When typing in text entry fields in a browser on my netbook, I'll sometimes lose the ability to type the angle brackets; holding shift and typing those characters gives me the comma and period characters.
This doesn't seem to be dependent on browser - this machine has both Chrome and Firefox installed, and it's an intermittent problem. It's also not based on what page I'm on, it's happened on different sites (including superuser.com).
Another oddity: It starts up usually in the middle of typing. I was able to type the angle brackets when I opened this page, but not after typing a few lines.
I'm at wit's end and tearing my hair out. I know that this isn't a clearly defined question, but it's as clear as I can get it!