GeekWire Podcast: Gamification, Chromebooks, and Microsoft’s Skype deal finally explained

This week on the GeekWire Podcast we explore the world of gamification with guest Keith Smith, CEO of BigDoor, a Seattle company bringing the principles of video games — badges, rewards, leaderboard, etc. — to the world of online publishing.

In our weekly news roundup we dive into the big news of the week, Microsoft’s agreement to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion, including my attempt to explain Microsoft’s motivations from the perspective of a middle-aged dude. We also talk about the new Google Chromebooks and rehash the controversy over the fate of Western Washington University’s computer science program.

Listen to the show above or subscribe using this RSS feed (feeds.feedburner.com/geekwirepodcast). Subscribe in iTunes or Zune. Here’s the MP3 file for this week’s show.

Stories and links related to the subjects we discussed …

BigDoor: Company siteBlogBigDoor gamifies America’s pastime, strikes deal with MLBKeith Smith’s recent commentary on the AWS outage … Keith Smith on Twitter: @chiefdoorman

SkypeIt’s official: Microsoft adds new ‘Skype Division’ in $8.5 billion dealSkype and Kinect could be Microsoft’s new killer comboMicrosoft banking on Skype brand, user base to justify gigantic deal

Computer Science at Western: Western Washington University computer science program faces the ax despite tech worker shortageWestern Washington Provost: Computer Science department needs to step up to the futurePressure mounts on Western Washington University to preserve computer science program

Google Chromebook: Is this your next mobile machine?Google’s Brin to Windows users: Stop torturing yourselves