It’s not my fault, the wife uses Internet Explorer 8

For my home PCs I typically run the latest and greatest web browsers. I even run Internet Explorer 9 which is even not that bad™. Lately I’ve been vacillating between Firefox and Chrome.

At my wife’s work they’re now using Internet Explorer 8. That’s an improvement, they’ve been on version 6 for years.

This blog’s theme uses CSS border radius effectively and it doesn’t render correctly on version 8. You get square blocks where you wanted round corners. The next version it works fine, version 8 and below not so much.

There is a work around but it’s ugly. Add conditional CSS to your head for any version of IE less than 9 and reference from CSS3 PIE.

This is easily done by adding some code to my theme’s functions.php file.
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SSL certs for free and not self signed?

I may have been under a rock lately. I saw on Reddit that Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 supported StartSSL certificates. So as a goof I signed up at and applied for a free server certificate.

I generated via their web page a certificate for, installed it on my apache server and started using it. Firefox complained that I’m not certified as I have not validated who I am. That’s reasonable and very X.509v3 of them.

Internet Explorer 8 used the SSL cert for my server without a single hiccup. Other than my WordPress mixes http and https on the same page, there were no complaints. Internet Explorer just used the SSL cert without any problems.

I use SSL certs for privacy and not for identity, so self-signed SSL  certs that I have generated are no big deal for me. But having a Microsoft browser not complain about my SSL web site is surreal.

Edit: Oh. Turns out you also need to follow these instructions too. I added SSLCertificateChainFile to my conf and on my other laptop Firefox does not complain at all now. Chrome works like a charm too.

How did I find out about my misconfiguration? Because I recieved this e-mail from StartSSL this morning:

This mail is intended for the person who owns a digital certificate issued by the StartSSL™ Certification Authority (

It seems, that the installation of your server certificate with serial number 45568 for is not complete! You should add the intermediate CA certificate to your installation. This is important, because most browsers will issue an error if this is not properly done. Please consult the installation instructions at on how to do that. The missing certificate can be obtained from

Best Regards

StartCom Ltd.
StartSSL™ Certification Authority

So after I applied for a cert, they reached out to check if I installed it correctly. For Free. How cool is that?

Object replaces iframe (and does not work in IE7 for this use)

Making the Google embedded code XHTML Strict was pretty easy and involved replacing <iframe> with <object> and massaging some of the parameters.

This works in Firefox and Opera. Naturally it does not work in Internet Explorer 7. There is a hack that might get it to work which I will keep fooling around with.

The iframe code validates and works fine in XHTML Transitional; I’m just playing with strict for grins.

Update: Using the <object> instead of <iframe> not only does not work in Internet Explorer 6 or 7, but locks that browser up.  I’ve put back the original iframe code.