I've added the following line into my startup applications:
/usr/bin/syndaemon -i 0.5 -d -K
syndaemon is never running when I log in. I always have to execute the command manually from the terminal, at which point it works normally. My other startup applications work fine. This issue occurs in both gnome and unity.
I'm using ubuntu 14.10 (issue occurred in 14.04 as well). I doubt my hardware matters, but I'm on a lenovo yoga 2 pro.