Thanks, Gordon! I was afraid I'd have to change a line in every HotPot, and you have made the fix a simple one.
Allow me to summarize:
Firefox 17 changed something that causes a harmless and meaningless alert to pop up in Hot Potatoes saying, "Your browser may not be able to handle this page."
If you are using HotPots inside Moodle 2+, update to the latest TaskChain and HotPot modules.
If you are using HotPots inside Moodle 1.9+, to the latest QuizPort for 1.9.
This will fix the Firefox alert in all HotPots that appear in Moodle 2+.
It will also fix the Firefox alert in all HotPots that appear INSIDE QUIZPORTS in Moodle 1.9+.
However, if you are using HotPot quizzes directly as activities in Moodle 1.9+ (not inside QuizPorts), you will need to either (1) put them inside QuizPorts, or (2) modify one line in the code of each HotPot .htm file, as described in Gordon's post above.
Alternately, you could tell your students to just ignore the popup alert and click OK whenever it appears. The warning doesn't mean anything; the browser works fine.
Does that sound about right?