Or if your bored you could take a handy off the shelf router, you might have laying around or using one and reverse engineer the http server and make an attempt of an enterprise level network management application.
(some projects i did when i was bored as a CS Major)
Its been done before but why not make a secure chat client that stores public keys on a keyserver. Similar to what pgp desktop, i beleive does, for email. Just write your own for chatting. Java makes it pretty easy but if you wanted to get more technical you could omit java's handywork and write your own implementation of a form of public encryption. (I've done RSA for this...took my scheme code and converted it to java and threw it into a chat program.)
If you have a semester to do this, i would definately go for the latter. A very nice version of this could be done in a week or two. I already had the scheme stuff done, so my version took me a weekend.
I don't know if I would suggest a cryptography project....Unless you could figure out something that will take longer than most. Normally, all you have to do is figure out the range of characters in the ascii code, and then convert with some formula. What about something educational? Or maybe your own email system? I think encryption could go along with that.
yes i agree that it should be something new, and out of the box. that's also why i started with the aspect oriented ideas, which i believe may be something new. so far i haven't got any project suggestion or description related to this area. is it too dry or too new..??
From my experience it's all but dead already.
AOP was a hot item a few years ago with tons of books and websites appearing that dealt with it (and several libraries and languages, including at least 2 libraries for Java).
But lately that's stopped almost completely, most of those projects seem dead in the water.
A database engine. If you want a crypto idea java has a lot of avenues but as jwenting says, most of these projects have been overdone.
Here is something that you can try. Try creating your own e-mail system would be very interesting.
One more project that you can try is quite complicated but its useful is try to build open-source classes of low level handling hardware in java either by using JNI or by using some other language that can be interfaced with java with ease such as Pascal or C/C++.
Whatever you choose do something that will add value to your resume and hopefully get you job offers even before you graduate