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.
This question is from Spring in Action by Craig Walls. The answer to your question is this is a point cut. The cryptic notation is AspectJ’s pointcut expression language. For further explanation I suggest you keep reading the book it is explained in 4.2.1 Writing Pointcuts