Not much new in the talk “Divide&Conquer: Efficient Java for Multicore World” by Sunil Mundluri and Velmurugan Periasamy.
Amdahl’s law shows that you can’t get an arbitrary speed-up when running part of your code in parallel. In practice, you can expect serial code to execute 2-4 times faster if you run it with, say, the fork/join framework of Java 7. This is due to setup + join cost and the fact that the tasks themselves don’t get faster – you just execute more of them at the same time. So if a task takes 10 seconds and you can run all of them in parallel, the total execution time will be a bit over 10s.
If you want to use fork/join with Java 6, you can add the jsr166y.jar to your classpath.
Again, functional programming makes everything more simple. With Java 8 and lambda expressions, syntactic sugar will make things even more readable but at a price.