Some years ago there was a lively discussion about Ubuntu reducing the hard disk lifespan by operating the hard disk in an aggressive power saving mode on default, which causes an excessive number of load cycles.
I've just checked the status on my Xubuntu 14.04 laptop with
smartctl -a /dev/sda. Result: 4211 load cycles in 180 hours. When the power adapter is unplugged and the laptop runs on battery, every ~3 seconds a new load cycle happens. This is way too much.
So my question is: Has anything changed since that discussion? What should I do to reduce the frequency of load cycles? Are the old solutions still valid / state of the art?