Weird stuff, about those (no)connections.
In Windows Vista and most probably in 7, you must run the software in administrator mode, other wise should be impossible to communicate, it will be blocked. To run in administrator mode, right click in the program icon and choose "execute as administrator" and allow it.
Try it, if you haven't done that and running vista.
Your sele problem could be just a dead potentiometer, sow easy and cheap to fix, and the the non connection is just blocking you from the truth; that would make me nut's.
Maybe you should get an ELM interface, (the cheapest in ebay work, I use them), those make a more stable connection.
Then try FES, ALFAOBD, and scanmaster-ELM. Last one is universal, but it as a specific module for Alfa witch include Selespeed.