AJAX is just a way of using those things, along with either Servlets, JSPs, or whatever can generate some text responses for you to code up a page that won't force a full reload every time you want to give the user some more data. It's pretty slick as far as user interaction goes.
I discovered that while being faster than Swing to make yourself an interface, it's still much more of a hassle than going the cheap route and using typical form submits.
Back to work, and listening to the TV that's behind me. I think I should move that, since having a television behind my head is pretty stupid. I may as well get a radio. Do they make cable radios? Just output the sound and discard the video?