I rebooted by desktop Mac today and suddenly I couldn't sync NetNewsWire from my laptop to my desktop (acting as ftp server) anymore. I starated getting a "Connection Timeout" message where it was working prior to the reboot.
I realized that I had done a software update on the desktop (ftp server) to OS X 1.4.2. Poking around I found that ftpd was no longer getting launched by xinetd, but had been migrated to launchd. Reading up on launchd and searching the web, I found that the key "OnDemand" was set to TRUE (by default), causing the daemon to startup each time. I also confirmed that the "Wait" key (now in inetdCompatibility) was set correctly to FALSE. I added OnDemand, restarted my mac (I couldn't get launchctl to reload ftpd, so I finally gave up), and ftp is quick again, so that NetNewsWire sync works fine.
For reference, here's the new file in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons: ftp.plist