Thursday, May 28, 2015

Firefox Encountering "Secure Connection Failed" Error

I restarted Firefox (version 38.01) to visit a few secure sites, at present including, and encountered an error  as follows,

Secure Connection Failed

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.
  • The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
  • Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

A screen shot is captured as follows,

This is actually a known problem, although it  took me a while to find out why it occurred and what a solution might be.

Apparently, the sites were still using older version TLS (i.e., TLS 1.0) that Firefox 37.0 or newer do not consider them as secure any more. See these two discussions.

To create a workaround for those web sites,  we will use Firefox's about:config page.
  1.  In Firefox address bar, enter about:config and hit the Enter key to open the about:config page.
  2. Search insecure_fallback_hosts and locate the setting for the attribute security.tls.insecure_fallback_hosts
  3. Double-click on the attribute to update its value. The value should be the host names of the sites you encountered the "Secure Connection Failed" error. The value can contain multiple host names, separated by a comma (","). For instance, if you encounter the error for sites and, the value would be,

This workaround works for me for a few sites. Be aware that Firefox has a discussion on addressing a similar problem; however, the solutions therein (e.g., rename or remove cert8.db) do not work for this particular error, i.e., the sites use older version of TLS (TLS 1.0).

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pinning Eclipse to Windows Taskbar

Typically, one may pin an application to the Windows taskbar (i.e. Windows 7 or Windows 8 Taskbar), by right-click the application's icon on the taskbar and choosing "Pin this program to taskbar". However, this method appears not to work for recent version of Eclipse.  This threat at provides a few solution to it. The method I follow and that works for me is.,

  1. Locate the Eclipse executable, i.e., eclipse.exe
  2. Right-click on eclipse.exe and choose "Create shortcut" to create a shortcut for eclipse.exe.
  3. The shortcut will be named as "eclipse - Shortcut". Rename it as "eclipse"
  4. Right-click on the shortcut and choose "Properties"
  5. Add a command line argument to "Target" for the shortcut resembling
    -vm "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_55\jre\bin\server\jvm.dll"

    Note that you must change "jdk1.7.0_55" to match version of your JDK.

  6. In Windows 8.1, search "system environment variables" and choose "Edit system environment variables". Add your JDK's bin path to the PATH environment variable, e.g.,
    C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_55\bin

    Note in the above, change "jdk1.7.0_55" to match version of your JDK.

  7. Launch Eclipse by double-clicking on the shortcut
  8. Once Eclipse pass the choosing Workspace stage and fully loaded, right-click the eclipse icon on the taskbar, choose "Pin this program to taskbar"
Although the thread at provides a few solutions to pin Eclipse to the taskbar, many point out that once Eclipse fully loaded, two Eclipse icons will appear on the taskbar. The solution allows me to pin Eclipse on the taskbar and leads to only a single Eclipse icon on the taskbar once Eclipse is fully loaded.

The above solution is hinted in a post of the threat. The post also points to a relevant Eclipse bug report and the report also helps me to come out the solution.

By the way, pinning a program results a shortcut is created in the directory of

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar