No for both questions. Before, I had to straighten out the cord because there seemed to be something wrong with the wiring. I think I need a new charger. It's the same one that came with my now four year old laptop. :/
There is no light on the charger, only on the laptop. It's a specific one that indicates it's charging or plugged in. Even if that light doesn't work, the screen gets brighter when it's plugged in and that isn't happening either.
The battery is about six months old, so it's probably not that. I think it's the charger and I can probably wait to get a replacement some time early next year. My netbook has most of the important files I need, so it's not much of a problem.
Does the surge-protector box on the cord get hot when you plug it in? If so, there's most likely a short between said box and the laptop-port. If not, then the short's between the outlet and the box. Either way, you're probably best off getting a replacement charger. I'm on my third one now.