This week's giveaway is in the EJB and other Java EE Technologies forum. We're giving away four copies of EJB 3 in Action and have Debu Panda, Reza Rahman, Ryan Cuprak, and Michael Remijan on-line! See this thread for details.
The Java programming language uses both "fields" and "variables" as part of its terminology. Instance variables (non-static fields) are unique to each instance of a class. Class variables (static fields) are fields declared with the static modifier; there is exactly one copy of a class variable, regardless of how many times the class has been instantiated. Local variables store temporary state inside a method. Parameters are variables that provide extra information to a method; both local variables and parameters are always classified as "variables" (not "fields").