Kevin Tew and Devlin Daley, two of my students went over to RubyCon last week. When I asked them how it was, they said the usual things people say about a conference, but they only mentioned one presenter by name: Tim Bray. Tim gave a talk on unicode, internationalization, and multilingual issues in Ruby. He has a post on his blog that talks about those same issues and includes some of the slides from his talk.
This is one of those topics that makes most programmers eyes glaze over because it's not all that sexy and it's pretty hard to get right. Someone sent me a draft copy of the Unicode 5.0 standard--it's 4 inches thick.