This week's book giveaway is in the Mac OS forum. We're giving away four copies of a choice of "Take Control of Upgrading to Yosemite" or "Take Control of Automating Your Mac" and have Joe Kissell on-line! See this thread for details.
Ping uses the ICMP protocol which Java does not support. There is a feature request in the Java bug database that is among the top 25 most voted for RFE's. There is at least one workaround suggested there (using UDP to the echo port) but I haven't read very far.