Ubuntu Linux has been taking a kicking this week in the crazed, hedonistic world of online forums. It appears that using Ubuntu on a laptop could kill its hard drive.
The problem apparently stems from the default values set by hard drive makers. Perhaps unusually in the Linux field, Ubuntu obeyed to the letter the demands of manufacturers. As a consequence, reports suggest that when you switch to battery power on an Ubuntu laptop the hard drive goes through a load cycle every minute.
Laptops are generally built to withstand around 600,000 load cycles; so such a glitch is potentially fatal for your portable's storage.
After the initial shock and awe, the Linux community has rallied to create workarounds.
One works by disabling the default values and can be found here.