I am about to reach a stage in my masters where I'll have to make a choice of doing either a regular thesis or a practicum. A practicum is simply an alternative to thesis in which a student has to submit a practical project employing the concepts developed throughout the graduate program and concludes with a paper and presentation of the crafted project.Since I am planning to apply for a PhD soon after graduation will it affect my application if I opt for the practicum instead of the thesis considering the fact that I already have published a technical paper ?
Thesis. Thesis, thesis, thesis.
(But I do agree with Suresh. The fact that you've published is more important.)
Personally, I think the fact that you've published a technical paper would carry more weight for a CS Ph.D admissions committee than whether you did a thesis or practicum, since that's the demonstration of your ability to do research.