tipped off by a previous question, I tried restarting syndaemon manually with the additional -t flag to make typing on my laptop somewhat less painful. (It's supposed to only disable taps, not movement while typing, and the default settings are hard-coded somewhere - where, actually?) So I did
killall syndaemon; syndaemon -i 2.0 -K -R -t -d
But now, the taps and scrolls seem to have been permanently disabled! Restarting syndaemon doesn't help, and neither does disabling the touchpad and turning it on again via the XFCE settings dialog.
I'm running Xubuntu 13.10 on a Samsung Series 9, that one has a Elantech (ETPS/2) touchpad.
Edit: After rebooting, it works as expected. But I have to run it manually, even though I entered it into the (Sessio and Startup)->(Application Autostart) list!