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Consumer Confidential: Retail sales, Android lawsuit, naked vacations

August 13, 2010 | 10:10 am

Here's your friend-me Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- The latest view from the trenches: Retail sales were up slightly last month but consumers remain wary of opening their wallets too much. Sales rose 0.4% in July, compared with a 0.3% drop in June. Overall consumer prices rose a bit because of higher energy costs. That last stat is actually good news because there's been a lot of muttering about deflation -- a plunge in prices that can lead to greater unemployment. At this point, we'll count our blessings where we find them.

-- In a sign of the rising stakes of the wireless market, software giant Oracle is suing Google over what it says are patent and copyright infringements involving Google's Android operating system for cellphones. Oracle says Android uses Java applications that the company acquired from Sun Microsystems. Oracle wants an injunction to stop Google from further developing and distributing Android. It also wants some money. Google says about 200,000 Android phones are sold each day.

-- The economy may be lousy, but it apparently isn't deterring people from baring all on vacations. The online travel site TripAdvisor asked visitors if they would go au naturel at the beach, and 48% said yes. That's a big jump from the 31% who were set to strip in last year's survey. One reason for the increase in "nakations" is apparently not seeing and being seen. Rather, it's the fact that many nude beaches are relatively uncrowded and feature unspoiled settings. To get ready for my own vacation, which begins next week, I've written this post without any pants on. Who says bloggers don't have more fun?

-- David Lazarus