The clever boffins at Oxford University's Sub department of Particle Physics have written a pure Java x86 emulation environment with support for fully virtual peripherals.
I first came across this story on TheRegister
Obviously the sand boxing of the JVM makes this an ideal environment for testing "hostile" applications, Viruses and Honeypots etc.
The main thing I'm going nuts about is the speed. I'm tired of having the same old arguments with C++ coders. "Java is slow". Its just not. The hostspot (JVM) performs some amazing Just in Time compilation optimisations. Maths has not been slow on Java for a long time, FFT's are on a par with C++ speed wise now. Now I have an impressive benchmark to show alongside systems like Qemu and VMware. Unlike these systems though, JPC is fully platform independant and according the site hosted by the research team will run on any recent Java enabled device including mobile phones. Finally I can play my old dos games on my phone!
What I'm most excited about is the support for fully virtual peripherals. Working in my department means I am often exposed to new hardware and new protocols. The ability to prototype this interaction in a rapid development environment like Java could really improve the way peripheral protocols are designed in future.
The futures bright. The futures Java.
*Yes* I realise I have become one of the accursed fan boys.