The New York Times

The New York Times descends on Austin for the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive festival.

Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, interviewed by MG Siegler, said his service’s Radar function, which pops up messages about nearby friends or good places, is still a work in progress. Mr. Crowley, who answered questions in his standard happy-go-lucky mode, said Foursquare was thinking about ways to automatically adjust the way Radar works when a user is in an unfamiliar city and might be in need of more tips. But the company is wary of overloading users with too many alerts. Mr. Crowley said it was “a hard problem” to decide which of a thousand places to tell a user about as she is roaming city streets. He said this kind of passive alert system was going to be “the new definition of location services” over the next year or so. Foursquare might one day serve as kind of a Pinterest for places, allowing people to save faraway sights or restaurants they want to visit and then alerting them when they are traveling in that area, Mr. Crowley said. — David Gallagher