This is actually a settings problem. Ubuntu is setting the vertical scroll area much wider than it should be (double, in my case). With releases of Ubuntu prior to 8.10, this could be fixed but adding something like this to the synaptics touchpad section of the xorg.conf:
There are also some other tweaks I'd like to apply, like making the touchpad ignore broader strokes, like with the palm.
Option “RightEdge” “5970”
With more current releases, these changes must be made with .fdi files in /etc/hal/fdi/policy, but I can't figure out how to get this to work.
If anyone could provide some help, it would be greatly appreciated. I can't figure out the proper syntax for applying the changes.