Who is Behind Coding.Tools?

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
197
Hello,

I found this useful website but I want to ask developer something about EXIF remover tool.
There is no way to contact the developer and he made his domain ownership information private.

I think users who use his tools deserve ask questions, let alone know who is behind. Unless it's
"don't ask - don't tell" kind of thing...

Anyone here is familiar with this website?
 

modi123

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
6,438
I disagree.

That being said, no I had not heard of the site but would caution you uploading anything to a site you may question.
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
1,558
Agreed, ask yourself
"What does an entity gain by providing this for nothing?"
This could be a government spy tool,
It could be many things.
Most answers would cause the owner to want anonymity.
 

modi123

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
6,438
For funsies let's see what we can find.

Coding.Tools has three language selectors - english, chinese, and taiwanese.

The blog shows entries from Nov 2018 to April 2019.

The blog entries give a name 'Junyi Zou'.

Searching 'Junyi Zou coding.tools' hits on a github account https://github.com/Jzou44

The github page shows repos with similar sounding to the blog titles.

Searching 'Jzou44' leads to suspiciously few results, but a listing of papers with similar sounding names as the blog posts and git hub.

It also leads to the email address 'jzou44@uwo.ca' which is for 'Western University Canada'.

The whois shows interesting information:
https://www.godaddy.com/whois/results.aspx?checkAvail=1&domain=https://coding.tools/

Updated Date: 2021-12-01T23:41:25Z
Creation Date: 2018-12-17T11:00:40Z
Registrant Organization:
Registrant State/Province: beijing
Registrant Country: CN

While a goodaddy the .tools TLD cost is $43/year. Not necessarily el-cheapo.
GoDaddy also appraises the site at like $425.. so not amazing.

On the outside this site has a TON of ads, and I can imagine generating enough revenue to sustain the fees for a college kid. The tools seem benign, simple to code, and way too convenient. The search presence for the creator is crazy small so most likely from the mainland of 'west taiwan', or just created.

I would be suspicious.
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
7,163
There are a few open source android apps that do the same, with no ads, if you're really worried about it. Code is probably fairly simple if you want to parse it yourself, too.

I'm sure there are also open source Linux and windows apps if you dig around a bit. Just don't download them from questionable websites.
 

Schro

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
7,831
On the outside this site has a TON of ads, and I can imagine generating enough revenue to sustain the fees for a college kid. The tools seem benign, simple to code, and way too convenient. The search presence for the creator is crazy small so most likely from the mainland of 'west taiwan', or just created.

Search presence is actually quite strong from an organic perspective - this guy hit it big with the July '21 Google algo update. Most of the traffic is being driven by hex to rgba/rgba to hex and exif remover.

Site is currently monetized by Ezoic (see domain/ads.txt), who requires at least 10k visits per month. Utility sites like this usually bring in a lower revenue per page than sites with content. I'd estimate page views/visits in the 50k+/month range, monthly revenue north of $500. If you can find the sellers.json file for Ezoic, you can probably find more information about the site owner there.
 

Nicklebon

Gawd
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
775
I think users who use his tools deserve ask questions, let alone know who is behind. Unless it's
"don't ask - don't tell" kind of thing...
LMFAO!!

Entitled much? It is a free tool. You deserve jack and squat. If you don't like it, don't use it.
 

Boris_yo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
197
Indeed.

What were you going to ask them?

Why the size of output file is noticeably reduced after stripping EXIF data from it. My guess would be that there's an additional step of compression that takes place.
LMFAO!!

Entitled much? It is a free tool. You deserve jack and squat. If you don't like it, don't use it.

Downloading a popular video game, software or mobile application for free and complaining to developer about advertisements or donation requests or software bugs and demanding an update. That's "entitled much". Wanting to know who's behind something that involves private user data and how it's handled, whether paid or free is not about entitlement but a matter of trust.
 
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