Apparently skype video has issues with cairo dock. I can confirm this, it definitely doesn't work, where all other webcam apps (like cheese, or guvcview) work fine. The recommend solution from skype is to simply turn off all visual effects and compositing. Just like Adobe recommended all 64bit users switch to a 32bit browser just to use their latest flash player that fixed a rather nasty bug. It's the "hit it with a big hammer corporate approach".
Thanks to the folks at http://forum.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=36236&p=208735 for this one. Just add "export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1" to /usr/bin/skype and skype. And it all works.
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