[ubuntu] right click not working on applets 12.04

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I am using a USB mouse on an Asus A52F. When I right click on one of the icons on the top or left on the screen, I get the same behavior as from a left click. I think the touchpad is the same, but I rarely use a touchpad so I'm not sure I checked correctly. Things are a little crazy. This is a laptop I set up for my dad, and everything was fine using ubuntu 10.something. He accidentally updated to 12.04 in the std suggested software updates. This is not purely a hardware issue. I can right-click on the back arrow using firefox and that works! It is when I right-click on [for example] t (Hardware)