Servlet - xml response - Unconvertible UTF-8 character beginning with 0xbc

I have this UTF encoding issue when parsing the response from flash. Flash generates  a xml file  to post some data some of it is in special characters.

On my servlet I have the following code. It breaks only if the respinse xml contains special characters giving UTF -8 error.

My Servlet is here.

      protected ModelAndView handleRequestInternal(HttpServletRequest request, HttpServletResponse response) throws Exception {

            Element user_data = new SAXBuilder().build(request.getInputStream()).getRootElement();
            String flashVars = user_data.getChildText("account_number");
            System.out.println("flashVars is: " + flashVars);
            String account_number = flashVars.substring(0,flashVars.indexOf("|"));
            //String experiencePK = flashVars.substring(flashVars.indexOf("|") + 1, flashVars.indexOf("|"));
            String experiencePK = flashVars.substring(flashVars.indexOf("|") + 1, flashVars.length());

            System.out.println("account_number : " + account_number);
            System.out.println("experiencePK : " + experiencePK);

Please advice. I found out that I  should put UTF-8 encoding to getBytes() method. Can any one show me how to do this.
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Have you actually checked the request content-type to be "text/xml" or "text/xml; charset=utf-8"? It looks like that the content-type is ANSI and not UTF-8.
istiaquemAuthor Commented:
Do I have to check this in my servlet? If yes can u please let me know how.  

I see the xml response from flash has the following

I have to go home now, but just as a test try setting the content-stream type to ANSI or ISO-8859-1.

(A problem is that mime type text/* is ISO-8859-1 whereas text/xml is UTF-8)
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If you're sure it's UTF-8, the following is the safest strategy:

Element user_data = new SAXBuilder().build(new InpuStreamReader(request.getInputStream(), "UTF8")).getRootElement();
istiaquemAuthor Commented:
Dear friend.

I tried to implement that. I got this error:
2008-10-31 15:34:25,981 WARN  [org.springframework.web.servlet.DispatcherServlet] Handler execution resulted in exception - forwarding to resolved error view
org.jdom.input.JDOMParseException: Error on line 1: Illegal XML character:  .
It seems then that the data from Flash is incorrect. Can you tell us (or post) exactly how you are getting the data?
istiaquemAuthor Commented:
This is the date i got from flash file.

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><user_data><account_number>90|17</account_number><time_taken>????4????.???</time_taken><prize_id /></user_data>
Yes, the data is corrupt, since you can't have hex 04 as a character in XML. But you also can't post stuff like that here. Can you either convert the text into hex or send it via e-mail to me (see my profile) and I'll have a look at it. It seems very strange that Flash has produced such a file. Have you checked that the clock on that machine is correct?
Any binary data should be Base64 encoded and included in a CDATA section.
istiaquem: The file must be sent as an attachment, otherwise I can't see what the content is. How did you get the data from the flash file?

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istiaquemAuthor Commented:
Sure,  I will.

Here is how  I am able to get the data back from the xml.

InputStream in = request.getInputStream();

            String pay = null;
            try {
                  byte[] payload = new byte[contentLength];
                  int offset = 0;
                  int len = contentLength;
                  int byteCount;
                  while ( offset < contentLength ) {
                        byteCount = payload, offset, len );
                        if ( byteCount == -1 ) {
                              throw new ServletException( "Client did not send " + contentLength + " bytes as expected" );
                        offset += byteCount;
                        len -= byteCount;
                  pay = new String( payload, "UTF-8" );
                  System.out.println("new String( payload, ): " +pay );

            } finally {
                  if ( in != null ) {
I meant to say, please send the input file, which contains the bad characters, as an attachment by E-Mail.

Secondly I meant how did you get Flash to send you the file? From an HTML page with Javascript? or however?
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