This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
You are using different virtual machines, probably from different vendors (the windows VM from Sun and the AIX VM from IBM). This line:
breaks your contract with the API because you are claiming to know something about the implementation of the VM which obviously does not hold between platforms. The API states that openConnection returns an instance of URLConnection. You could test connection with the instanceof operator, but you'd still need to provide some processing for the platforms where connection is not an instance of HttpURLConnection.