Regarding the first issue.
I now know what the problem is.
When you send private messages to people the star does not appear under your username.
For me this is not a biggie but Jason said he could not see the star under my username when I sent him a private message, so I thought I would try and find out where the problem is.
I am not sure if this is something worth fixing or not, but I suppose it is good to be aware of.