There is about 1/2 meg (more or less) of "_transient_feed_" (aka magpie) data in the options table of the wordpress database!
I am sure there is a good reason for storing so much text in the options table (or in a cache, or where-ever), but it seems to boil down to a few lines in the Dashboard about popular wordpress plugins, wordpress news, and the wordpress development blog (and my most recent incomming links). The incoming links is nice, but there could be an option to have links to the appropriate areas of the wordpress website for the rest. Please. It would be so much better.
For now, I know one solution is to comment out lines 49,50,73, and 85 of the wp-admin/includes/dashboard.php file (in ver. 2.9 anyway),
which stops the fetching of the data, the storing of it, and the display of it on the admin's Dashboard page, but I admit I like seeing the 'incoming links' (line 46) which are actually unique to my site, as opposed to the wordpress links which are not.
I would not mind as much if the data was strictly ascii (or utf8 compliant?), but it is not.
So, my question is: Is there a way to filter the non-ascii information to restrict it (or to convert it to utf8? - but that seems to be problematic as of yet. - I have even had troubles getting my database fully defined as utf8)