to construct RIA.

I have to use this versions and i'm having an issue with the iconv,

I have this piece of code on my model

  def obs = (obs)
      write_attribute(:obs, Iconv.new('ISO-8859-1','UTF-8').iconv(obs))
end

and it works pretty well normally, but when someone copy some text from microsoft Word containing the "-" character nor ISO neither UTF-8 understand the character and flex return the character as an error.

For example if I copy "-no" form Word and paste it on the textArea in the interface of the application the error returned will be: "-no"

or if I pass only the "-" the error return: "\342\200\223" (the byte code for this character right?)

Instead of simply pass an error message for the user when they put this kind of character, I'd like to find a real solution like get the string, split the undef char, and save the rest.